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Tags: China | Florida | Iowa

Trump Campaign Rolls into Iowa's Conservative Capital

Michael McDaniel By Monday, 25 January 2016 11:57 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Saturday marked the eve of the last full week of campaigning in Iowa.

The Donald Trump for President campaign descended on this capital of conservatism stumping on the campus of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.

The people have braved 15 degree temps, blowing snow and dangerous roads just for a glimpse of the billionaire businessman turned presidential candidate.

The B.J. Haan auditorium seats 1,500 and has the capacity for 2,000, and is filled to the brim. An overflow hall is used where another 1,000 people are seated to watch the event on a large video screen.

The line to get in extends out the door a couple football fields long and has several hundreds more hoping to get in, but they will likely be turned away.

There are about a dozen protesters outside with signs. They are made up of a few Dordt College students and concerned, local citizens, who say they oppose Trump’s ideology. Erica Keys, one of the leaders of the group stated, “what he, [Trump], says contradicts everything we believe about Christ as Christians.”

The hall is raucous and wild inside with Trump supporters at intervals standing up and starting chants such as, “USA” and, “Trump, Trump, Trump," voicing their support and encouraging the candidate to emerge from behind the curtain.

With every emergence of a campaign staffer or local official from the backstage, the crowd starts an ovation and ends with a boo. The hall is intense with anticipation.

Young, old, white, black, Asian, about any demographic is here and they are all eager to see the candidate who has taken this presidential race by storm, and who they see as their only hope to change the course of America.

Trump finally emerges after a brief introduction and the place erupts with cheers bringing the throng to their feet. After about 30 seconds of applause, hoots and hollers from the audience, Trump waves his arms in a downward motion and tells the crowd to “sit down everybody, c’mon, sit down," with an ear-to-ear smile on his face.

Earlier this week there were several news stories in the media cycle musing about why Trump is surging in the polls with so many supporters. The Trump train has been chugging along leading in the national polls since last June, and is only picking up steam.

Trump is a plain speaker. All of the candidates have been stumping in Iowa for some time now, but there is a stark difference between them and Trump; Trump doesn’t come across as polished, practiced, and slick. He is not the perfect-answered candidate, and that’s okay.

He speaks like the average person. His stump speech in not rehearsed and sometimes he trips over his words. People like that. The crowd senses that with Trump there is trust and despite his billions and bumblings, he is one of us.

Trump spends the next hour jumping from one topic to the next and often backtracking to something previously said. Of Bush he stated, "wouldn’t that 100 million dollars he raised be better used to support our wounded warriors?”

To this the veterans in the crowd gave a thunderous applause.

Trump continued to focus on Bush by characterizing the Chinese as tough negotiators who waste little time and move very fast. Trump remarked of Bush, “the Chinese are not used to people like Jeb who fall asleep when you’re talking to them.”

Trump took his shots at Cruz’ financial miscues of the non-reported loans with Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank. He mocked the Lindsey Graham support of Bush saying, “Lindsey was at 1 percent and I’m at 34 percent in South Carolina. That will help a lot.”

Months ago Trump lamented Florida’s early attempt at trying to stack the deck in favor of Florida natives Bush and Rubio by making the states delegates winner-take-all.

Trump said, “now I’m at 48 percent in Florida and Bush and Rubio are around 10 percent. Now they ask me about Florida’s winner-take-all and I say, I like it!”

From one topic to the next, Trump didn’t lay out his vision, but simply spoke from his heart. It’s easy to see that people can embrace a Trump presidency, because they can relate to him not in ways of his wealthy lifestyle, but in his outspoken love for the country and his desire to fix it.

They believe he can.

He left this Iowa crowd with an admonition and an encouraging word; Trump said, “Iowa hasn’t picked a winner in 16 years and has been on the losing side too many times. Let’s get back on the winning side!”

If his supporters show up on caucus night like they do to his rallies, Trump just may be the candidate that put’s Iowa on the winner’s side again. We’ll soon find out.

Michael McDaniel is a political commentator who has been covering election politics in Iowa for over a decade. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.


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If his supporters show up on caucus night like they do to his rallies, Trump just may be the candidate that put’s Iowa on the winner’s side again. We’ll soon find out.
China, Florida, Iowa
Monday, 25 January 2016 11:57 AM
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