Manchester, NH—Even though he’s not running in a vicious primary, President Trump knows this is going to be a nasty election. His supporters know that as well. And while the Democrats raced to the finish line, speaking with as many voters as possible, and holding get-out-the-vote rallies even last night, Trump decided to fly in and remind his supporters why they should be excited for this fight: The Great American Comeback. As Democrats play blood sports, especially between the Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders camps, Trump is already running a de facto general election campaign. He’s defining the Democratic nominee, whoever that is, months before the Democratic National Convention. And if you remember 2012, it’s exactly what Obama did. In any contest, when your opponent gets to define who you are—you’re a goner. Lyndon Johnson did that to Goldwater in 1964. Obama did that to Romney in 2012. Both Republicans lost.
If there’s one thing about Trump, it’s that he does suck any oxygen that could be going to Democrats out of the room. They just don’t know what to do. Last night was his night. He touted school choice, law and order, fighting illegal immigration, gave a hat tip to ICE officers and law enforcement, celebrated the death of Iran’s top terrorist Qasam Soleimani, and pushed the record-low unemployment figures. Paychecks are bigger. And retirement funds have exploded under Trump. Trump asked the audience if anyone's 401(k)s have gone up, and a sea of hands shot right up. People can feel the economy is getting better.
And there were some people who traveled hundreds of miles to see this man last night. Cathy from Rhode Island noted that the promise Trump has made and kept that’s at the top of her list was “securing the country as well as building up our military.” Asked about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s shredding of the president’s speech after the State of the Union, she added that it was “totally disrespectful” and in “poor taste.”
“She’s beyond that; she’s a smart woman,” she said.
With impeachment in the rearview, it may be over for Trump, who was given a complete and total acquittal, but not for Mitt Romney, the lone Republican who decided to break ranks and vote with Democrats to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge. Cathy’s word to describe this vote is probably one that would have been repeated 1,000 times Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester last night: “turncoat.”
He’s a “traitor to his party,” she said. “American people don’t forget once you show us who you are—we believe you,” Cathy added. She laughed at the prospect of him running again for president. Continuing with impeachment, she said that she did watch the hearings and laments that the whole circus was “terrible.”
“You don’t know what to believe anymore,” she said. “some truths, mistruths—it’s a cauldron. Facts don’t seem to matter anymore.” And yet, she noted why this is kept for Trump using Twitter. Yes, there is that criticism that the president goes over the line, but him using that medium is “his only path to reach the American people,” she added.
As for 2020, she said, “Democrats are not giving credit where credit is due, I think they’re going to come up short-handed.” She is not familiar with New Hampshire’s governor, Chris Sununu, who recently said that his state will go red in 2020—but Cathy said looking around the arena, she would have to defer to the governor’s judgment.
Standing by one of the sections into the main arena stood Jason and Rick from Connecticut handing out the ever-present ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’ signs. Rick is just enthused that Trump is pro-life and against infanticide. He echoed Steve, the individual from law enforcement, who was at the Pete Buttigieg rally in Nashua earlier this week, who emphatically noted Trump’s pro-life positions as a reason for why he’s solidly in that camp.
Rick added that the wall is being built, albeit in chunks. And Trump is securing our border. Asked about the Romney vote, he said he was “not too happy.”
For Jason, it was Trump’s “direct commitment to not taking our guns,” and Second Amendment support and that pledge to defend our right to bear arms. And like many in the arena, Jason is no fan of Mitt Romney. In fact, he’s an Obama-Trump voter because of it.
“I didn’t like President Obama, but I voted for him the second time because of how much I disliked Mitt Romney—that just solidifies it right there," he said with a slight grin.
Like Cathy from Little Rhody, he found Pelosi’s State of the Union antics “disrespectful.”
The energy in the arena was jacked to 100, more than what we’ve seen at Bernie Sanders events, and those people also come from all over the country. They’re also energized, and they’re ready to blow up the system as well. But Medicare for All is still unpopular. In fact, in the Granite State, it’s opposed by a two-to-one margin, something that Inside Sources’ Michael Graham, who we ran into at the rally, wrote about:
New Hampshire voters oppose Medicare For All by a two-to-one margin, and more than half “strongly” oppose it, according to a new poll released by the Coalition Against Socialized Medicine (CASM), a project of the American Conservative Union.
The survey finds likely Granite State voters oppose the signature healthcare measure of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren 65 to 31 percent, and 54 percent say they strongly oppose it. While a slight majority of Democrats (53 percent) support Medicare For All, 85 percent of Republicans oppose it.
Perhaps most significantly for the November election, independent voters overwhelmingly oppose it 66 to 30 percent.”New Hampshire voters are some of the best-educated, politically-astute voters in the country, and they overwhelmingly oppose price controls on prescription drugs and Medicare For All,” said CASM Executive Director Marc Palazzo. “Americans reject socialism and New Hampshire is no different. They’re saying ‘no’ to a radical proposal that puts the quality of their own care at risk.”
The poll of 400 likely general election voters was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates on February 4-5 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.
Trump is going to have a lot of ammunition this cycle to use against his opponents regarding his record of economic dominance and the shoddy, unpopular, and fiscally ruinous policies of his opponents.
There was a small band of anti-Trump protesters outside. There were no fisticuffs, though one pro-Trump activist, we’ll call him “Super Trump,” wasn’t taking any of these people’s claims that Bernie Sanders is “going to smoke Trump.”
“Bernie’s going to die by the time the election comes,” he shot back. His antics got a couple of chuckles from the Manchester cops who were standing by making sure no actual fights broke out.