Former President Donald Trump said he plans to give New York “a heavy shot” in his campaign, as he believes there is potential to “flip” traditionally Democratic-leaning states in the general election.
The Republican presidential candidate told Fox News on Feb. 4 that he would hold rallies in South Bronx and Madison Square Garden as part of his campaign for a second term in office.
“Do I think we have a chance? New York has changed a lot in the last two years. We have migrants all over the street. They are living on Madison Avenue. Nobody can believe what’s happened to New York,” he said.
President Trump said he believes Democratic strongholds such as New York, where he claimed people are “unhappy” because crime rates have hit “record levels,” can be “flipped” in the general election.
“The people of New York are angry. People who would have never voted for me because I’m a Republican. I mean, they’re Democrats. I think they’re going to vote for me. So, I think we’re going to give New York a heavy shot,” the former president said.
“The other thing is, and very importantly, New Jersey. I think New Jersey can be flipped. I think that Virginia can be flipped. I think that New Mexico could be flipped. And I think Minnesota could be flipped. And I’m not even sure that everything can’t be flipped,” he added.
New York, the most populous city in the United States, has struggled to contend with the arrival of over 120,000 illegal immigrants in the past year.
About 60,000 are currently in shelters run by the city, which is legally required to provide emergency housing to homeless people. The obligation is unmatched in any other major U.S. city.
Mayor Eric Adams announced in July that New York would start giving adult illegal immigrants 60 days’ notice to move out of city shelters. The policy has since been extended to families with children and tightened to 30 days for adults not accompanied by youngsters.
A Sienna College poll published last year shows that more than 80 percent of registered voters in New York view the recent influx of illegal immigrants as a “serious problem.”
Meanwhile, about 51 percent of New Yorkers said they disapprove of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s efforts in handling the influx.
“Voters disapprove of the job that Hochul is doing to address the influx 51-35 percent. They disapprove of the job Mayor Eric Adams is doing 47-31 percent.
“And they disapprove of the job the Biden administration is doing 59-34 percent,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.
Mr. Greenberg stated that, for the first time in a Siena College poll, a higher percentage of New Yorkers now hold an unfavorable view of President Joe Biden compared to those who view him favorably.
“For the first time in a Siena College poll, more New Yorkers now view Biden unfavorably, 50 percent, than view him favorably, 46 percent. His job approval rating, 47-50 percent, is little changed from June and remains underwater,” he said.
According to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the border patrol had only encountered 458,088 illegal immigrants attempting to cross the Southwest border in fiscal 2020 during the Trump administration.
This jumped to 1.73 million in fiscal 2021 under President Biden and then to 2.38 million in fiscal 2022. During the first six months of fiscal year 2023, there have already been 1.22 million encounters.