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May 28, 2024

What Trump’s Massive Bronx Rally Means

Last Thursday’s Trump rally in the deep-blue majority-minority Bronx challenged the Democrats’ stranglehold on the black and brown vote.

Images show a remarkable scene: a Republican candidate speaking for 90 minutes to a huge and enthusiastic crowd of black, brown, and white people in the deepest blue of Democrat strongholds this side of Washington, DC.

This was Donald Trump in the South Bronx on Thursday. This was the rich old white guy dropping into the lion’s den to continue remaking the Republican electorate in a way that would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.

When Trump beat the worst presidential candidate in modern American history in 2016, he did so with less than 10% of the vote in the Bronx. When he “lost” the rigged 2020 vote, his share of the Bronx vote practically doubled to 16%, but that still left nearly 84% of the vote for Joe Biden. We don’t have an accurate read on how the poorest of New York City’s five boroughs will vote in November, but it seems safe to say that Trump’s numbers will once again increase, and perhaps by a lot.

Trump has grown his support among black and brown voters by appealing to their class, not their race. Trump, as improbable as it would seem for a Manhattan real estate tycoon, has become the champion of regular folks, of working-class folks, while Scranton Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats have become the best friends of the elites. Indeed, as we wrote nearly four years ago, the two political parties have done a switcheroo, and Trump can fairly be called the blue-collar billionaire.

Notice how, on a late Thursday afternoon a few weeks ago, the 77-year-old Trump left his lawfare trial in leftist Judge Juan Merchan’s New York City courthouse not to recuperate at a fancy Manhattan restaurant but to deliver pizzas to FDNY’s Engine Co. 8, Ladder Co. 2 in Midtown. Notice how he went to East Palestine in the sleet and rain soon after the disastrous train derailment there, while Joe Biden stayed shamefully away for a full year. Notice how Trump goes to Detroit to press the flesh with autoworkers and rail against the ungodly expensive EVs that Biden is forcing into the marketplace even though nobody wants them, while Biden does a brief and tightly scripted PR stunt.

Regular folks are starting to notice.

They notice, too, what the dominant issue is in this election: illegal immigration. They notice how Trump has always been on the right side of this issue. Now think about which group of Americans are harmed most by it: blacks. That’s because blacks hold a disproportionate percentage of downscale and unskilled jobs, and those jobs are the ones whose wages are being undercut by illegal immigrants. People who care about their hourly wages are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that illegal immigration is having on those wages. And, as is always the case, people will vote their wallets and pocketbooks. When James Carville said, “It’s the economy, stupid,” he knew what he was talking about.

Finally, notice from the video footage how happy and at ease Trump looks at these events. Contrast that with the anger and paranoia of Biden’s brief and scripted campaign appearances. From this observation alone, it’s easy to tell which side is winning. As The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway writes:

Trump, who has the benefit of having already had one very successful term as president, acknowledges the very real economic, social, and foreign policies the country faces. But unlike Biden, his optimistic campaign speeches show a man who seems to love the country, love its cities, love its people, and want the country to return to health.

Whether Biden’s race-baiting rhetoric or Trump’s unbridled multi-ethnic optimism will win the day remains to be seen. The speech in South Bronx showed how successful the latter can be.

“Build the wall! Build the wall!” That was the predominant cry, along with “We love Trump!” during last week’s Bronx rally — a rally that the marketing-savvy Trump team said drew as many as 25,000 but that law enforcement said was probably closer to 10,000. The number doesn’t much matter. What does matter is that this was a lot more folks than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrats would’ve wanted to see, especially given AOC’s snarky observation that God is good if He brings bad weather to Trump campaign rallies.

To be sure, the majority-minority borough isn’t likely to go for Trump in November, but the movement his campaign has seen in New York — Biden won the state by 23 points in 2020 but leads by only nine points now — is telling. It’s been 40 years since a Republican won New York. That was when Ronald Reagan swept 49 of the 50 states against Walter Mondale.

“These millions and millions of people that are coming into our country,” said Trump to a notably black and brown audience, “the biggest impact, and the biggest negative impact, is against our black population and our Hispanic population, who are losing their jobs, losing their housing, losing everything they can lose.” That economic message should scare the daylights out of Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats.

Polls aren’t votes, of course, and neither are rallies. But as The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman observed on Fox News on Friday, “What you’re seeing here, I think, is the modern version of Reagan Democrats.”

And what you’re seeing here is a coalition of voters that spells big trouble for the Democrats.

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