Miami, November 6, 2016: US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump asked on Saturday in Tampa, Florida, for the Hispanic and African American electorate’s vote in this vital state, where polls show him in a technical tie with rival Hillary Clinton.
“What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump asked Latino and African American voters, and at his first rally of the final sprint to next Tuesday’s elections he promised to fix what is wrong with the country.
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Before the elections he will visit eight states, including another visit to Florida next Monday, EFE news reported.
Trump said that African Americans and Latinos are suffering in Florida’s cities and all over the country from high crime rates, the worst education and no jobs, problems that he vowed to remedy if he wins the November 8 election.
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He also said that Democrats always forget about these minority voters once the elections are over.
These segments of the electorate, which polls indicate massively support former US secretary of state Clinton, could be vital for determining who will win Florida’s 29 electoral votes — which Trump needs to obtain the total of 270 that will give him the key to the White House.
Latinos represent 16% of Florida’s registered voters, while African Americans make up 13%, and their vote is crucial in these Florida elections, where surveys point to the Democrat having a minimal lead, EFE news added.
In Florida, 4% more Latinos have come out for early voting or have voted by mail than in 2012, while African American participation has dropped 7% compared to the last presidential election when the candidate was President Barack Obama, who finally won the state.
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Trump said he felt good about the voting results up to now, which on Saturday showed a difference of less than 7,300 between the registered Democrats and Republicans who have already voted, out of a total of 5.7 million registered voters in Florida.
The real-estate magnate said the final vote of African Americans and Hispanics will be very different from what people think.
He said Clinton is the candidate of the past, while his is the movement of the future, and it’s time for change, for new leadership.
According to a poll taken by the website Real Clear Politics, Clinton leads Trump by less than 2% nationwide. (IANS)
“It’s the economy, stupid” has been a catchphrase of U.S. presidential politics since the 1992 campaign, when Bill Clinton unseated incumbent George H.W. Bush. Nearly three decades later, U.S. President Donald Trump is hoping that simple message in 2020 will help foil his eventual Democratic Party challenger.
Trump — in tweets, at political rallies and in remarks to reporters — constantly emphasizes the performance of the U.S. economy, stock market surges, low unemployment rates and his tax cuts to boast he is doing a great job as president.
Economists and political analysts are divided on whether that message will enable the incumbent to stay in office beyond January 2021.
Culture war, partisan split
Ever since Clinton, “we’ve all kind of assumed that should be true. And I think for the most part, it is,” said Ryan McMaken, senior editor and economist at the Mises Institute, a politics and economics research group in Alabama. He cautioned, though, that Trump finds himself on one side of a culture war that his predecessors did not have to confront, as well as a deep partisan divide on consumer confidence.
Policy analyst James Pethokoukis at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research group, also is cautious about the economy prevailing over all other issues.
“Just having a strong economy is not going to guarantee you re-election,” he said. “People often point back to the 2000 election, which occurred after a decade of tremendous economic growth any way you want to measure it — gross domestic product, jobs and wage growth. And yet, [Clinton’s vice president] Al Gore still lost that election to George W. Bush.”
McMaken questioned whether voters in key swing states — such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio — who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 were experiencing enough of the touted economic performance to vote again for the president.
Overall, however, “it’s not a bad economy to run on if you’re Donald Trump,” said Pethokoukis.
Trump, said to have concerns about the direction of the economy ahead of next November’s election, will likely push for more tax cuts, passage of a renegotiated North American trade pact and continued pressure on the country’s central banking system, the Federal Reserve, to lower interest rates.
There are rumblings of economic storm clouds on the horizon. The impact can be seen in Trump’s trade war with China, which has hurt U.S. farmers and raised prices for consumer goods. It’s also reflected in the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index, an underperforming U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index and a ballooning record national debt, in addition to the worrying level of money owed to creditors by middle-class Americans.
“We’ve actually been in a sort of a manufacturing recession, seen a shrinkage of factory jobs, the exact kinds of jobs that I’m sure that people voting for the president thought would be a lot better now,” said Pethokoukis.
So far, none of this has prompted a major stock market correction.
“There seems to be a lot of adaptations in the markets to Trump’s America. That may work to his advantage,” said the Mises Institute’s McMaken.
Analysts note a lack of emphasis on economic platforms so far by the leading Democratic U.S. presidential candidates seeking to oust Trump next year.
But such a platform is likely to be touted when the opposition party holds its convention next July in Milwaukee and picks its campaign ticket. Pethokoukis suggested the Democratic Party should devise a plan with a goal to boost American worker productivity, which has flatlined for years.
The great divide
McMaken pointed out that the widening chasm between the well-off and those struggling economically in the United States makes Trump vulnerable — something emphasized by left-leaning Democratic presidential contenders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“On the ground level, I would say just in general, the economy isn’t doing as well,” concluded McMaken.
Amid an impeachment drive by the Democrats, Trump is repeatedly hammering on a specific message to those questioning his suitability for office while being impressed with the performance of their pension accounts during his presidency.
“Love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me,” Trump said at a rally in New Hampshire in August, warning that Americans’ investments portfolios would go “down the tubes” if he lost next year’s election. (VOA)