Donald Trump’s speech at a New Hampshire high school on Saturday is being greeted with a mixture of yawns and trepidation among Republican Party insiders as he tries to ramp up interest in his third presidential bid.
The former president is headed to Salem, New Hampshire, and Columbia, South Carolina, this coming weekend in one of his first forays away Mar-a-Lago since he announced his bid for the 2024 GOP presidential bid in November, an event that failed to catch fire.
According to reports from both the Washington Post and the International Business Times, Trump is getting the cold shoulder from GOP leaders in both states, which could make his appearances lonely affairs.
With the Post reporting that South Carolina Republican lawmakers are finding better things to do than share the dais with the scandal-plagued Trump, the Business Times reports that supporters of the former president are planning on moving on or have already jumped off the Trump train.
According to the IBT report, only three of the 10 previous Republican Trump supporters they spoke with remain in his camp, with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, being the latest object of their affection.
“As the former president kicks off his bid to recapture the White House in 2024 with a speech in New Hampshire on Saturday — his first event in an early primary state — he will find the political landscape more treacherous than he did six years ago, according to party activists, members and strategists in the state,” the report stated before continuing that those who have moved on admitted suffering from “Trump fatigue.”
With the report adding, “The public souring on the former president is a troubling development for Trump. A defeat could complicate his chances of winning the party nomination for president, analysts say, because New Hampshire often gives a candidate momentum as they head to other primary states,” IBT’s K.C. Downey suggested the ‘lack of enthusiasm” could infect grassroots activists crippling his campaign.
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Brian Sullivan, 60, a Hillsborough County Republican Committee member who backed the former president in 2016, bluntly stated, “Donald Trump right now is a distraction for the Republican Party in trying to go forward. Donald Trump has run his course,” before adding the former president has “too much baggage.”
Lori Davis, 67, stated he got involved in grassroots politics because of Trump in 2015, and admitted she has moved on.
“I like Donald Trump. But he has gone too far polarizing. It’s going to be an uphill battle for him in this primary because of his divisiveness. People are tired of the drama,” she claimed before adding, “I’m seeing that people want DeSantis. He has a lot of the Trump philosophy, but is not as bombastic, he’s not attacking people 24/7. People are tired of that. It gives them headaches.”
Neil Levesque, executive director at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, added. “People want a winner and the elections are about the future. Republicans want someone who can win and who is not going to be a pushover for the left. Trump represented that before but I’m not sure he represents that now.”
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