Trump holds Iowa rally as poll in early voting state shows strong support

Donald Trump returned to Iowa on Saturday for a campaign-style rally, on the heels of a poll showing strong support in the state which traditionally kicks off presidential elections.

Trump has not announced a second run for the White House.

Instead, he has maintained control of his party by repeating lies about electoral fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden; attempting to block a congressional investigation of the deadly Capitol attack by supporters seeking to overturn that defeat; fundraising strongly; and bragging about how he would defeat potential rivals including the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, if he chose to seek the nomination again.

Trump continues to criticize his party’s establishment. He also condemned Mitch McConnell (the Republican leader in Senate) for his opposition to Democrats raising the US debt limit. This position threatened economic disaster.

Ahead of the rally, the Des Moines Register released a poll which showed that 53% of Iowans view Trump favourably.

The poll also gave Trump a 91% favourability rating among Iowa Republicans. Equally unsurprisingly, 99% of Iowa Democrats viewed him unfavourably. Perhaps of more concern to strategists in both parties seeking to plan for 2024, independents were split, 48% viewing Trump favourably and 49% unfavourably. While Republicans tend to align with Trump, Democrats as well as independent observers continue their warnings about the possible consequences of another Trump presidency.

Fiona Hill, a former National Security Staffer in Trump’s White House told Politico that Trump is considering a return to the crown, rather than the presidency in 2024..

” I feel that we are at a very critical and dangerous inflection point within our society. If Trump makes a successful return as a president in 2024, democracy, it is not an ideological basis. It will be on the backs of a lie. A fiction.”

In return, Trump called Hill, who was born in the north-east of England, “a Deep State stiff with a nice accent”.

At the rally in Des Moines, Trump insisted he won key states in 2020, which he did not, and proudly declared that he never conceded defeat.

The crowd cheered, “Trump won!” Trump won! Trump won!”

“He did,” Trump said. “He did. Thank you.”

Trump was introduced by Chuck Grassley, the 88-year-old Iowa senator who will run for another term next year. Neither Kim Reynolds, the Iowa governor, nor Chuck Grassley, supported Trump’s candidacy.

J Ann Selzer of Selzer & Co, the president of the polling company, said that Trump polled strongly among a large and influential group, the unvaccinated.

Despite a death toll of more than 712,000 in a pandemic which began and spiralled out of control under Trump, resistance to vaccine mandates and other public health measures against Covid-19 remains strong in Republican states such as Iowa. The vast majority of deaths and hospitalizations are in unvaccinated patients, but Republican politicians have been able to present resistance to shots as a matter for personal freedom.

Trump was admitted to hospital with Covid in October last year and has been immunized since then. He told a crowd of rally-goers in Alabama that he had been diagnosed with Covid last October and was advised to get the vaccines. It was easy. It’s good.”

The crowd booed, dealing Trump the same fate met by a key ally, the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, at a party event last week.

Among interviews with poll respondents, the Register spoke to Karen Moon, “a 32-year-old Indianola resident [who] said she was never a fan of Trump’s public persona”.

“He sounded a bit like a blubbering idiot to me,” she said. He sounded uninformed. I mean, at one point in time he was asking if it would be OK for people to inject bleach into their bodies to get rid of the coronavirus.”

But the registered independent said she had a mostly favourable view of Trump, in part because he signed a pandemic relief bill which sent cheques to Americans.

Earlier this year Joe Biden signed a pandemic relief bill which sent checks to Americans. He is now trying for a spending plan that includes healthcare and childcare measures through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition.

Moon stated to the Register that she would vote for Trump again if he ran.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/oct/09/trump-iowa-rally-poll-2024-white-house, The Guardian
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