Tuesday November 20, 2018
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Campaign says, Trump Believes Obama was Born in US

Trump and Clinton both held campaign events on Thursday, with Clinton returning to the trail in front of a small crowd on a North Carolina college, and Trump appearing on television to discuss his medical history

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Laconia Middle School, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Source: VOA
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  • The US Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump’s campaign office in a statement, praised Trump for his dedication to prove President Obama’s citizenship and bringing closure to the issue
  • Trump, who has always raised questions against the Obama administration in their 8-year term, is not the only one, Hillary Clinton, also raised an issue on this in her failed 2008 campaign for president
  • Clinton has, in the past, had denied the claims that it was her campaign that started the rumors about Obama’s birthplace

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump – or, at least his campaign – admitted Thursday he believed President Barack Obama was actually born in the United States, after years of questioning the president’s citizenship.

The Trump campaign, in a statement, credited Trump with forcing Obama to release his birth certificate and bringing closure to an issue he helped bring into the spotlight over the course of Obama’s presidency.

“Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer,” spokesman Jason Miller said. “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”

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Earlier in the day Thursday, Hillary Clinton, at her first campaign event since she was diagnosed with pneumonia and forced to leave a September 11 memorial event Sunday with health issues, tore into Trump for his support of the so-called “birther movement.”

She referenced a Washington Post story published Thursday in which Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in America and said he does not talk about the issue anymore.

Clinton urged voters to “conclusively” stop Trump, and what she calls his bigotry, in the November election.

While Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of Obama’s presidency over the past eight years and fed into conspiracy theories over the authenticity of his birth certificate, Miller blamed Clinton for raising the issue in the first place.

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for president. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer.”

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The Trump statement pointed to a 2007 Clinton campaign memo in which chief strategist Mark Penn said Obama had a “lack of American roots” and not “fundamentally American in his thinking and values” as proof of Clinton’s role in the birther movement.

Clinton responded to Trump on Twitter by saying, “President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.”

Clinton has, in the past, denied claims that her campaign started the rumors about Obama’s birthplace.

Dueling campaign events

Trump and Clinton held competing for campaign events Thursday, with Clinton returning to the trail in front of a small crowd on a North Carolina college campus, and Trump appearing on television to discuss his medical history.

“It’s great to be back,” Clinton told an audience in Greensboro, North Carolina. She admitted that she tried to “power through” her illness before realizing it did not work and that she needed to stay home and rest.

“I’m not great at taking it easy even under ordinary circumstances. But with just two months to go before election day, sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be.”

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But Clinton said she considers herself lucky to be able to afford time off if she gets sick. She said millions of Americans have no backup if they fall ill and are just one paycheck away from losing their homes or facing other catastrophes.

She said she is running for president to make life better for children and their families.

“Every child, no matter who they are, what they look like or who they love is part of the American dream now and way into the future. Let that be our message. Let that be our mission.”

Later, Clinton appeared before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, saying she would send Congress comprehensive immigration reform within her first 100 days in office. She said her plan would include a path toward citizenship for many undocumented immigrants.

Meanwhile, Trump appeared on a television talk show hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz Thursday and presented a letter from his doctors proclaiming him to be healthy after he took a physical exam last week.

“We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health,” the campaign said, “and has the stamina to endure — uninterrupted — the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States.”

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Trump, who is known to be fond of fast food, admitted to Oz that he takes drugs to treat high cholesterol.

He told the doctor that just like many other Americans, he wants to lose weight. Trump is 1.9 meters tall, (6 foot 3 inches) and weighs 107 kilograms (236 pounds). He is overweight by medical standards.

But it is Trump who has suggested Hillary Clinton does not have the strength and stamina to be president.

Clinton mocked the way Trump disclosed his medical condition by appearing on a daytime TV talk show, calling him a “showman.”

If the 70-year-old Trump wins the November 8 election, he would be the oldest to be elected U.S. president, while Clinton would be the second oldest. She turns 69 on October 26.

A new New York Times/CBS News poll of likely voters shows Clinton and Trump neck-and-neck at 42 percent in a four-way race with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Trump has been steadily gaining ground on Clinton in the polls recently, and RealClearPolitics polling averages show Trump edging out Clinton in the key political battleground states of Florida and Ohio. (VOA)

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  • Anubhuti Gupta

    US elections this year are taking more horrendous turns by the day. The fact that both of these candidates are finally standing in elections is still unbelievable,

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The Year Of Women in U.S. Politics

As the focus now turns toward Trump’s re-election run in 2020, Republicans recognize they have a problem to address.

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Adrian Avella and Mazeda Uddin react during the midterm election night party of Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City. VOA

Women in key swing districts across the country delivered congressional victories to the Democratic Party Tuesday, helping to shift the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives for the remaining two years of the Trump presidency.

The U.S. may be divided along political and ideological lines, but Associated Press exit polls show female voters united behind the Democratic Party in the 2018 midterm congressional elections by a 55 percent to 41 percent margin. The partisan divide among male voters was much narrower.

In a midterm election cycle heralded as the “Year of the Woman” because of the record number of female candidates for office and the surging #MeToo movement, women delivered a generally harsh verdict regarding Trump’s first two years in office.

First nationwide polls since 2016

The 2018 elections marked the first time voters went to the polls nationwide since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The Women’s March that brought out millions of female protesters the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration also fueled so-called Indivisible groups, an anti-Trump resistance, across the nation. Those Indivisible groups supported a new wave of female candidates.

When the new Congress is sworn in early next year, a record 96 women will serve, according to the latest election projections. That number is up from the 84 women currently serving in the 115th Congress.

Gender equality was an important issue for women in this election, according to a June 2018 survey for Gender Watch 2018, a nonpartisan project tracking gender dynamics this election season. But other issues, including health care, immigration and the state of the economy all played a role in voter decision-making. Moreover, only a third of all voters said Trump had the right temperament to serve as president, according to AP exit polling.

Immigrant caravan talk backfires

In the days leading up to the election, Trump said his sharp focus on immigrant caravans moving north toward the U.S.-Mexico border, and the threats he contends they pose, would appeal to women.

“Border security is also a women’s issue,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Indiana Friday. “Women want safe neighborhoods for their families, great schools and health care for their children, and they want criminals to be thrown in jail or thrown the hell out of our country.”

But that approach did not ultimately appeal to women in swing districts across the country.

“Women voters were pivotal,” said Molly O’Rourke, a professor of political communication at American University. “Democrats took the House back because of women voters. There was a historic gender gap — 23 point gender gap in congressional voting, and that’s larger than ever.”

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People participate in the Women’s March on Washington, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, in Washington, D.C. VOA

O’Rourke noted that women favored Democratic candidates in congressional matchups by 19 points.

“It was really on the shoulders of women voters that Democrats had the momentum to take back the House,” she said.

District by district

Democrats regained control of the House on Tuesday for the first time in eight years, 221 to 196, by picking up 26 seats previously held by Republicans. In many of those races, women from suburban swing areas played a decisive role in the outcome.

For instance, in three congressional districts — Virginia’s 7th and 10th, and New Jersey’s 11th — women provided voting strength that flipped Republican-held seats.

Virginia’s 7th, a district split between rural areas and the suburbs of Richmond, shifted by 17 percentage points in favor of Democrats between 2016 to 2018, delivering a win to the Democratic candidate, Abigail Spanberger. The former CIA officer beat Tea Party incumbent Dave Brat in no small part through the activism of local liberal women’s groups.

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Central American migrants begin their morning trek as part of a thousands-strong caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, as they face the Pico de Orizaba volcano upon departure from Cordoba, Mexico, Monday. VOA

“The women are in my grill no matter where I go,” Brat said of those female liberal groups in his district earlier this year. “They come up — ‘When is your next town hall?’ And believe me, it’s not to give positive input.”

In Virginia’s 10th, Democratic lawyer and state senator Jennifer Wexton beat two-term Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in a district that went for Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election, 52 percent to 42 percent. Flipping these so-called “split districts” divided between Democratic presidential support and a Republican representative was a key element of the Democrats’ strategy to take control of the House in 2018, according to analysts.

Former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill flipped New Jersey’s 11th away from Republican Jay Webber, giving Democrats control of the district for the first time in 36 years.

Democratic or leaning that way

Rates of female voters have equaled or exceeded those of men for decades, according to a study by the Center for American Women and Politics. Women are also more likely to identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey.

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Virginia Congressman Dave Brat, R-Va., left, shakes hands with Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger, right, after a debate at Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Virginia. VOA

A majority of women identify as Democrats or lean Democratic at 56 percent, while 37 percent affiliate with or lean toward the GOP. The share of women identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic is up 4 percentage points since 2015 and is at one of its highest points since 1992. In 2014,the most recent off-presidential midterm election year, Democrats won the U.S. House vote among women, even though Republicans overwhelmingly secured overall control of the chamber.

Analysts warn against viewing women as a monolithic voting bloc.

Education, race, ethnicity

“There’s a bigger divide on education. So, educated, college educated women, suburban women — that’s where we did see the biggest Democratic gains across the various cities, West to East,” said John Fortier, a political analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “Democrats doing well in areas where there are educated suburban women and men, but especially suburban women.”

Race and ethnicity also provide further divisions within groups of female voters. Fifty-two percent of white women voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and studies show female support for the president has held consistently, although college educated white women generally oppose Trump.

 

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Democrat Jennifer Wexton speaks at her election night party after defeating Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., Nov. 6, 2018, in Dulles, Virginia. VOA

 

Rebecca Gill, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says white female voters are harder to classify because their vote often depends on their level of education and marital status.

“White women are harder to predict, and there are more of them that parties will try to win over,” Gill said. “Democrats at least have the luxury of largely taking women of color (votes) for granted.”

“In terms of white women, they’re sort of in the middle,” Gill said. “You can predict what they’re going to do sometimes on the basis of how educated they are. Certainly whether they’re married or not.”

Also Read: Do More to Create Equality: Women Leaders In Tech During Web Summit

As the focus now turns toward Trump’s re-election run in 2020, Republicans recognize they have a problem to address.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News Tuesday night after projections showed Republicans had lost control of the House. “We’ve got to address the suburban women problem, because it’s real,” he said. (VOA)