Monday, May 13, 2024

Trump Tells 100K Supporters on Wildwood Beach: ‘We Will Win New Jersey’

By Neil W. McCabe |

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

[WILDWOOD, N.J.] Former President Donald J. Trump returned to South Jersey as he continues to put the Garden State in play. He held a Saturday night rally for 100,000 Trump supporters, who packed out the Wildwood Beach boardwalk, beachfront, and bars and restaurants, in addition to the more than 20,000 tickets distributed for inside the fences.

“Even on television, they said [it] might be the biggest political rally they’ve ever seen,” said the former president. 

“We will win New Jersey,” he said.

“If we win New Jersey, we win the whole thing,” he said. “I think we’re going to win some others, actually.” 

The former president said his campaign is expanding the map beyond the Garden State to include Virginia and Minnesota, the latter of which was last won by a Republican in 1972.

Trump said if President Joseph R. Biden Jr. wins the election, the middle class loses and New Jersey loses. 

“If Trump wins the middle class, the people of lower-income are really going to start winning again—and you’re all going to the American Dream,” Trump said. 

There is some reason for optimism in the Trump camp; Emerson College conducted a poll from March 26 through March 29, with Biden leading Trump, 46 percent to 39 percent, with 15 percent undecided. 

It is an old saw that undecided voters break for the challenger, which would put Trump in the lead over his successor. 

The last Republican to win New Jersey was Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988. Then, Bush beat Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, 57 percent to 43 percent. In 1992, Arkansas Gov. William J. Clinton beat Bush, 56 percent to 40 percent, and through the 2020 contest, when Biden beat Trump, 57 percent to 41 percent, that roughly 15-point margin has held remarkably steady for the Democratic standard bearers.

Trump’s 2020 Wildwood was in a different time, place

The rally was Trump’s first rally in New Jersey, since his Jan. 28, 2020, rally held at the Wildwood Convention Center here. 

It is strange to look back at photos of that first Wildwood rally with no one wearing masks. Three days later, the president would ban Chinese travelers from entering the US.

Throughout Trump’s term, the mainstream media was constantly harping on the negatives, but Trump’s actual economic record was outstanding, and it was not just the unemployment below 4 percent.

In Trump’s first three years in office, the economy grew 500,000 new manufacturing jobs, grew median income 2.3 percent, held regulations to roughly at a standstill, and reduced poverty, such that Food Stamps participation dropped 15 percent. 

Then, the president was the master of a growing economy, with an approval rating of 49 percent, which matched the highest ratings of his presidency. He maintained that approval until the second half of May 2020, when it dropped 10 points to 30 percent.

By the week before the 2020 election, Trump’s approval rating rallied to 46 percent.

As of May 5, in the Real Clear Politics polling average, Trump holds a 46 percent to 44 percent lead over President Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

When RCP teases out the Electoral College, Trump and Biden are in a virtual tie with Trump winning 219 electoral votes and Biden winning 215, leaving 104 electoral votes in toss-up states.

However, when RCP forces the toss-ups to the likely winner, Trump commands an Electoral College lead of 312 to 226.

Every Trump rally features MAGA luminaries, such as New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, former New Jersey congressional candidate and Live From America host Mike Crispi, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R.-NJ), who switched parties just moments after voting against Trump’s first impeachment.

Another guest could have significance in the pending veepstakes, as North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum was one of the former president’s opening act—and a guest on the plane, Trump Force One.

Burgum seemed to relish the audition for the traditional role of the vice presidential nominee as the attack dog on the ticket.

The governor told the crowd Biden’s policy towards Israel was a disgrace.

In the past, it was the policy of the United States to never negotiate with terrorists, but not with Biden. “Now, he’s negotiating for the terrorists.”

The governor said Biden was undermining Israel to win support from the Hamas wing of the Democratic Party.

As the sun dropped and the wind picked up, Trump said he marveled at how the crowd was sticking around.

It could be the tens of thousands stuck around for the real Trump rally payoff, when Trump wraps up his speech and walks off to Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming.”

The former president always lingers on stage, waving and clapping with the cheers of the crowd—especially when he clenches his two fists and performs his modified Twist.

It was all worth it.