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The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Trump’s conviction remains rallying cry at Ernst’s annual Roast and Ride

The former president was convicted of 34 felony charges in New York on Thursday, and it remains a rallying cry for Iowa GOP leaders days later.
Madison Frette
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst gives a speech at her ninth annual Roast and Ride fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

DES MOINES — Two days after former president Donald Trump’s historic felony conviction, it remains a rallying cry for Iowa Republicans heading into November’s general election. 

His conviction was a potent applause line at Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s annual Roast and Ride fundraiser as she and other Iowa Republicans took the stage at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday. 

“It’s time we restore faith in our justice system and stop the political persecution of Donald J. Trump,” Ernst said during her remarks on Saturday, which was one of many lines to receive a standing ovation from the over 700 attendees. 

Trump was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsification of business records in a New York courtroom on Thursday, becoming the first U.S. president to be convicted of a crime. The charges stemmed from hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and the falsification of business records to cover up the payments. 

Trump’s conviction is unlikely to sway his base, with a recent ABC/Ipsos Poll finding that 80 percent of Trump supporters saying they would be unswayed by a conviction and only four percent saying they would not support him. 

Trump’s campaign also raised $52.8 million in the 24 hours following his conviction. 

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was among the lineup of speakers on Saturday who boasted support for Trump following his conviction. Reynolds previously endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid because she didn’t think Trump could win a general election.

Reynolds publicly shifted her support in March and on Saturday echoed her support for Trump. 

“They’ve weaponized the justice system with a political persecution of our nominee and Biden’s opponent,” Reynolds said on Saturday. “But, I can tell you without hesitation, that on Nov. 5, the people of this country will weigh in.” 

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that Trump’s trial was a “political lynching” during his remarks, and Iowa Republican U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson and Zach Nunn also showed their support for Trump and asked voters to rally for him during their remarks. 

GOP leaders urge participation in November 

Iowa Republican leaders called on voters to turn out in November to deliver results for Republican incumbents and Trump, despite it seeming Republicans have an upper hand in the state. 

Republican Party of Iowa Chairperson Jeff Kaufmann said that voters need to stay engaged despite Iowa’s status as an up-and-coming red state. 

“We are so red. I don’t know if we got a redder color,” Kaufmann said. “But if the Democrats keep up this silly, stupid, corrupt nonsense, we’re going to be an even redder shade of red.”

Grassley said that since two of Iowa’s four congressional districts are being targeted by national Democrats in their effort to retake the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican voters need to turn out in those districts and others in November.

“So in [the first and third congressional] districts, you’ve got to work real hard for them,” Grassley said. “[I’m] not saying don’t work hard for [Rep. Randy] Feenstra and Hinson. But when you’re targeted, there’s going to be a lot of resources going into those districts from the Democrats. So we have to work hard to keep all four [representatives] in.” 

Ernst told reporters that it is important to continue to campaign for Trump, despite his lead in polling in the state. 

“We cannot forget, and we have to turn out in November,” Ernst said. “We know we’re a red state. Some people may take that for granted and think he doesn’t need our support … but we need to drive out numbers.” 

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About the Contributors
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.
Madison Frette
Madison Frette, Photojournalist
Madison Frette is a second-year student at The University of Iowa double majoring in Business Analytics and Information Systems and Cinematic Arts. This is her first year working as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan.