California’s Anaheim, September 29 (Reuters) – Just two days after boycotting the Republican presidential debate in California, Donald Trump campaigned there on Friday in an effort to gain support in the state that will be crucial to his party’s chances of winning the presidency in 2024.
The former president addressed the cheering audience of Republican activists and party members at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, which is 25 miles (40 km) south of Los Angeles.
This week, deep blue California will play a significant role in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024—and not just because of the second GOP primary debate on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former President Donald Trump all spoke on Friday at the California GOP’s Fall 2023 Convention in Anaheim. Multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is scheduled to speak on Saturday.
Antoinette Del Peral, one of several fans outside the Anaheim Marriott, where the convention was held, said, “First of all, we are continuing to support Trump — regardless of whether he went to jail — cause he is a man for the people and by the people.” He continued, ” And, you guys, it’s not an insurrection,” Del Peral said to a reporter. “You all are lying,” he added.
Trump’s calls for violent retaliation against criminals represented an intensification of his long-standing “tough on crime” rhetoric, even though many of his convention statements were familiar reiterations of his criticisms and complaints.
Although Trump missed the initial two presidential debates, Trump, who has been the clear front-runner in the contest to be the Republican Party’s standard-bearer in 2024, made sure to attend the convention, which will draw some of the state’s top conservative politicians and activists who will serve as delegates in the following year.
Trump, the undisputed front-runner for the party’s nomination in the main election in November 2024, continued to disparage the contenders who are far behind him in his speech and social media tweets on Friday.
He mocked Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, who is his closest competitor and is trailing Trump by thirty-seven percent points in the most current Reuters/Ipsos survey. Trump claimed that he hit him so hard he crashed like a bird damaged in flight.
California’s 169 delegates to the Republican national nominating convention will go to Trump if he wins the state’s Republican primary in March with a majority vote of 50% or higher. That is every state’s highest proportion of delegates.
The irony is that Trump needs the Republicans in California. However, when it comes time for the general election, the electorate of the state decisively rejects him.
Numerous demonstrators, including Democrats from Orange County and Los Angeles County, criticized the former president.
Jacob Ortiz of the OC Justice Initiative said, “I do not believe that we should put him in authority again. “Just think of what another term will bring if he was already the topic of so much criticism after just one term.”
Former Virginia lawyer general and Homeland Security’s deputy secretary in the Trump administration, Ken Cuccinelli stated, “The team of Donald Trump stepped in to distort the rules in their favor.” Cuccinelli created the Never Back Down super PAC earlier this year, which is allied with DeSantis.
Erin Perrine, a representative for Never Back Down, claimed last month that the Californian rule change was a “Trump-inspired rigging.”
Trump’s Performance in California in Previous 2 Elections
Trump’s performance in the previous two presidential elections in California has been dismal. Trump received 31.6% of the state’s votes in 2016, while Democrat Hillary Clinton received 62.2%.
Four years later, the results were almost identical, with Democrat Joe Biden receiving 63.5% of the vote to Trump’s 34.3%.
So why would Trump make the trip to Anaheim to meet with California Republicans when he is about to stand trial in New York on Monday for $250 million in civil fraud? As the party’s nominee for president in the following year’s election, they are crucial to his future.