Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he was going to be called “Mr. Brexit,” drawing a parallel between his campaign and a referendum in June this year in which the United Kingdom, against expectations, voted in favor of leaving the European Union.
“They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!” he tweeted.
They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2016
Trump previously praised the vote by Britain to remove themselves from the EU, and had gotten praise from Brexit leader Nigel Farage, with both linking each movement to common goals like removing the influence of globalism, immigration, and trade reform.
“I think it’s a great thing that’s happened. It’s an amazing vote, very historic,” Trump said in Scotland the day after the vote while attending the reopening of his Turnberry golf course.
In both the Brexit movement and Trump’s campaign, themes of national identity, domestic economy, immigration, and trade reform have been key.
“Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence,” he wrote in a statement after the vote.
Brexit’s success at the polls came as a surprise after pollsters had predicted a victory for the side of the “Stay” campaign that was pushed by former Prime Minister David Cameron, who promptly resigned following the referendum’s outcome.
The Brexit movement, like Trump’s campaign, was fueled by disaffected voters who feel left out of the political process and have suffered from the influence of foreign competition. These are the core groups that are targeted by Trump’s campaign, especially in the beltway states like Ohio, Michigan, and others.
Some of Trump’s specific policies on trade, such as his aversion to NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, have special appeal to those in the beltway states that have been affected by jobs going overseas.
Trump has positioned his campaign to champion and represent those voters, and he was very effective in the primary season winning the affection and voters who have been dissatisfied with the policies of the establishment.
Recent poll numbers show Trump’s campaign trailing Clinton in key battleground states. Clinton leads Trump in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and she also leads by 5.8 percent in a two-way matchup on Real Clear Politics, and 6.0 percent in a four-way matchup with Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party’s Jill Stein.