Trump re-election likely, GOP's Connor says

Oct 10, 2019

Bill Connor predicts that Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be the Democratic nominee.


Republican Bill Connor said President Donald Trump will win re-election in 2020.

Col. Connor – formerly a combat commander in Afghanistan, GOP candidate for lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate, and an Orangeburg attorney --  visited Claflin University on Oct. 3 to discuss next year's election, Democrats vs. Republicans and impeachment.

“I see it being Trump vs. Elizabeth Warren,” Connor said. “I think Trump will win.”

Connor does not believe former Vice President Joe Biden will be the Democratic presidential nominee. He cites Biden’s gaffes and his connection to Ukraine with his son being highly paid for connections to a Ukrainian oil company. Trump and Republicans are calling the Biden matter a scandal of its own.

Biden is on top in polls in South Carolina, a key state with an early Democratic primary. If he wins here, "That will be a huge deal across the Democratic Party."

But Connor does not believe it will be enough.

Warren, a Massachusetts senator, is further to the left on just about every issue than Biden and a majority of Americans, but she appears to be the Democrats’ popular choice, Connor said.

The party is in control of liberals such as New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not traditional Democrats, Connor said.  The policies of former President Barack Obama that got him elected in 2008 would be moderate by the standard of today's Democrats.

 Connor said demographics are not working in favor of Republicans as far as traditional political trends go. Immigrants and minorities are expanding numbers, and they traditionally vote Democratic. But Democrats are hurting themselves for the future, becoming elitists while Republicans are seeking support from working-class Americans that were in the past solidly Democrats.

“Trump got a lot of support from these people to win swing states by a small margin. That could happen again. The dynamic of 2020 could be similar to 2016, he said. “It’s going to be hard to change the dynamic.”

Today’s Democrats are more in tune with Ivy League schools and thinking than they are with the working class. “Once the GOP was considered the party of elitists, but today that tag goes to the Democrats,” Connor said.

Connor said he supports Trump but does not approve of all things about the president.

As a traditional conservative, he said he is not totally in tune with direction of GOP under Trump, particularly tariffs.  Trump is populist more than conservative.

But he sees the president as better than Democratic liberal policies despite Connor's personal dislike for Trump Tweets and personal approaches.

"That bluntness is something people like," he said.

Connor did not support Trump during the 2016 Republican primary process. "I sort of remain skeptical," but he is the best to protect conservative values."

As an evangelical, Connor said he has been impressed with Trump's support for religious liberty. "It's been pretty amazing what he has attempted to do."

Such support is a key reason evangelicals support Trump despite disapproving of his behavior in some instances.

Connor believes Trump the person will not be decisive in 2020.

Personal issues may not be that big. "For the most part, people don't care."

Connor said impeachment may actually help the president.

Connor said the House will push ahead but the Senate will not convict if the impeachment process goes to trial.

The Democrats could not get Trump with the Mueller report on Russian collusion -- which he called "a big nothing burger" -- so they are now going for a new scandal.

Connor said in the current matter related to Ukraine, Trump behavior is again not desirable but not impeachable.

The impeachment process could help Trump in 2020. "Impeachment has mobilized Republicans."

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