Former President Donald Trump is making his last-ditch effort to secure a victory in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Despite facing multiple legal challenges, a hostile media, and a divided party, Trump is confident that his loyal supporters will turn out in large numbers to back him on Monday night.
Trump Urges Supporters to Caucus Even If They ‘Pass Away’ After
In a rally in Clinton, Iowa, on Saturday, Trump delivered a time-honored plea to his fans: get out and vote. “Don’t stay home, just please,” he said. “The polls are showing we’re going to win by a lot.” He also suggested that his supporters should caucus for him even if they die after voting. “If you pass away, it doesn’t matter. You did a great job,” he joked.
Trump’s remarks came amid a cold snap that has gripped the state, with temperatures dropping below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Some experts have warned that the harsh weather could deter some voters from participating in the caucuses, which require them to gather in public places and express their preferences in person.
Trump, however, seemed unfazed by the potential impact of the climate on his chances. He boasted that he had drawn huge crowds in his previous rallies across Iowa, and claimed that he had the most enthusiastic and devoted base in the history of politics. “Nobody has ever had a movement like this,” he said.
Trump Faces Legal Hurdles and Rival Attacks
Trump’s optimism, however, may be overshadowed by the legal hurdles and rival attacks that he has to overcome. The former president is currently facing 91 felony charges in four separate criminal cases, ranging from tax fraud to inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He is also involved in two civil lawsuits, one of which found him liable for sexual abuse, and the other of which is still ongoing.
Trump has dismissed the legal actions against him as politically motivated and part of a “witch hunt” to destroy him. He has also accused the media of being biased and unfair in their coverage of his campaign. He claimed that he was the victim of “fake news” and “cancel culture”, and that he was the only one who could stand up to the “radical left” and the “deep state”.
Trump has also faced fierce attacks from his Republican rivals, who have tried to portray him as a divisive and dangerous figure who has damaged the party and the country. His main challengers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, have criticized him for spreading the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, for inciting violence, and for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump has responded by mocking and belittling his opponents, calling them “weak” and “disloyal”. He has also questioned their credentials and achievements, and claimed that they were only running because of his endorsement and support. He has also warned his supporters that if they vote for anyone else, they would be betraying him and the MAGA movement.
Trump Hopes to Repeat His 2020 Success in Iowa
Despite the challenges and controversies that surround him, Trump is hoping to repeat his success in the 2020 Iowa caucuses, when he won 97% of the vote against two minor challengers. He is also banking on his control of the Republican National Committee and the state GOP parties, which have helped him craft a favorable primary schedule and rules.
For instance, Nevada’s Republican Party, packed with Trump allies, decided to hold a caucus instead of a traditional primary, which plays into Trump’s hands. It also restricted the activities of other candidates, and even considered canceling the caucuses altogether. Other states, such as South Carolina and Kansas, have also scrapped their primaries to avoid any challenge to Trump.
Trump’s dominance in the GOP field is reflected in the polls, which show him leading by a wide margin over his rivals. According to the FiveThirtyEight polling average, he has 63% of the Republican support nationwide, while DeSantis has 15% and Haley has 9%. In Iowa, he has 58% of the support, while DeSantis has 17% and Haley has 11%.
However, Trump’s lead may not be as solid as it seems. Some polls have shown that his support drops significantly when voters are presented with alternative scenarios, such as Trump not running, Trump being convicted, or Trump endorsing another candidate. Moreover, some polls have also shown that Trump is unpopular among the general electorate, and that he would lose to President Joe Biden in a hypothetical rematch.
Trump, however, has dismissed these polls as inaccurate and rigged, and has insisted that he is the only one who can defeat Biden and the Democrats in 2024. He has also claimed that he has the support of the majority of the American people, and that he is the rightful president who was robbed of his second term. He has vowed to restore his “America First” agenda, and to make the country great again.