Trump to Rally in Deep Blue Bronx

The May 23 event marks the first time that a GOP presidential candidate has campaigned there in decades; Democrats call the visit unwelcome.

Former President Donald Trump’s rally, set for this evening in the South Bronx, is causing a stir.

Allies applaud him for wading into such hostile Democrat “blue” territory, in an apparent effort to court the area’s large ethnic population—the first such effort from a GOP presidential contender in decades.

Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, praised President Trump for making “a great move, expanding the Republican Party.”

About 77 percent of Bronx Countians are black or Hispanic, U.S. Census data show; then-candidate Joe Biden won the area by nearly 68 percentage points over President Trump in the 2020 election.

“He’s taking his message right into the belly of the beast,” Mr. Wax told The Epoch Times.

But President Trump’s critics resent him for having the audacity to show up. The Bronx Democratic Party, in a social-media post, urged people to attend a counter-demonstration, saying: “Trump isn’t welcome in the Bronx.”

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His speech is set for 6 p.m. ET in Crotona Park; several thousand people are expected to attend, along with counter-protesters.

The former president’s rally comes amid a pause in his New York criminal trial. It follows opinion polls showing that support for his Democrat opponent, President Joe Biden, is slipping among blacks and Hispanics. Polling also indicates the incumbent’s large lead in the Empire State is eroding.

President Biden now leads President Trump in New York by about 9 percent, according to a new Siena College poll. That’s less than half the 23 percent margin that separated the two candidates in their 2020 face-off.

It was unknown whether President Biden was planning to make any campaign stops soon in New York. His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, President Biden has taken a number of steps aimed at boosting support among blacks; he recently gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, a historically black institution, and has met with black leaders at the White House.

The former president has made several small-scale campaign stops in New York in recent weeks but hasn’t campaigned in the state since his initial presidential run in 2016. But President Trump recently stated that he thinks he has a “good chance” of winning New York, the state where he lived much of his life before moving to Florida.

Still, analysts doubt President Trump can make up sufficient ground to win the state and turn it Republican “red.”

No Republican presidential candidate has scored a victory in New York since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan won re-election. That was four years after then-candidate Ronald Reagan campaigned in the Bronx and won the first of his two presidential terms.

Jason Meister, 41, a Trump advisory board member and lifelong New Yorker, said politicians from both major parties have “neglected communities like the South Bronx.” About 35 percent of people there live in poverty.

Former GOP candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain “wouldn’t have even driven through the South Bronx,” Mr. Meister told The Epoch Times.

He pointed to President Reagan’s past visit to the Bronx and subsequent victory, and quipped: “I think we could have a ‘Donald-Reagan’ outcome this year.”

Mr. Meister credits President Trump’s “unconventional approach to retail politics” for attracting support from previously unlikely segments of the population.

“We have a presidential candidate that is actually speaking to the American people, not at them,” Mr. Meister said.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), whose district includes the South Bronx, denounced the former president’s visit shortly after learning about it. “The South Bronx has no greater enemy than Donald Trump,” Mr. Torres declared in a post on X, formerly Twitter, speaking personally, not as a lawmaker.  He accused President Trump of being “on a mission to dismantle the social safety net on which Bronx families depend for their survival.”

“Trump is and has always been a fraud,” Mr. Torres continued. “The South Bronx—the most Democratic area in the nation—will not buy the snake oil that he is selling.”

The Trump campaign, in announcing the 45th president’s Bronx campaign stop, said President Trump intends to highlight his economic policies versus those of President Biden.

“The Empire State, a place near to President Trump’s heart, has been decimated by Biden. President Trump will ease the financial pressures placed on households and re-establish law and order in New York!” President Trump’s campaign said in a statement.

Nationwide opinion polls show President Trump and President Biden appear to be locked in a statistical dead heat as the Nov. 5 general election approaches, according to RealClearPolitics.

In a social media post in anticipation of the New York campaign stop, President Trump wrote he was “heading for New York for the Big Rally in the South Bronx. It’s been 50 years since such a thing as this has taken place.”

“We are going to Make New York Great Again!!!” he wrote in a variation of his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. “Far Lower Taxes, Safe, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Good Schools, and everything else that goes towards the American Dream!”

Katabella Roberts, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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