×

Here's who Trump is targeting for his 'voter suppression operations'

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Henderson Pavilion on October 5, 2016 in Henderson, Nevada.
Getty Images
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Henderson Pavilion on October 5, 2016 in Henderson, Nevada.

A "senior official" working for Donald Trump revealed the Republican campaign's plan for dissuading potential Hillary Clinton voters from voting Democrat in a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

That unnamed official said the Trump team has "three major voter suppression operations under way," targeted at three distinct groups that Clinton needs for a big electoral victory. Those constituencies, as Businessweek describes, are "idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans."

Although "voter suppression" sounds ominous — and some on social media were quick to claim the revelation as evidence of illegal action on the part of the Trump campaign — the tactics described are really just advertising that isn't attempting to convert voters to Trump, just turn them away from Clinton.

One example of that strategy, as explained in the report, are Trump's attempts to "turn off" those liberals who had supported Sen. Bernie Sanders by referencing Clinton's shifting stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That potential trade agreement, which Clinton had called a "gold standard," is now opposed by the Democratic nominee.

And for African Americans, the Trump campaign is using nonpublic Facebook posts with an animation claiming "Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators" targeted at certain potential voters, according to Businessweek. That "super predators" claim is referencing a 1996 speech in which Clinton called for an organized effort against gangs, saying they sometimes include "the kinds of kids that are called super predators — no conscience, no empathy." Although Clinton did not specify African Americans in that comment, many took it that way, and she has said she shouldn't have used that language.

For the more on Trump's homestretch strategy, see the Bloomberg Businessweek report.