Just hours before officially being named Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence told Fox News he now supports Trump’s call to temporarily ban the immigration of Muslims.
Back in December, Pence called the Muslim ban “offensive and unconstitutional.” So why the reversal? Both polling and Pence’s aspirations to hold the number two spots on the GOP ticket may have something to do with it.
From Wednesday’s horrendous attack at the Bastille Day celebration in France that left at least 84 dead to the recent attack in Bangladesh, concern about terrorism among American voters is understandably high. Tough talk on terrorism from a presumptive presidential nominee may be soothing to many voters.
Republicans have always polled higher on defense issues and Trump is no exception. Expect the Republican ticket to hit this issue hard on the campaign trail and the Republican National Convention next week. From the Democratic side, anticipate Hillary Clinton hammering doubts into voters heads about Trump having his finger on “the (nuclear) button.”
The Reuters/ IPSOS poll released today shows Trump trailing Clinton 45 – 33 percent, and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday found Clinton now ahead in swing states. These polls run counter to recent surveys which found the candidates neck and neck in swing states and nationally.
While Clinton may be seen as weaker on terrorism, she is stronger with African American, Latino and Asian American voters. She has done considerable outreach to minority voters and this week spoke at the NAACP convention and to the League of United Latin American Citizens Conference.
The line up of Republican convention speakers looked almost totally White until very recently. The LA Times reports several speakers of color have been added to the convention line up. AsAmNews has confirmed that among them is Lisa Shin, an optometrist who is a Trump delegate out of New Mexico. The Korean American told AsAmNews she is the only Asian American from the New Mexico delegation.
Trump is unlikely to win the minority vote, but if he’s able to pick up 5-10 percent more of the minority vote than Mitt Romney, it may be enough to win swing states such as Florida and Nevada.
To win, Clinton must not only win the minority vote, she must do so overwhelmingly. This makes the minority vote key in this election, perhaps as much as the divide over how to handle terrorism.
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(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Shen as a dentist)