Donald Trump once claimed he was the "most popular person" in upstate New York. After witnessing the impassioned supporters at a rally in Rochester, N.Y. over the weekend, he may have a point. Over 2,000 people turned up to his speech Sunday, even though temperatures were “frigid.” If you scroll through the event’s pictures, you’ll also find an ardent fan dressed as a “Trump Wall.”
Trump used some of his time at the podium to criticize the election primary process that has so far denied him the delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination. It’s “crooked shenanigans,” he insisted.
His supporters agreed. A few sounded off on what they view as the Republican Party’s bias against Trump.
"The sad thing is the guy's got to go against the Democratic establishment, and now he's got to go against his own party's establishment as well, and it's just not right," said Nasca, 48, who owns an investment company,
"It's absolutely ridiculous. But he's a threat to the big people in politics, the lobbyists, the elitists in the Republican Party," he added. "They're going to disenfranchise their own voters."
Cheryl Griggs, a 59-year-old voter from Hilton, New York, said she’s “never seen anything like it.”
"To go against the votes of the people and the will of the people and put somebody else in there, I think, is horrific."
Indeed, if the Republican primary results in a contested convention and party officials reject the frontrunner, Trump voters will be justifiably unhappy. They will have watched their candidate remain at the top of the polls for months, only to be denied the nomination at the finish line.
Trump isn’t the only one touring upstate New York ahead of next Tuesday’s primary. Former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton spent some time in Buffalo on Friday to try and remind voters how she helped grow the region. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is speaking at a sold out event at the University at Buffalo on Monday, again proving that he is the Millennial candidate.
Both the Republican and Democratic campaigns are inundating the Empire State because they know how important the delegate-rich primary is in the race to their dueling conventions. Bill Clinton even noted New York could “matter most” in the race.
New York votes next Tuesday, April 19.