What’s ahead for Trump?

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

In a cam­paign for pres­i­dent packed with mo­ments to re­mem­ber, and more than a few de­ci­sions to for­get, there are some that will res­onate for Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump on Elec­tion Day. Here’s a look at five key points in Trump’s race for the White House that of­fer clues about what will hap­pen as the cam­paign comes to its con­clu­sion.

The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee’s “au­topsy” of Mitt Rom­ney’s 2012 loss urged that the GOP reach out to mi­nor­ity vot­ers, in part by pass­ing im­mi­gra­tion re­form. Trump had other ideas. In the first mo­ments of his can­di­dacy, Trump said that Mex­i­can im­mi­grants were “bring­ing drugs, they’re bring­ing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I as­sume, are good peo­ple.” He pledged to build a south­ern border wall, putting a hard-line im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy at the very heart of his cam­paign.

The de­ci­sion electrified a swath of the Repub­li­can base, many of whom felt im­mi­grants had taken their jobs and threat­ened their po­si­tion in so­ci­ety, and led to “Build the wall!” chants be­com­ing a sta­ple of his sig­na­ture ral­lies. But while the plan helped sep­a­rate Trump from the crowded Repub­li­can pri­mary field, Democrats used it as means to mo­bi­lize Latino vot­ers, and early voter turnout among His­pan­ics surged in bat­tle­ground states like Ne­vada and Florida.

A bil­lion­aire who lives in the pen­t­house of a Man­hat­tan sky­scraper that bears his name is an im­prob­a­ble choice to be a cham­pion of the work­ing-class. But Trump set­tled on a pop­ulist rhetoric, de­nounc­ing trade deals that he says have par­tic­u­larly hurt Rust Belt work­ers and tai­lor­ing his mes­sage to white-work­ing class vot­ers. That pitch has al­lowed Trump to play in tra­di­tion­ally Demo­cratic strongholds in the Mid­west; most polls have him close in Michi­gan, Ohio, Iowa and Penn­syl­va­nia. And, win or lose, it threat­ens to re­shape his adopted party, po­ten­tially splin­ter­ing the Repub­li­can’s work­ing class base from the GOP es­tab­lish­ment.

Un­con­ven­tional cam­paign­ing

Dur­ing the Repub­li­can pri­maries, Trump boasted that he was self-fund­ing his lean cam­paign op­er­a­tion. While that was not en­tirely true, it fore­shad­owed Trump’s de­ci­sion to run a small, un­ortho­dox cam­paign that fre­quently pit­ted ad­vis­ers against each other and he went through three cam­paign man­agers. He even­tu­ally re­luc­tantly em­braced fundrais­ing, and while he proved skill­ful at col­lect­ing small do­na­tions, he was left far be­hind Clin­ton’s fi­nan­cial be­he­moth. More­over, the cam­paign’s de­ci­sion to largely out­source its voter out­reach ef­forts to the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, which is not as ro­bust as the joint Clin­ton-Democrats op­er­a­tion, could leave him at a dis­ad­van­tage in turn­ing out sup­port­ers to the polls. —AP

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