On Wednesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump is campaigning throughout the state of Florida, with stops in Miami, Orlando, and Pensacola. He will continue his sweep through the Sunshine State on Thursday morning, with a stop in Jacksonville, before heading back to another battleground state, North Carolina.
At every stop, Trump draws cheers and chants by mentioning Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. But the core of his message remains the same as it was before the FBI announced that he was re-opening its investigation into Hillary Clinton last week: Trump is laser-focused on Obamacare.
That is because there is nothing partisan about premium increases.
In Philadelphia, where Trump delivered a policy speech on repealing and replacing Obamacare on Tuesday, the lowest-cost “silver” plan will be 51% more expensive in 2017. There is nothing Republican or Democratic about that kind of increase. As Trump noted, the rising cost is forcing many families to choose between paying rent, or paying for health insurance.
And while Hillary Clinton is running on a promise to tinker with the Obamacare system, Trump is promising to remove it entirely — a credible promise, since his party will certainly help him.
By contrast, the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server is still largely viewed through a partisan lens. Those who already see Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy see the latest developments as confirmation of their judgments.
But the limited polling data that have emerged since last Friday’s announcement suggests that the FBI investigation has not moved too many Democrats away from their candidate. When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said last year that he was “sick and tired” of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails, he was speaking for many on the left, who see the issue, rightly or wrongly, as a partisan one.
Obamacare is different, because it is simply about dollars and sense. So while Trump talks about every new revelation from the FBI, and every new Wikileaks email, those are messages aimed at his base. The core message of every speech remains what it was last week, prior to the FBI news: Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare. That is the only way Trump can reach beyond partisan suspicions and connect with voters in battleground states.
That is the best way for him to expand the electoral map in the final week, because Democrats who may detest everything else about Trump may like Obamacare even less.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.