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In Clinton vs. Trump, polls find racial divide is a chasm

Hillary Clinton in Springfield, Ill., on Wednesday, July

Hillary Clinton in Springfield, Ill., on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, urged her backers to "put ourselves in the shoes" of Trump's supporters," who are "just trying to figure out their place in a fast-changing America." Photo Credit: TNS / Zbigniew Bzdak

The race in black and white

A new flurry of polls suggests a shrinking or vanishing Hillary Clinton advantage nationally and in key swing states such as Ohio, Iowa and Florida. The latest New York Times / CBS poll issued Thursday shows Trump and Clinton tied at 40 percent.

Break down the numbers, and it becomes clear that the electorate is starkly divided by race, with Trump’s black support around or below historic lows for Republicans.

In Ohio, for example, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed Trump ahead with white voters, 43% to 33%. Among black voters, it was Clinton 88%, Trump 0%. Nationally, in a McClatchy-Marist poll, only 6% of black voters support Trump.

What Trump has gained from tapping into white resentments, especially among working-class men, has a flip side that works to Clinton’s benefit.

Clinton: I’ll do more for unity

Speaking from Springfield, Illinois, the site of Abraham Lincoln’s historic “House Divided” speech in 1858, Clinton said the nation needs to repair its divisions — and that Trump is sending “an ugly, dangerous message to America.”

“In times like these, we need a president who can help pull us together, not split us apart,” Clinton said. She confessed that she has “sometimes fueled the partisanship. ... So I recognize I have to do better, too.”

She urged her backers to “put ourselves in the shoes” of Trump’s supporters,” who “like anyone else” are “just trying to figure out their place in a fast-changing America.” (Video here.)

Trump relates to black experience

Asked by Fox News’ host Bill O’Reilly what he would tell African-Americans who believe the system is biased against them, Trump said, “I can relate it really very much to myself.”

How? “Even against me, the system is rigged when I ran ... for president, I mean, I could see what was going on with the system,” he said.

Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis was pressed on CNN to back up the Republican candidate’s claim at a Tuesday night rally that “some people [asked] for a moment of silence” for the Dallas killer of five police officers. Clovis could not. 

The take-away: Memory loss

It’s almost a ritual requirement at national party conventions to pretend-forget recent history for the sake of showing unity, writes Newsday columnist Dan Janison.

The Clinton-Bernie Sanders joining of hands Tuesday gave a taste of that. And look for heaping platefuls of memory suppression from the Republicans, whose last three nominees and their records are scorned by Trump, and whose primary also-rans denounced him.

Seen this show before?

Newt Gingrich has likened Donald Trump’s search for a running mate to a season of “The Apprentice.” Sure enough, Trump’s children Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric — all veterans of the show — have been meeting with the vice presidential finalists and advising their dad.

“I’m at three, potentially four,” Trump told Fox News. “But in my own mind, I probably am thinking about two.” Still possibly in the mix: Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Trump will announce his choice in New York on Friday.

When ‘you’re fired’ isn’t enough

Trump is seeking $10 million in damages from a former senior aide — tossed from the campaign last August. He accuses Sam Nunberg of leaking confidential information to reporters in violation of a nondisclosure agreement.

Nunberg says in a court filing he was falsely accused of being a source of a New York Post story in that described a heated public quarrel between former campaign boss Corey Lewandowski and spokeswoman Hope Hicks.

A campaign source told the news site Mic of the suit: “I don’t know why the Trump people want this sideshow.”

Trump: Ginsburg should quit

He often calls people “losers,” but Trump suggests on Twitter that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is just losing it and should put in her retirement papers.

“Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot — resign!

She called Trump a “faker,” among other things, in a series of remarks unusually partisan for a jurist on the nation’s highest court.

What else is happening

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who stirred controversy recently by calling the Black Lives Matter movement “inherently racist,” is expected to address the GOP convention as early as Monday.
  • Tim Tebow, whose strange tour of duty with the Jets ended with a whimper in 2013, will also speak, apparently getting TV exposure wherever he can, like Giuliani.
  • GOP Chairman Reince Priebus is still hustling to pre-empt an anti-Trump rebellion at next week's convention, Politico reports.
  • Show-business star power on tap at the conventions reveals a disparity, with Trump on the short end, according to the Washington Post (pay site).
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been invited to speak on the Democratic convention’s opening night.
  • The State Department says it will review and make public several thousand emails that FBI investigators recovered from Clinton’s computer server. A spokesman said he didn’t know when.
  • The Pew Research Center finds Trump running stronger among white evangelical voters than Mitt Romney did at a similar point in the 2012 campaign.
  • Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy told CBS News the threat level against candidates is “slightly elevated. ... We have to be prepared for that.”
  • Britain’s new foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, once described Clinton as having “a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.” She met with him anyway last year, and he called his 2008 remarks “lighthearted.”

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