Donald Trump is expected to be endorsed for president by 100 African-American pastors and faith-based leaders in a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
This significant endorsement comes as the candidate has sparked more controversy with various divisive public statements and tweets and along with the forcible removal of a Black Lives Matter protester from a Birmingham, Ala., Trump campaign rally.
According to Pastor Darrell Scott, a registered Democrat and Obama voter and who leads the New Spirit Revival Center in the Cleveland area in discussing the GOP 2016 presidential front-runner, "I was looking for some subtle hints of racism. I didn't see it at all," he told the New York Times. Trump impressed Scott "as a leader and that he liked his ideas for improving the economy."
Based on a Reuters tracking poll, Donald Trump -- a former Democrat and Independent -- is still in first place and currently favored by 38 percent of the national Republican primary electorate, with Sen. Ted Cruz now in the second position as Dr. Ben Carson has lost ground. Cruz is said to be surging in Iowa with evangelical voters, several media accounts have indicated, although Trump still maintains a single-digit lead based on the Real Clear Politics average. Trump continues to lead by various margins in the early primary states of New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.
Apart from Trump's ongoing feud with most news media outlets that accompanies each controversy du jour, the so-called GOP establishment is engaging in some degree of rhetorical saber-rattling that it will try to undermine the brash billionaire businessman and ex-reality show host's momentum as he seeks the Republican nomination for president. Rival John Kasich, the Ohio governor, and/or a PAC supporting him, plans to unleash a series of attack ads, for example.
Pastor Scott "helped organize the coalition of religious leaders and said that after meeting Mr. Trump in person he was convinced that Mr. Trump was the candidate best suited to be president. He also said that the public portrayals of Mr. Trump as a racist and demagogue seemed unfounded after they spoke," the Times added. "Mr. Trump has struggled to connect with some social conservatives because of his flashy lifestyle and the fact that he has held liberal views on some issues. But Mr. Scott said that he found Mr. Trump to be humble before God when they prayed together and that he had confidence in his faith."
Among The Donald's strongest supporters on social media are the Diamond and Silk, the African-American siblings from North Carolina who "stump for Trump." They have launched a movement encouraging voters to ditch the Democrats and switch to the Republicans in their official party registration in their state so they can vote in the GOP primary for Donald Trump.
In particular, Diamond and Silk are also huge fans of Donald Trump's economic message, especially his vow to bring jobs back to America, which they feel will be particularly important for the African-American community. They also support his plan to secure the southern border with a wall. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Trump has crossover appeal to a certain segment of Democrat and Independent voters.
Last night, wife Melania Trump made her first campaign appearance with her husband at a rally in South Carolina, along with daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, as well as Barron, his youngest son. This was the same really where the candidate brought the good-natured Trump impersonator up on the stage.