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Trump’s allies warn his rallies are flopping with voters — but he keeps holding them anyway

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President Donald Trump at a Florida campaign rally in Sanford (screengrab)

On Wednesday, Politico reported that allies of President Donald Trump are warning that his endless stream of rallies are doing nothing to earn him more support, and may be actively hurting it.

“Trump views rallies in battleground states as the linchpin of his closing argument, a means to excite his supporters and ensure they vote on Nov. 3,” reported Nancy Cook. “But many Republicans close to the White House, former senior administration officials and political advisers say the rallies are largely a way to keep the unscripted and undisciplined president occupied, since they do little to persuade new Trump voters. Rallies, they note, do not woo senior citizens, independents or suburban women, many of whom have moved away from the Trump ticket this election cycle. Most of Trump’s rallies are no longer televised nationally as they once were.”

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Making matters worse, said the report, “with coronavirus infection rates climbing, the Trump rallies often draw negative headlines in local news markets because the packed events defy public health guidelines, featuring few masks and almost no social distancing. After Trump’s recent rallies in Bemidji and Duluth, Minn. — both in counties the Trump campaign hopes to win — local health authorities connected roughly 24 new Covid-19 cases to the rallies and protests outside of them.”

Despite all of this, said the report, Trump will not be dissuaded from holding his rallies, as they are the staple of his closing campaign strategy.

“The president easily gets stuck in things of the past and tries to repeat them,” said one former administration official. “Rallies are the best thing they have for him. He wants to be on the road, and you can’t tell him to do something different.”


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