Former President Donald Trump continues to maintain a seemingly insurmountable advantage over his rival 2024 GOP presidential primary candidates and has established a lead over President Joe Biden in a number of recent swing-state polls.
Trump beats Biden in key swing states like Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
— AF Post (@AFpost) October 19, 2023
For anyone still uncertain about the connection Trump has forged with millions of American voters, the reception he receives upon making an entrance at various athletic events is a prime display of his popularity.
Over the weekend, the former president arrived at the Palmetto Bowl in South Carolina, which featured a matchup between the Clemson and University of South Carolina football teams.
A deafening roar of applause came from attendees welcoming Trump to the stadium. Just prior to his entrance, many in the crowd participated in a chant of “USA!”
NOW: Massive crowd awaiting for President Trump to arrive at the Clemson vs. South Carolina College football game.
They’re chanting, “U-S-A!” pic.twitter.com/RUt5ok22qB
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 26, 2023
Of course, this was not the first college football game Trump has attended in a state that could help shape the course of the upcoming primary election season. He was present at the Iowa-Iowa State game in September, even showing up to a tailgate event beforehand.
At that time, Georgia state Sen. Brandon Beach, a Republican who traveled with Trump to the game in Ames, offered his take on the front-runner’s ability to elicit such a response from large crowds.
“We do it big-time in the South,” Beach said. “President Trump knows he can connect with people, and they are going to connect with him.”
In response to similar chants in Iowa, he said: “These are American values. They realize how much Trump loves our country.”
In terms of the dwindling field of GOP primary candidates, Trump’s warm reception in South Carolina is particularly significant. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has seen her support rise in recent weeks as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has fallen in the polls, putting the two candidates in a race for a distant second-place position behind Trump.
The state is fourth in the primary voting schedule, and Haley’s campaign has a lot at stake in her home state as she pursues a long-shot bid to win the party’s nomination.
As it stands, however, Trump holds a nearly 60-point advantage over Haley nationwide, according to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. In a hypothetical head-to-head race, Trump would beat Haley by a margin of 81% to 19%.