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Pennsylvania Conservatives United Behind Trump

John Gizzi By Monday, 08 April 2024 07:21 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Whatever differences Pennsylvania conservatives had over Donald Trump a year ago and whomever they preferred as the Republican nominee at the time, all that was ancient history this weekend at the 35th annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Harrisburg.

PLC, dubbed by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, "one of the best-run of the state CPACs [Conservative Political Action Conferences]," drew nearly 700 paid participants from throughout the Keystone State.

From libertarians and religious conservatives to old-line "paleo conservatives" and newer MAGA conservatives, PLC has long been a safe harbor for conservatives of all shapes and sizes.

"I think we all agree — very strongly, in fact — that Donald Trump must win this fall, and to do so, he has to carry Pennsylvania," Lowman Henry, president of the Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute and the premier organizer of the PLC, told Newsmax.

One year ago, it was a different story. People jammed the Penn Harris Hotel, traditional site of the PLC, just to glimpse and hear Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Then widely considered a younger (and less controversial) conservative alternative to Trump, DeSantis wowed the audience and patiently signed copies of his book for long lines of admirers.

But with Trump wrapping up the Republican nomination quite quickly this year, the same PLC participants this year cheered virtually every mention of the former president's name throughout the three-day conclave.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza were the two opening night speakers and both underscored their association with Trump and called for his return to the presidency.

(Noting that the two speakers were both "American Indian men," D'Souza broke up the audience when he quipped that "this could be Indian night … all we need is chicken masala on the menu!").

A straw poll of the PLC participants as to who should be Trump's running mate found Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott tied for first place with 13% each.

In 2016, Trump carried Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes by 44,292 votes out of more than 6 million cast or 0.72 percent of the vote. Four years ago, Biden captured the state by 1.17%, or 80,655 votes out of nearly 7 million cast.

The state's presidential vote in November is almost sure to be equally close. A just-completed Franklin & Marshall College poll showed Biden edging Trump by 42% to 40%, while a Fabrizio, Lee and Associates poll conducted for the Wall Street Journal two weeks earlier showed Trump with a small lead (47% to 44%) over Biden.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Whatever differences Pennsylvania conservatives had over Donald Trump a year ago and whomever they preferred as the Republican nominee at the time, all that was ancient history this weekend at the 35th annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Harrisburg.
plc, pennsylvania, grover norquist, conservatives, donald trump, votes, 2024 election
418
2024-21-08
Monday, 08 April 2024 07:21 PM
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