Trump’s 2020 Re-Election Rally Signals 2016 Strategy May Be Used Again

Donald Trump repeatedly railed against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as a friendly Florida crowd cheered and jeered. Only it wasn’t 2016 — it was just six days ago.

The president took a crowd of supporters in Orlando on a journey through time last Tuesday as he formally announced his re-election bid. He dropped his now-familiar attack lines that elicited chants of “Lock her up” for Clinton and boos for Obama.

Curiously, he opted against aiming rhetorical jabs at most of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. It was a departure from almost every other rally he has held since becoming president — including his homestretch barnstorming for Republican Senate nominees before last year’s midterms.

The president flashed a 2020 approach that closely resembles the one he employed three years ago from places like Madison, Alabama; Dimondale, Michigan; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Manheim, Pennsylvania. Only now, Obama appears to be enjoying his post-presidency and Clinton won’t be on the ballot.

Trump and his campaign are already trying to rebuild the 2016 Electoral College map that improbably put him in the White House in the first place. Republican and Democratic strategists call that a long shot, and it begs the question: Can the same message that fueled a dark horse campaign work for an incumbent four years later?

Another hurdle is a disapproval rating that consistently hovers around 50 percent, said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist.

“No modern president who has avoided recession has not been re-elected,” he said. “So if he avoids that, the disapproval number is probably what worries them the most.”

Read more from John T. Bennett at Roll Call

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Jeff Sessions Should Enter AL Senate Primary, Defeat Roy Moore

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is like a bad penny. He keeps showing up at the most inopportune moments, and he just did it again for the second time within two years.

He announced Thursday afternoon that he’s going to run again for a U.S. Senate seat against the Democrat who defeated him before.

Pundits agree that the most vulnerable 2020 U.S. Senate seat will be that held by Alabama Democratic Doug Jones. He won it in a 2017 special election to fill the vacancy left By Jeff Sessions, who was appointed as President Donald Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones squeaked past Moore by fewer than 22,000 votes, winning a seat that had been solidly Republican for two decades. A year earlier Trump won 62 percent of that state’s voters to his side, versus the 34 percent Hillary Clinton won.

So far three other Republicans have declared their intention to run for the seat: U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, and Tommy Tuberville.

Pundits and strategists say that 2020 may bring as many as 10 more Republican candidates.

2020 will be a different ballgame than the 2017 special election. President Donald Trump will head the ballot and bring more GOP candidates along with him. On the minus side, however, Jones is not the typical Democrat, especially when considering the party’s hard turn to the left.

For that reason, coupled with the fact that he’ll be running as an incumbent, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell tells Newsmax that the Alabama race will likely be a tossup.

Read more from Michael Dorstewitz at Newsmax

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'Gloves off': Biden Segregationist Comments Spark Infighting Ahead Of Dems 1st Debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden doubled down on his remarks about maintaining political "civility" with his segregationist colleagues in the Senate back in the day, sparking the first major family feud in the Democratic primaries.

Democratic presidential hopefuls have quickly escalated from veiled attacks on Biden's age, to directly criticizing his record of support for abortion restrictions in the Hyde amendment, mandatory minimum sentences in the 1994 crime bill to insinuating that the septuagenarian ex-senator is soft on racism.

Looking at the polls, it isn't difficult to see why Biden is a marked man within his party. National polls show Biden leading the field of 21 candidates by double digits, consistently.

According to a recent Economist/YouGov poll, 50% of black Democratic primary voters support Biden. The closest contender, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is polling at 10%, followed by California Sen. Kamala Harris with 7%.

Biden is also dominating the older vote. Two polls released this week show Biden with more than a 30-point advantage among voters over the age of 50. The race is much tighter among younger voters.

As more 2020 presidential hopefuls pile on Biden ahead of next week's debates, it is prompting questions about whether Biden is just a folksy "gaffe machine," as he has described himself, or if his comments will make him unelectable by the increasingly progressive Democratic Party.

For Republicans, the latest fracas over Biden's segregationist remarks creates an obvious advantage, if the Democrats do the dirty work of tearing apart their party's frontrunner.

"Depending on how this car wreck unfolds, moments like this have the potential to help Trump get reelected," said GOP strategist Ford O'Connell. "Because the Democrats either set up a purity standard that no one can pass or they upset their own people in the primary who then don't turn out to vote in the general election."

With the potential for another close presidential race in 2020, a margin of a few thousand voters in a few key states who were marginalized in a bitter primary could make all the difference in who holds the White House.

Read more from Leandra Bernstein at WJLA

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Trump Seeks To Define 2020 Race While Dems Fight Among Themselves

President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 re-election campaign Tuesday with a rally in Orlando aimed at energizing his base, but his appeals to his supporters could also remind Democrats and moderates why they have favored his possible opponents in most polls conducted so far.

Supporters began lining up early Monday morning outside the Amway Center for the president’s 8 p.m. Tuesday event. The arena holds 20,000 people, and the Trump campaign says 100,000 requested tickets. The campaign plans to set up screens for fans tailgating outside.

According to Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, the president’s goal will be to remind supporters what is at stake and focus them for the first time squarely on re-electing him, and the location he chose to do it is no accident.

“A lot of this is to basically give the base a spark but also make the case that if we don’t win Florida, it’s very hard to win re-election,” O’Connell said.

Several recent polls suggest Trump may need to find some way to speak to that wider audience to win. A Fox News poll conducted last week found former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg all beat Trump head-to-head among registered voters, with the president topping out at 41% of the vote.

“He’s going to have to explain and define the Democratic field before the Democrats have a nomination,” O’Connell said, noting the strategy worked effectively for President Barack Obama against 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The Trump campaign recognizes that too, which is why it is working to shore up support in places like Florida from the start. Beyond the economy, the president has incumbency and historical headwinds on his side, and he has far more resources to turn around his disappointing early poll numbers than he did the first time around.

“In 2016, the campaign was really fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants,” O’Connell said. “This time, it’s a well-oiled machine relative, to what it was.”

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at ABC 6

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Impeachment Will Reelect Trump

Progressives say Democrats could face backlash from their grassroots if they don’t impeach President Trump.

Some days House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) thinks Trump should be impeached, other days he waffles.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is all in on starting the impeachment process.

American University’s Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections, says “Democrats only have a shot at the White House if they begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.”

So what exactly has spurred Democrats new-found fervor to take out Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election?

The Democrats will almost uniformly tell you the tipping point was former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 10-minute statement at the end May, where he implied that Trump might have committed obstruction of justice and that the only recourse for Democrats to hold Trump allegedly accountable would be to open an impeachment inquiry.

For those who didn’t read the 448-page Mueller report and who don’t follow politics like a shut-in living in their parents’ basement, Mueller didn’t offer any new facts about the investigation and fielded no questions at his May 29 press appearance.

So how should we sum this up legally for the layperson? Mueller did not provide any obstruction of justice evidence as it relates to the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, a crime that Trump did not commit. And if you want to be truly cynical about it, one could argue that it is pretty hard for Trump to obstruct an investigation into something that never happened.

But don’t tell this to the Democrats on Capitol Hill, many of whom are champing at the bit. They believe Mueller has given them enough to take down Trump and to overturn the abomination known as the 2016 presidential election once and for all. To that, I say roll the dice, because public opinion is overwhelmingly on Trump’s side.

For those keeping score at home, the House of Representatives has only impeached 19 individuals in the history of the Republic — 15 federal judges, one senator, one cabinet member, and two presidents (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton). And we all know how the Clinton impeachment turned out for Republicans; not only was he acquitted by the Democratic-controlled Senate on charges of perjury and obstruction of Justice, but Clinton’s approval rating jumped 10 points.

Now I’m sure House Democrats over the course of the next few weeks and possibly even months will try their best to manipulate public opinion on impeachment in their favor by holding a series of made-for-TV show trials on the Muller report and whatever other Trump-centric controversies they can concoct. Apparently they intend to enlist former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean in their perpetual “Hate-Trump” circus.

But just think of what 10 points, or even half of that could do for Trump. Not only would he almost certainly be reelected, he might just become a candidate for a presidential monument in D.C. That would truly drive his detractors berserk beyond even Trump’s lifetime.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at The Hill

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Hypocrisy In 2020 Democrats Targeting Big Tech, Yet Fundraising In Silicon Valley?

Democratic Strategist Christy Setzer and Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell on 2020 Democratic presidential candidates going after big tech yet also fundraising in Silicon Valley and Democrats plans to focus on the tariff impact on voters while campaigning in Iowa.

Watch the video at Fox Business

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Tariff threats Drive Wedge Between U.S., Mexico, Amid Talks

The United States continued talks with Mexico on Thursday amid U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to slap tariffs on its southern neighbor. If tariffs take effect, that could impact both economies and drive a wedge between Washington and its third largest trading partner, experts said.

At issue is whether Mexico will step up efforts to stop the flow of undocumented migrants crossing its southern border into the United States. Trump has expressed frustration over growing inflow of illegal immigrants. Last month saw a decade-long high in apprehensions of illegal migrants, with 133,000 detained at the border.

Mexico is also used as a route of entry to the United States by violent criminal gangs from El Salvador, such as the infamous MS-13, while many of Trump's supporters also believe that illegal immigration drives down working class wages and increases competition for blue collar jobs.

Illegal immigration will be one of Trump's major platforms in the 2020 elections, and the president believes Mexico has done very little to mitigate the situation. While Mexico on Thursday vowed to provide 6,000 troops to beef up border security, that may not be enough to satisfy Trump's demands.

The U.S. president has threatened that if Mexico does not take action to stem the tsunami of illegal migration, he will slap a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods that will grow incrementally if no agreement is reached.

TV news personality and Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua the main problem is that U.S. laws do not reflect the reality on the ground. The vast majority of illegal migrants are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Many are traveling as families, or claiming to be families.

The laws are designed to stop single men from Mexico, rather than families or children migrating alone. Laws make it difficult to detain such individuals, even if they are lying about being under the age of 18. Authorities often have no choice other than to release them into the United States, where they remain indefinitely.

"Thanks to American laws, the people who come here illegally, the majority will never be deported," O'Connell told Xinhua.

"If people don't ever think they are going to be turned away, why would they ever stop coming?" O'Connell said.

Read more from Matthew Ruslting at Xinhua 

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Deadly U.S. Shooting Unlikely To Spark Major Gun Debate, Experts Say

A mass shooting in the U.S. state of Virginia on Friday is unlikely to cause a major debate on gun control, as the public has become used to news of gun violence and is unlikely to clamor for change to gun laws, experts have said.

Twelve people were shot dead Friday when a gunman opened fire at a government building in the city of Virginia Beach. Authorities so far said they do not know the shooter's motive.

Republicans and Democrats are at odds over the issue, with Democrats calling for more gun legislation, and Republicans fearing that more laws might not lessen the violence, but instead infringe on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

While Democrats have been vocal on gun control since Friday's shootings, their outrage is likely to die down when headlines start to fade, experts said.

Gun control is simply not on most voters' radars in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, TV news personality and Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

He noted that polls show only 5 percent of Americans view gun control as a major issue, while healthcare, jobs and immigration top the list of voters' priorities. While Democrats may introduce bills on a national level, experts said they won't go far in a divided Congress.

The United States is more likely to see laws enacted on a state level than on a national level, O'Connell said.

"I think you're going to have real battles in some of the Senate races," but not on the national level, he said.

"It's an issue of importance to some voters, but I don't think it's going to decide the 2020 election. It may have more salience in certain key Senate races, but it's not going to be the reason Trump wins or loses."

On the state level, the legislation conversation has become more robust since last year's Parkland school shooting, with eight states having passed "red flag laws," allowing for temporary but immediate disarmament of individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua

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Abortion To Be Major Election Issue In 2020 U.S. Presidential Race

Abortion has vaulted to the forefront of issues in the lead up to the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, and experts said the issue may well become the Gordian knot in the race, dragging out the imminent fight between Democrats and Republicans.

Earlier this month, Kay Ivey, governor of the U.S. state of Alabama, signed a new law that would ban all abortions, except in cases in which the mother's life is in danger, in the latest challenge to the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade case that ruled that women have a right to have an abortion.

The Alabama law would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, with the possibility of 99 years of imprisonment. Even victims of rape and incest would not be permitted to terminate their pregnancies.

The ban is the latest in a trend toward more restrictive abortion policies, with the U.S. states of Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi recently creating similar bans. Experts say all this is part of a GOP concerted effort to push the issue up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where anti-abortion supporters hope the court will strike down Roe v. Wade.

For their part, conservatives say the trend toward restricting abortions is a reaction to recent moves in states such as New York and Virginia to relax restrictions on late-term abortions.

TV news personality and Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua that the new law in Alabama, as well as similar laws in other states, are a test-case, signed into law so they'll get pushed up to the Supreme Court in hopes that Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

O'Connell added that the spate of anti-abortion laws being passed in several states is a reaction to what many conservatives view as radical and immoral laws being pushed in states such as New York and Virginia. Such legislation seeks to make abortion legal even in the third trimester. Social conservatives, particularly evangelicals, which represent a large chunk of Trump's base, have strong views against such laws.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua

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12 Senate Races More Important Than The Presidential Election

Many Americans are focusing on the 2020 presidential but the Senate races could be more important as Republican control is up for grabs. The party is seeking to hold onto its slim majority with 12 key seats being tested in this cycle.

The math seems to favor the Democrats. Twenty-two Republican seats are among the 34 up for re-election next year; 12 of those slots are in key states. If President Donald Trump loses re-election, Democrats need to flip only three seats to regain the Senate. If Trump wins, the party needs four.

With Trump as president and Democrats holding onto the House, and regaining the Senate, they are sure to stymie his agenda. But if a Democrat wins the White House — and the party controls both congressional chambers — they will undo Trump's record and push through their own legislative programs.

In many ways, the battle for control of the Senate is more important than for the White House, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell tells Newsmax.

"Essentially, Mitch McConnell is the last line of defense against socialism," he says, referring to the Kentucky Republican and Senate majority leader, who is also up for re-election next year.

"You block socialism if Trump wins," O'Connell adds. "If Trump loses, but McConnell's still in power, you still block socialism.

"It's an if-then: Trump helps McConnell keep the Senate. But if Trump goes down, then McConnell's got trouble."

Two other political observers, however, say 2020 will be a "top-down" contest, with the party winning the White House also taking Congress.

O'Connell tells Newsmax: "In Alabama, the Republicans should win unless [Roy] Moore's the nominee. Doug Jones is going to be out.

"A bad nominee can hurt you more than a good nominee can help you."

Read more from Todd Beamon at Newsmax

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