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Donald looks beyond summer of Trump

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Washington: Outshining seasoned politicians, drawing huge crowds and surging in polls, front-runner Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has served notice on his opponents that he is in the game to win.

Donald_Trump“It’s one thing to have the summer of Trump. But it doesn’t mean anything unless we win,” Trump told a crowd Tuesday in Dubuque in Iowa, the state where the nomination process begins with a caucus of party functionaries. “If you lose, what does it all matter?”

The declaration came ahead of another day of media attention sparked by renewed attacks on his opponents particularly establishment favourite Jeb Bush and reigniting a simmering debate night clash with Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

In an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Trump touted “Tens of Thousands Support Trump” referring to new polling which showed him with double-digit leads in the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Before addressing another huge rally in Dubuque, Trump had testy exchanges with Jorge Ramos, anchor of Univision, the leading American Spanish language channel, with a security officer at one point ejecting Ramos from his news conference.

Trump also mocked Jeb Bush on Twitter Tuesday after the former Florida governor found himself in a deeper mess in trying to explain his “anchor babies” comment as “frankly, more related to Asian people.”

“In a clumsy move to get out of his ‘anchor babies’ dilemma, where he signed that he would not use the term and now uses it, he blamed ASIANS,” Trump wrote.

“Asians are very offended that JEB said that anchor babies applies to them as a way to be more politically correct to hispanics. A mess!” Trump then wrote, a few minutes later.

Trump also vowed Monday not to host a lavish state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits the US in September.

“I’d get him a McDonald’s hamburger and I’d say we gotta get down to work, because you can’t continue to devalue (the Chinese currency),” Trump said Monday night on Fox News.

“I would give him a very, yeah, but I would give him a double, probably a double size Big Mac.”

Meanwhile, a new deadline loomed for Trump, who has repeatedly refused to rule out a third-party candidacy, noting that he could use the threat of an independent bid as leverage.

But he cannot compete in South Carolina’s Republican primary, unless he signs a pledge before Sep 30 to support the Republican nominee in the general election.

Trump said Tuesday when asked about the rule by reporters in Iowa that his campaign is “looking into it.”

“We certainly have plenty of time,” he said. “My whole desire is just fairness, and I want to run as the Republican nominee, I want to win, I think we will win.”

According to the Washington Post the Virginia Republican Party is also considering requiring a loyalty oath from presidential primary contenders, a move widely considered aimed at Trump.

The development could be an early sign of trouble for Trump, particularly if other state parties consider similar ideas, the influential daily said.

But, according to the Post, Republicans are also worried that it could backfire and breed resentment among activists who are suspicious of attempts by the Republican establishment to control the party.

(IANS)

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President Donald Trump Key Force In Driving The Midterms Elections

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally endorsing the Republican ticket in Erie, Pennsylvania, VOA

Three weeks before a crucial U.S. midterm election, it would be difficult to find much that Democrats and Republicans agree on. Both parties, however, seem to agree on one thing: President Donald Trump will be the key issue in elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

For many voters, the “Trump factor” could be a deciding consideration in this year’s midterms. And as the president campaigns on behalf of Republicans around the country, he is quick to remind his supporters that he has a huge personal stake in the outcome on Nov. 6.

“All of this extraordinary progress is at stake,” Trump told a recent rally in Southaven, Mississippi. “I’m not on the ballot. But in a certain way, I am on the ballot. So please, go out and vote. Go out and vote.”

Motivating Democrats

As much as Trump motivates his core supporters, he also energizes critics like Jenny Heinz, who helped organize a recent anti-Trump rally in New York City.

“There is an active resistance to this president, who is operating as if he is above the law.”

No question, Trump is the central figure in this year’s election, according to American University analyst David Barker.

“Yes, Democrats from the day after the election in 2016 have been waiting for this day, and it is all about Trump,” Barker told VOA. “Trump fully embraces that. He wants it to be all about him.”

Historically, midterm elections have been a mix of local issues, local candidates, and partly a referendum on the sitting president.

This year’s campaign seems to have accelerated a trend whereby midterm congressional elections have increasingly become nationalized.

“It really is now all national, and everyone is kind of looking at this as either a referendum for or against the president and his party,” said George Washington University expert Lara Brown.

Trump
supporters of President Donald Trump, wearing Mike Braun for Congress shirts, cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. VOA

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of voters in both parties said a congressional candidate who shares their view of Trump is an important consideration as they assess the coming midterms.

Seizing the spotlight

Unlike some presidents who have tried to resist the idea that the midterms are a presidential referendum, Trump has willingly embraced it.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told Associated Press Television that he favors the approach.

“I think if you make this a national referendum and nationalize this election on the success of President Trump’s program, it is a clear winner, and I think the Democrats get crushed.”

Others are skeptical, including former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

“All right, fine. You want it to be about you? Well, every candidate on the ballot now has to account for your behavior, has to account for your tweets,” said Steele, a recent guest on VOA’s Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren.

Climate Change, Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. VOA

Trump hopes to boost Republican turnout in November; but, Democrats argue he is likely to be just as effective in spurring their voters to the polls.

Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger also spoke on Plugged In.

“When all you do is care about yourself and not about people, not about what they need – like your seniors needing medical care. And you just want to look good and knock them out (politically), which is happening, this is hurting. And this is why, I think, a lot of people will come out (to vote).”

Tending the base

Trump has been aggressive on the campaign trail courting his base, especially in Republican-leaning states where many of this year’s closer Senate races are taking place.

“They are focusing on their base, and they are trying to make sure that they are going to show up and vote. And it could make some difference in close midterm elections,” said University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato.

Trump, USA
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, . VOA

Some Republicans have urged Trump to try and broaden his appeal beyond his base during campaign visits this year.

But Gallup pollster Frank Newport said the president has limited options.

Also Read: Obama On Why Its Important To Vote In This Midterm Elections

“He has kind of given up on attempting to broaden his appeal, it looks like. It fits more with his style,” said Newport. “He has, as we all know, a very combative style. He likes to have enemies because that gives him somebody to fight against. So, it would be hard for a president like Trump anyway to try and broaden his appeal.”

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters, and the midterm results could determine the future of his presidency. (VOA)