YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump closes in on the number of delegates needed to clinch his party’s nomination, local Democratic leaders insist his popularity will not last.
“It will be a different conversation come fall, and Donald Trump will not be the president of the United States of America,” said Mahoning County Democratic Party Chair Dave Betras.
Betras’ prediction stands in the face of two new polls out this week showing Trump leading presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. A third survey from CBS and the New York Times has Clinton’s lead shrinking from ten points last month to just six now.
“Look, Donald Trump was defined by Republicans. Democrats are gonna talk to Democrats and Independents about Donald Trump,” Betras said. “Billionaire Donald Trump doesn’t know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, never had to, and he doesn’t understand the struggles that the people of the Mahoning Valley face day in and day out.”
Over a million Democrats and previously unaffiliated voters took Republican ballots in Ohio’s March primary, which makes one wonder if that message is getting through.
“Donald Trump has started a conversation many Americans want to have,” said Republican Congressman Bill Johnson.
Johnson says Trump won 17 of the 18 counties he represents in the primary, including Mahoning and Columbiana.
“They want to see a change. They want to see Washington reassert itself and put America back on track.”
Although supporters claim Trump’s populist campaign is continuing to gain momentum, Betras argues that the billionaire’s own statements over the years will come back to haunt him.
“We’ll define Donald Trump for the fraud that he is and we will make sure all those voters come back,” he said. “I’m not worried about those polls.”