News

Trump in New York to court Biden’s Black, Hispanic coalition

Trump says Europe should give Ukraine more aid
Image: Video Screenshot

Donald Trump headed into hostile territory Thursday for a rare rally in deeply Democratic New York — hoping to woo Black and Latino voters whose support for Joe Biden has shown signs of faltering.

The event, in an area where the Republican ex-president was trounced in 2020, follows a trend of Trump sorties into traditionally liberal states, most recently in New Jersey and Minnesota.

But his speech in the South Bronx is more about signaling that he can draw large crowds among Hispanics and the African American coalition seen as crucial to Biden’s hopes of retaining the White House.

In his first rally in his former hometown since 2016, Trump was expected to focus on crime and tough economic conditions in one of the most Democratic and diverse US neighborhoods, where almost two-thirds of residents are Hispanic and one-third Black.

As anticipation built for Trump’s arrival, a line almost a mile long snaked through the Bronx’s sprawling Crotona Park, zigzagging around basketball courts and ponds as local children climbed on a crane that held a giant banner.

“He’s from New York, I don’t take offense to him being here,” said 68-year-old Bronx resident George Marrero, who had perched himself on a wooden fence to watch.

“He has a tiny bit of support here and I believe he’ll do a tiny bit better this time.”

The Trump team did not respond to a request for details on the rally but a campaign spokeswoman told The Hill that New York state had been “decimated” by Biden, and that Trump would “re-establish law and order.”

 

– Banner year –

 

In fact, New York City had a banner year for fighting crime in 2023, with murders down 12 percent year-on-year, according to police figures. Overall crime was five percent lower in April than in the same month last year.

The rally caps a turbulent period for Trump, who has been kept off the campaign trail by his criminal trial in Manhattan for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments made to cover up a sex scandal.

When the rally was arranged, the tycoon had been anticipating another week in New York as proceedings draw to a close — although the judge sent the jury home on Tuesday for a week-long pause.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal Democratic congresswoman whose district includes parts of the Bronx, said Trump was rallying in the borough “because he’s got the legal version of an ankle bracelet… truly an embarrassment to him.”

New York state last voted for a Republican president when Ronald Reagan was reelected in 1984.

Biden won almost 85 percent of the vote in the Bronx in 2020 and went on to welcome the first African American women to the Supreme Court bench and to the vice presidency.

The White House has been touting Biden’s accomplishments for both Hispanic and Black communities on home ownership and economic opportunity, lowering child poverty, and expanding voting rights and healthcare.

 

– Racial controversies –

 

Meanwhile Trump was roundly rebuked when he argued recently that the 88 felony charges he faces in multiple jurisdictions make him relatable to Black voters mistreated by the criminal justice system.

But polling shows he has been making inroads with Black and Hispanic Americans, particularly younger voters who are increasingly unengaged in politics and those who blame Biden over a surge in illegal immigration at the Mexico border.

The latest Ipsos Survey of Black Americans found that while Biden maintains a comfortable edge over Trump, his favorability is down seven points since 2022, while those certain to vote sunk from 74 to 62 percent between elections.

“I’m here because I like president Trump, said 55-year-old retiree Richard Lyman, who had traveled with a friend from Poughkeepsie in upstate New York to catch a glimpse of his political idol.

“And I’m here because of the last four years — the open border, everything costs more, the guy in charge is a liar.”

Tags

About the author

AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







Daily Newsletter