Trump’s popularity in the Hawkeye State is higher than ever, sparking speculation over a 2024 Presidential run.
By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News
Former U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the political stage in Iowa Saturday night at a rally held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
Addressing the crowd, Trump slammed the Biden administration’s bloated spending bill and the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On Republican matters, Trump used his speech to endorse Senator Chuck Grassley’s run for re-election, but took aim at House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for not doing more to challenge the election results.
“We’re going to take America back,” he said.
Democrats are currently working furiously to pass the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Bill, which includes among its 2,465 pages some $5 billion for climate justice grants, and $5.7 billion to prevent gentrification of poor urban areas.
The Bill is a “monstrosity,” Trump charged, and “so dangerous for our country.”
Taking the Biden administration to task for its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and it’s failure to secure the southern border, Trump accused the Democrats of taking the country to the “brink of ruin.”
Further excoriating his former election rival over his COVID policies, and for multiple domestic legislation bills that have been clogging up the democratic process in Congress, Trump added: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,”
In answer, he urged his supporters to turn out in large numbers for the 2022 midterm elections.
“We must send the radical left a message they will never forget,” he said.
Although traditionally a swing state, Trump was on comfortable footing addressing the Des Moines crowd. A poll conducted in mid-September for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. showed his strongest result yet: 53% of Iowans view him favorably, against 45% who were unfavorable, with 2% not sure.
Trump’s previous high in the state came in March 2020, when just over 50% of those polled had a favorable view.
The poll was bad news for the sitting President, however: just 31% of respondents approve of the job he is doing, against 62% who disapprove, with 7% unsure. The result is a precipitous 12% drop in approval rating since the previous poll carried out in the state in June.
“This is a bad poll for Joe Biden, and it’s playing out in everything that he touches right now,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer president of Selzer & Co.
On Trump’s high score she added: “It doesn’t seem to be a case of ‘out of sight out of mind.’ Maybe it’s a little bit more of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’”
Among Republican voters, 91% have a favorable view of Trump, whereas just 4% believe Biden to be doing a good job. Trump’s result even places him ahead of long-time Iowa senator Chuck Grassley in the state.
“I did not foresee the day when Donald Trump would be 10 points more popular with Iowa Republicans than the venerable Chuck Grassley,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co.
Trump used his time on the state to endorse Grassley, telling the crowd: “We have with us tonight a great American patriot, a man who truly loves Iowa — loves Iowa. He’s a young — very young guy. He’s strong. And he’s very handsome. He fights like no other. When I’ve needed him for help he was always there.”
But Trump was markedly less positive about House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying: “Mitch McConnell should have challenged [the 2020 Presidential election] because even back then, we had plenty of material to challenge that election. He should have challenged the election.”
He added: “[Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer would have challenged the election. But Mitch McConnell didn’t have the courage to challenge the election.”
The issue was just one among many in an almost two hour long speech, but Trump noted that it draws the most cheers from crowds.
“The single biggest issue, the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers is talking about the election fraud of the 2020 presidential election. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it,” Trump told the Hawkeye State audience.
Trump’s visit to Iowa, his first since last year’s Presidential election, predictably sparked speculation that he would be seeking to run for a second term in 2024. However, some Iowans wanted to see the baton handed to a younger candidate.
Kevin Tobey, a 58-year-old Des Moines resident identifies as independent but told pollsters that he is “a big Trump fan.” Tobey singled out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as his pick for the Republican nomination, saying: “We need somebody who can articulate the Constitution. That’s something that’s getting lost today.”