Trump to hold rally in South Bronx in effort to court Black, Hispanic voters

Trump to hold rally in South Bronx in effort to court Black, Hispanic voters
Former U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally on May 1, 2024 in Freeland, Michigan. Nic Antaya/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in deep-blue South Bronx, New York, on Thursday evening as he looks to court the Hispanic and Black voters that make up a majority of the area’s population.

Several thousand Trump supporters are expected to head to Crotona Park in the South Bronx for the former president’s rally — on a day off from his New York hush-money trial. Trump is expected to speak to the diverse voter base about crime — a key issue for voters in the area.

With his New York criminal trial coming to a near close, the state has been top of mind for the former New York business mogul, who has spent the last six weeks residing in Trump Tower and going to his trial in New York County Criminal Court.

“I love this state. I love the people of this state. I’m running hard in New York. I think we’re gonna win New York,” Trump said before entering the courtroom on Monday.

It would be a challenge for Trump to take New York — a state that has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1988.

Ahead of his visit, Trump projected confidence that he could win New York, pointing to crime and immigration in the area.

“Well, my message is we have to make it better. We have to heal, it’s never been like this and you have hundreds of thousands of migrants taking up your schools and taking up your hospitals and your parks,” Trump said on New York radio station 77 WABC on Wednesday.

“Man, I think it’s really time for New York to go Republican. We’re going to rebuild the state. We’re going to rebuild the city and we’re going to spend the money that’s necessary. We’re going to make it great again, and we’re gonna have to get the illegals out of New York because no place can sustain it.”

Crime was down — albeit less than 1% — in the Bronx in the past year, according to New York Police Department data. Crime is down citywide as well, police data show.

Trump’s visit on Thursday marks his fourth campaign stop in New York City during his criminal trial. In the past couple weeks, Trump has visited a Harlem bodega, Manhattan construction site and paid tribute to first responders in midtown Manhattan.

Trump is hoping to capitalize on Black and Hispanic voters — a key demographic that the candidates need to harness for a November win.

Trump’s rally is taking place in New York’s 15th congressional district, a diverse and Democratic area. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 50% of the population in the district is Hispanic, 30% is Black or African American, and less than 10% is white.

“I’m going to make a play for New Yorkers,” Trump told reporters outside the construction site of the new JP Morgan Chase Building in Midtown, Manhattan last month. “Normally, a Democrat will win New York. Biden is the worst president in history. We have some very bad people here, but we have the greatest people and they’re right behind me. They all want us to run, and we’re going to run very hard in New York.”

President Joe Biden’s campaign on Thursday launched a series of new TV and radio ads that challenge Trump’s claims about his accomplishments for the Black community.

“Every halfhearted attempt by the Trump campaign to pander for Black and Latino votes is another reminder that the candidate who stepped into public life falsely accusing the Central Park 5, who stepped into political life by taking the racist birther movement mainstream, who consistently demonizes and dehumanizes Black and Latino communities has one true interest: regaining power so he can enact revenge on his enemies,” said Jasmine Harris, the Biden campaign’s Black media outreach director.

The New York Young Republicans are behind Trump’s visit and are organizing outreach, billboards and flyers promoting his event. Members of the group said they distributed nearly 2,000 flyers around the city Wednesday.

“We’re very excited because not only has this been well received, but it’s been encouraged by local people and local constituents,” said Adam Solis, chairman of the New York Young Republican Black Caucus and co-chairman of the New York Young Republican Hispanic Caucus.

Solis said he views Trump as a prominent New York fixture and that he hope to galvanize several of his community members and neighbors.

“Every single human, warm-blooded American in this country, understood that he was the epitome of success,” Solis said of Trump. “He was an incredible businessman. He was business savvy. And if there was something that needed to get done, he could get it done.”

Crotona Park is located a few blocks away from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s home district. Trump’s visit is anticipated to be met with a counter-demonstration led by Bronx Democrats and liberal activists at the other end of Crotona Park.

Democratic Assemblywoman Amanda Septimo, who represents the Bronx, said people “will not stand by as Donald Trump tries to distort what our community and its residents represent. Instead, we will come together and tell our own story.”

New York is a Democratic stronghold – joining California and Illinois – with the plurality of voters in New York State registered with the Democratic Party.

In another layer of drama to Thursday evening, thunderstorms are expected in New York while both events are taking place in the Bronx.

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