Just ahead of Monday’s first one-on-one presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Clinton is leading Trump 49 percent to 47 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, the candidates are tied at 46 percent, making the most important presidential election of our time a dead heat.
With so much at stake in the coming weeks, Roland Martin and his panel of guests discussed the current state of the race, as well as what issues the candidates and debate moderator Lester Holt should address that are important to the African-American community.
Barbara Arnwine, president and founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, believes Clinton and Trump should address the Institute of Policy Studies report, which reveals it will take African-Americans more than two centuries to equal White wealth levels. The estimate given for Latinos to equal White wealth levels by the Institute of Policy Studies is at 88 years. A drastically shorter amount of time, but still unacceptable.
Arnwine said, “Somebody should be talking about what does that mean about what kind of policies we should have on the economic front to perpetuate equality of income.”
Deana Bass, partner of Bass Public Affairs and a Donald Trump supporter, shared in the sentiment expressed by Arnwine and said, “We definitely need to have conversations tonight about how will both candidates approach jobs and the economy.”
Bass also believes there needs to be a substantive dialogue on African-Americans consistently supporting the Democratic party because it is “important to understand exactly what they’ve done and what they plan to do to advance African-Americans and to actually earn the vote.”
She continued, saying Trump needs to explain why African-American voters should support his candidacy and “articulate exactly what he would do for African-Americans.”
Martin responded to Bass’ belief that Trump should release a “specific plan” detailing his policies, but he keeps “hearing bumper sticker slogans” in lieu of policy initiatives.
Michelle Bernard, president and CEO of the Bernard Center Women, Politics and Pubic Policy, would like to see “Mr. Holt ask and ask over and over again until we get an answer about the candidate that Donald Trump wants to see most on the Supreme Court and how they are going to deal with erosion of voting rights.” Bernard is also interested in Trump’s stance on the erosion of reproductive rights.
Martin, who has been critical of Republicans over the course of the last year for their use of voter suppression tactics, would like Trump to address the disenfranchisement of minority voters.
The host of NewsOne Now said, “I don’t understand why folks are unwilling to ask that question” because the nation can see the egregious actions of the North Carolina GOP who have openly blocked access to the polls. Martin said, “I doubt very seriously that question comes up, but it’s one that should come up.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel preview the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the video clip above.
What issues would you like to see the candidates address during tonight’s debate?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty