Analysis by Summer Lane
Nobody hits the campaign trail quite like President Donald Trump, and this past weekend at the Iowa State Fair handily demonstrated why the 45th president is firmly in control of the GOP presidential primary race.
Since 2016, Trump has brought a special charisma to campaigning, connecting with populist voters across America in a way that politicians rarely do.
On Saturday, his arrival at the Iowa State Fair gave him the opportunity to interact with salt-of-the-earth Iowans, where he shook hands, held babies, and spent a reported $20,000 on fair food and drinks for eager attendees.
A slate of America First allies traveled with Trump on Saturday, lending their support by serving up food to fair-goers and delivering glowing remarks about the president to the crowd.
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., were among Trump’s chosen few who accompanied him this weekend.
The president additionally stole another Republican presidential candidate’s thunder on Saturday when his Boeing 757, Trump Force One, flew over the Iowa State Fairgrounds while Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was giving remarks. The crowd looked to the skies and cheered as the president arrived in style.
Trump was greeted by throngs of eager Iowans who cheered their support, taking pictures, and shouting things like “WHO LOVES TRUMP? I DO!”
Later in the afternoon, President Trump also struck a chord with voters when he helped Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., onto the stage while giving remarks. Mast, who is a war veteran, is currently spearheading President Trump’s veterans’ coalition in New Hampshire.
In a touching moment, Trump reached down from the stage and pulled Mast – who lost both of his legs in combat – up beside him, where he invited him to speak to the crowd.
Mast told the audience, “Ya’ll see the president hold me up there? You see that? That’s how the president holds up our veterans and I mean that for real. He HOLDS UP our veterans. He doesn’t turn his back on our veterans. He takes care of our veterans.”
Trump’s Saturday trip to Iowa highlighted one of the president’s most valuable assets: his ability to interact with everyday Americans comfortably and authentically.
More importantly, his hard work campaigning in Iowa is clearly paying off, according to GOP political primary polling. In Iowa, President Trump holds a 26-point lead over DeSantis in the Iowa Republican Caucus, according to data from JL Partners/Daily Mail.