Censor.NET reports citing The Washington Post's columnist Marc Thiessen who recalls a recent Trump's speech to the Polish American Congress - the nation's most prominent Polish American organization. The Republican lavished praise on Poland and promised to cancel visas for Poles.
"Putin is despised by millions of Polish Americans, as well as Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Americans, who either escaped to this country from behind the Iron Curtain or whose parents or grandparents did. These voters know what it is like to live in a police state," the article notes.
Many Americans of Eastern European heritage were appalled when, at NBC's Commander-in-Chief Forum last month, Trump stated with apparent admiration how Putin "has very strong control over a country" and declared him "a leader, far more than our president has been."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, there are some 5.6 million Americans of Eastern European descent. While not as large as other voting blocs, they are influential because they are concentrated in many of the key swing states that decide presidential elections. Many are working-class Democrats who are Trump's natural constituency and should be attracted to his protectionist message on trade.
"Trump, by contrast, has seemed intent on driving them into Hillary Clinton's waiting arms. Instead of taking advantage of her vulnerability, he has been pushing these voters into the Democratic column. Now he has belatedly recognized that he needs them," Thiessen concludes.