Donald Trump was scheduled to return to Iowa on Saturday for a campaign-style rally, following a poll showing high approval ratings in the state that 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 loss to Joe Biden; attempting to block a congressional investigation into the deadly attack on Capitol Hill by supporters seeking to reverse that defeat; fundraising widely; and bragging about how he would defeat potential rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, if he chooses to pursue the nomination again.
He also continues to attack the establishment of his own party. This week, Trump condemned the Republican leader in the Senate for ending opposition to helping Democrats raise the US debt limit, a position that threatened economic catastrophe. In a statement, Trump called the move a “terrible deal prompted by the Mitch McConnell lawsuit.”
McConnell looked sure to be attacked from the stage at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday night.
Before the rally, the Des Moines Register launched a survey which showed that 53% of Iowans view Trump favorably.
The poll also gave Trump a 91% favoritism rating among Iowa Republicans. Unsurprisingly, 99% of Iowa Democrats viewed him unfavorably. Perhaps most troubling for both-party strategists looking to plan for 2024, independents were divided, with 48% viewing Trump favorably and 49% unfavorably.
J Ann Selzer, president of polling firm Selzer & Co, told the Register that Trump also conducted a strong poll with a large and influential group: the unvaccinated.
Despite a death toll of more than 712,000 in a pandemic that began under a Republican administration, resistance to vaccine mandates and other public health measures against Covid-19 remains strong in Republican states like Iowa.
The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur among unvaccinated people, but Republican politicians and media have managed to resist the shooting as a matter of personal freedom.
Trump was hospitalized with Covid last October and has been vaccinated ever since. In August, he told a crowd at a rally in Alabama: “You have to do what you have to do, but I recommend you: get your shots. I did it, it’s good. “
The crowd booed and gave Trump the same fate as a key ally, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, at a party event last week.
Among interviews with respondents, the Registry spoke with Karen Moon, “a 32-year-old Indianola resident [who] she said she was never a fan of Trump’s public persona. “
“He looked like a whining idiot,” he said. “It sounded uneducated. I mean, at one point I was asking if it would be okay for people to inject bleach into their bodies to get rid of the coronavirus. “
But the registered independent said she had a overwhelmingly favorable view of Trump, in part because he signed a pandemic aid bill that sent checks to Americans.
So did Joe Biden earlier this year, who is now trying to get a spending plan that includes health care and child care measures through Congress, in the face of unanimous opposition from Republicans.
Moon told the Register that he would “definitely” vote for Trump if he ran again.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism