Embassied Trump fans flock to Michigan County Fair

Embassied Trump fans flock to Michigan County Fair

The writer is a contributing columnist, based in Chicago

Tammy, 49, her mother Mary and daughter Nikki, 11, sat polishing a corn dog on a bench at the Ottawa County Fair. They were sheltered from the late July sun, fortunately downwind from the smelly goat show, and around the Redneck Chip Stand in this traditionally conservative community near the shores of Lake Michigan. But they were also hiding from the political fireworks surrounding Michigan’s Aug. 2 primary election.

Former President Donald Trump and his loyal band of 2020 election deniers had a strong primary in this battleground state, which voted for Trump in 2016 and less against him in 2020. Tudor Dixon, a a Trump-endorsed candidate from another western Michigan city, won the Republican primary for governor, after half of his primary rivals were disqualified for forging petition signatures.

In a close race for US Congress, election conspiracy theorist and Trump favorite John Gibbs ousted incumbent Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Trump after last year’s Capitol attack. These victories underscore the influence the former president continues to wield among voters like Tammy and her family in rural Midwestern communities.

Tammy, a cafeteria worker at a retirement home, and her mother, a retired house cleaner, were quick to insist that victory was stolen from Trump in 2020, a view still held by about 70 percent of Republican voters, according to the Poynter Institute. Both women were just as quick to say they would vote for Trump again in 2024: “I hope he runs,” Tammy said.

When asked if they were watching televised hearings of the US congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack, which has heard evidence that Trump incited his supporters to violence, both women they were ruined “I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Tammy said, as her mother nodded silently. About 75 percent of Republican primary voters said Trump was “just exercising his right to participate in the election,” and less than one in five said he “went so far as to threaten democracy American,” according to a recent New York Times/Siena. University survey. It also found that 49 percent of primary voters would support Trump if he ran again, far more than potential challengers.

Democrats hope the bad publicity from the Jan. 6 commission will affect public support for Trump, but Midwestern voters like Tammy tell a different story. He says inflation, the price of corn dogs, not the Capitol insurrection, is his main political problem. That echoes a recent Iowa poll that found 71 percent of Iowa Republicans and 62 percent of independents put inflation first.

A food stand at the Ottawa County Fair. There are signs that the local Republican party is turning right © Patti Waldmeir/FT

Just past the funnel cakes and elephant ears, in front of the “Dutch Fatballs,” I asked volunteers at the Ottawa County Republican Party tent to explain why so many Republicans still believe the 2020 election is be stolen A 39-year-old county employee who gave his name as City took a break from handing out GOP lollipops to cite news of a illegal “casting of votes”. at the Detroit counting center. But he also cited problems with absentee ballots: He claimed to have received five ballots mistakenly mailed to his home, while a GOP passerby said he had received eight.

Meanwhile, there are signs that the local GOP is veering to the right, with several moderate county commissioners unseated in primaries by more radical Republicans running on an anti-mask and culture wars platform. City, the GOP volunteer, supports the intruders, though he worries they could hurt the party’s chances in the upcoming midterm elections unless Republicans learn to “stick together.”

But the last time a Democratic presidential candidate won Ottawa County was 1864, so it seems a fair bet the GOP will hold strong here either way. Trump can count on the unwavering devotion of voters like Tammy. But it’s less clear whether that will be enough to win the day for Republicans in Michigan, that most volatile battleground in the Midwest, or even secure the nomination for the former president, if he wants it.


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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!