Opinion | Trump is still popular among Iowa Republicans

The media narrative insists former President Donald Trump is losing support among Republicans, but that’s not true.


Erin Woodiel / Argus Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, at the Sioux City Gateway Airport in Iowa.

Sam Knupp, Opinions Contributor

Former President Donald Trump is still popular among Republicans, and Iowa is no exception.

Since the midterm elections, I’ve seen plenty of articles that claim Trump has lost support and influence over Republicans or that he lacks excitement from his former base.

It appears liberal journalists desperately want Trump’s demise to be true, so they’re going out of their way to create a narrative that it is.

But I don’t believe Trump’s support is dying.

While the Trump Organization was found guilty on all counts of tax fraud, and his endorsement of Dr. Oz wasn’t successful, it doesn’t mean he’s lost viability.

The media claims this example shows how Trump’s influence is waning. But is that really true? After all, how many times during the 2016 election did we say, “This should be it for Trump”?

I can think of several times: the suggested policy to ban Muslim immigrants and refugees, mocking a reporter with a disability, dozens of published sexual harassment accusations, xenophobic remarks against undocumented immigrants, and — of course — the Billy Bush recording.

Trump was impeached twice and went on to set a record number of Republican votes in any general election.

Part of why this happened was Republicans knew everyone else would come out in droves to vote for President Joe Biden. But it’s still noteworthy that Republicans will come to Trump’s support when the chips are down. And it’s not a stretch to think they’ll do it again, considering Biden is less popular than undercooked Chipotle.

I talked to some University of Iowa students to get their opinion on Trump’s bid for the 2024 presidential election, and the ones I talked to were unanimously against him.

“Donald Trump’s just kind of an a**hole,” UI student Brian Shaffer said.

Shaffer is not wrong. But those are UI students, who are by and large liberal. And liberals are the main group of people who have taken issue with Trump and his rhetoric.

As for Republicans in Iowa, they’re still on the “Trump Train.”

In an interview with J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Company, she said in the most recent poll by her organization, 83 percent of Iowa Republicans had favorable feelings about Trump.

Selzer said any candidate running against Trump in Iowa would likely feel that those numbers are indicative of a decent head start for him.

It’s not a surprise given that Iowa is getting more conservative by the day, and Gov. Kim Reynolds is committed to turning Iowa into Alabama politically.

But it’s not just in Iowa where he’s ahead.

Every credible polling company shows that either Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a product of Trump — leads among Republicans.

Trump trails Biden in most polls. But Trump also trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the vast majority of 2016 election polls. We all remember how that ended up.

So, even if Trump fizzles out, his beliefs will not.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.