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Trump to hold campaign rally in South Bronx, New York, to boost black voters

By Helen Coster and Nathan Layne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate donald trump will host a campaign rally in New York’s South Bronx neighborhood on Thursday, targeting a Democratic stronghold as he tries to undermine the president Joe BidenThe support of voters of color.

Recent polls suggest Trump is gaining ground among black and Hispanic voters, groups that have traditionally supported Democrats. Trump’s campaign sees an opportunity to get enough votes to make a difference in key states in the Nov. 5 election.

That’s not the case in New York, which Trump lost by 23 percentage points in 2020 and has no chance of winning this year, political analysts say. But a well-attended rally held in the city and covered by major television networks could help project his message to black and Hispanic voters across the country.

“I think it’s part of this larger narrative where he’s trying to undermine support for Biden among black and Latino men, primarily,” said Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. “By going to the South Bronx, you can say ‘I’m talking to communities that Joe Biden takes for granted.'”

Trump’s focus on black voters reflects both candidates’ efforts to look beyond their base in what national polls show as a close rematch. About 40% of registered voters in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll said they would vote for Biden if the election were held today, and the same proportion would choose Trump.

Trump won the US presidency in 2016 with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in at least 40 years, then made up ground with both groups in the 2020 race.

In the March New York Times/Siena College poll, Trump was selected by 23% of black respondents and 46% of Hispanics in a one-on-one matchup with Biden. That’s much higher than the 12% of Black voters and 32% of Hispanic voters Trump won in 2020, according to Edison Research exit polls.

Political analysts have attributed Biden’s drop in support among nonwhite voters this election cycle in part to the enormous impact of inflation on people living paycheck to paycheck.

At Thursday’s Crotona Park rally, Trump is expected to focus on the economy, crime and immigration, three main pillars of his campaign. He will highlight inflation in particular under Biden, his campaign said.

About 77% of Bronx County residents are Black or Hispanic, according to 2022 census data. Biden won the county by 67.6 percentage points in 2020.

Biden has had a series of actions and events focused on bolstering support among Black voters, including his commencement speech at Morehouse College, where he highlighted the billions in funding his administration has given to historically Black colleges and universities. Biden has also singled out Trump and other Republicans for attacking programs aimed at improving diversity, equity and inclusion.

Trump’s rally schedule has had to compete with his court appearances on criminal and civil charges. He is on trial in New York on charges of falsifying business records to conceal a money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election. The verdict could come as soon as next week.

In April, Trump made a campaign appearance at a convenience store in Harlem, New York, a predominantly black neighborhood in Manhattan that has historically voted Democratic.

While speaking to a black conservative group in South Carolina ahead of the state’s primary election in February, Trump compared the four criminal cases against him to the discrimination black Americans face and said they had come to “embrace” their mugshots. .

Trump’s legal challenges, including federal charges over his alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss and his handling of classified documents, differ sharply from the historical inequalities African Americans have experienced in the criminal justice system.

(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Daniel Wallis)