Trump to stump in South Carolina before Democratic primary

by Associated Press
February 28, 2020 4:05 PM

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump will look to energize supporters and upstage his Democratic challengers on the eve of South Carolina’s presidential primary and in the midst of fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

It's the fourth time Trump will rally just before a state's Democratic presidential nominating contest. He went to Nevada last week even though Republicans had canceled their presidential caucus to show allegiance to Trump. Likewise, South Carolina GOP officials opted not to hold a primary this year.

Trump also held rallies before the Iowa caucuses and th New Hampshire primary.

“Some people say I’m trolling the Democrats and maybe I am,” Trump said at the White House.

Unlike the three earlier voting states, South Carolina is not considered a swing state. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in South Carolina by more than 14 percentage points in 2016.

Following Saturday’s contest, more than a dozen states vote next week in Super Tuesday contests.

Trump arrived in North Charleston, South Carolina, following a brutal week for the stock market. Stocks sank again Friday after another wild day on Wall Street, extending a rout that handed the market its worst week since October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.

Analysts worry that the stock swoon could cause consumer spending to contract. Such spending makes up some 70% of the economy and has played a huge role in keeping the U.S. economic expansion going.

Trump has linked his presidency to the markets through tweets and speeches often taking credit for each new high in the markets. Now, Trump is trying to reassure Americans the economy is still strong while also theorizing that the Democratic candidates’ debate performances have spooked investors.

The virus has infected 83,000 people globally and caused about 2,800 deaths.