In speeches and interviews in recent days, Trump has called for “American hands” to remake the country rather than those of foreigners. He has portrayed Syrian refugees as a cultural threat, not just a security risk. He has also embraced controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing — a tactic championed by some conservatives but opposed in minority communities as a form of racial profiling — and suggested on Thursday that drugs were a major factor in anti-police protests.
Trump’s hard-edged message is at odds with more traditional nominees who tend to use the final weeks of the race to shore up support among voters in the middle of the political spectrum. It also comes at the same time that Trump has been attempting to reach out to minority communities with visits to black churches and charter schools, making for some awkward interactions and scenes.
With less than seven weeks until Election Day, polls show Trump is steadily chipping away at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s once-wide lead. But the electoral math still favors Clinton, putting pressure on Trump to improve his standing in diverse battleground states such as Pennsylvania, which Democrats have claimed in the last six presidential elections.
Trump’s supporters say his “America first” message applies to minorities, immigrants and moderate voters as much as it does to conservative whites.