By Nia-Malika Henderson, Senior Political Reporter
Washington (CNN) — Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a bigot.
Clinton argued that Trump was normalizing white nationalism.
Trump, speaking to a nearly all-white audience, painted African-Americans with a stereotypically broad brush as “living in poverty.”
Then there was a cartoon version of Clinton in blackface and David Duke embraced Trump, who later disavowed him.
And that’s just this month.
Clinton: Trump campaign built of prejudice, paranoia
Race and racism have always coursed through American politics. But racial issues aren’t just sparking the occasional flashpoint this campaign cycle — they are a constant and troubling feature of the contest. The developments over the past month underscore the steady stream of divisive language, racially charged imagery and flat-out racist statements permeating this election season.
All this comes as Trump tries to enhance his image among minority voters, particularly African-Americans and Latinos. The Republican nominee will head to Mexico Wednesday to meet with the president of that country ahead of a major immigration speech in Arizona. He will be in Detroit this weekend to speak at a black church.
“Tonight I am asking for the vote of every African-American and Hispanic citizen in this country who wants to see a better future, who wants to see real, positive change,” Trump said late Tuesday during a speech in Everett, Washington.
But he faces an uphill climb — to say the least. Trump’s rhetoric around race, ethnicity and nationality have depressed his numbers among every demographic — he is underperforming past Republican presidential candidates in nearly every voting bloc.