- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 15, 2019

President Trump on Monday heads to the Land of Enchantment — specifically, that would be Albuquerque, New Mexico — for yet another jumbo campaign rally percolating with keep-America-great feelings and much optimism. There is another directive at work though, and that is the conviction that Mr. Trump can flip New Mexico to the Republican way of thinking — a tall order, given that Mr. Trump’s previous campaign visit to the host city sparked a near riot.

Hope is high for some GOP enchantment, however. There are those who say Mr. Trump and his message will work the magic in New Mexico and other states.

“I think he can win New Hampshire; I think Nevada is very competitive and the state has trended much more left recently, but that’s a very competitive state. If you look at New Mexico, we can put it in play too,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski tells Hill TV.

Mr. Lewandowski is running for the Senate seat in the Granite State and on the front line himself these days.

Meanwhile, the locals are jittery in Albuquerque, and no wonder. There’s history to consider.



When then-candidate Trump arrived in the city for a campaign rally in 2016, there were multiple protests and demonstrations staged by very annoyed and determined locals. Officials are bracing for some activity this time around. All city offices and schools will be closed on Monday; “possible unrest” is a factor, as is traffic gridlock and other the concerns.

There already has been at least one skirmish: Albuquerque Police quelled a confrontation between about 100 pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions on the city streets on Saturday according to KQRE, the local CBS News affiliate.

There are plans for Monday, though.

The New Mexico Democratic Party plans to assemble and have a say outside the campaign event venue, of course. A dozen progressive groups also have organized an event called “New Mexico United Against Trump: A Cultural Resistance.” The participating groups include: Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the Women’s March, ProgressNow and the Native American Voters Alliance.

“Demonstrators who participated in previous Trump protests say they have discussed blocking traffic and lying down on highways,” writes Russell Contreras, an Associated Press correspondent.

“Activist Javier Benavidez said many are angry that Trump is holding his rally in a state with the highest percentage of Hispanic residents on Sept. 16 — Mexican Independence Day,” Mr. Contreras noted.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN RESURRECTS ‘BFD’

Some may recall that on March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden were shaking hands and celebrating the arrival of Obamacare. A nearby hot microphone picked up Mr. Biden’s commentary on the moment, which included the longer, more emphatic form of the acronym “BFD.”

Well, hey, why not reference said acronym for Mr. Biden’s current campaign for president?

Indeed, his campaign has activated the acronym in a new fundraiser, and the public outreach tells all:

“Without further ado, we introduce THE BFD — The Biden Fundraising Dashboard. Here you can access your personal fundraising link, have your friends and family use this link for their donations, and track how many donations you’ve been able to collect in your network,” the outreach advises Biden fans.

“What’s more: Vice President Biden is so excited about this new grassroots tool that he’ll be calling some of the supporters that recruit five or more donations on their personal links!”

Enough said.

BILL MAHER’S IDEAL DEMOCRAT

Forget the data-driven strategies of high-end political consultants. Longtime observer and gadfly Bill Maher has offered a description of the Democratic hopeful who will win the White House.

Or something like that.

“People don’t vote on policy. I don’t think a lot of them know a lot of the policy. I think they look for strength versus weakness and what they perceive as strength. So that’s what I’m always looking for in the Democrat. That’s what I think they like about Trump. They see him as strong because he is blustery and he never backs down and he looks like Henry VIII, and he acts like it. So for me, a Democrat who can project that I think is our best bet,” Mr. Maher tells MSNBC.

WHAT YOUNG REPUBLICANS MUST FACE

A survey of 1,000 Republican and Republican-leaning college students reveals that almost three-fourths of them have withheld their political views in class for fear of academic repercussions, says The College Fix, a news organization that conducted the survey of self-identified GOP college students in late August.

The question: “Have you ever withheld your political views in class for fear that your grades would suffer?”

The findings: 73% of students who identity as “strong Republican” reported that they had, while 71% of students who identify as “weak Republican” agreed.

“Even students who identify as Republican-leaning independents indicated they’ve kept quiet: 70% reported they have withheld their political views to protect their grades,” the poll analysis noted.

“I am conservative. I would be crucified. I heard enough horror stories from friends and family to keep my mouth shut and avoid politics in class if at all possible,” one student told the pollster.

“I actually got yelled at by a professor for my views on gun control,” another said.

POLL DU JOUR

83% of Americans blame mass shootings on failure of mental health system to identify dangerous individuals; 85% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats agree.

79% blame the spread of extremist viewpoints on the internet; 69% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats agree.

65% blame “easy access to guns”; 46% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats agree.

77% blame drug use; 73% of Republicans and 57% of Democrats agree.

58% blame violence in movies, video games and music lyrics; 53% of Republicans and 45% of Democrats agree.

44% blame use of inflammatory language by politicians and commentators; 39% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 2,291 U.S. adults and released Friday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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