Until now, Donald Trump hasn’t struggled much in convincing Iowans to support him on his quest for the Republican nomination, but Tuesday night, at a high school in Sioux City, Iowa, he set aside his pride to beg for their help.
“Will you get the numbers up, Iowa, please?” Trump asked the crowd of 2,000 supporters. “This is ridiculous!”
The Donald is understandably worried: His rival for the plain-spoken, blunt-talking outsider-savior vote, Ben Carson, has earned a 9 percent lead, replacing Trump as the state favorite, the latest Des Moines Register poll revealed on October 23. A new poll puts Carson in the lead nationally, too, with 26 percent of the Republican primary vote over Trump’s 22 percent.
Later in Trump’s address, he went on to knock Carson for endorsing a flat tax when he says his own plan would make 40 percent of Americans exempt from paying anything. Trump also criticized Carson’s ground game, saying his super-pac was “horrible.”
But it doesn’t change the fact that Carson is leading the pack with Iowa Republicans, especially women and Evangelicals, something Trump finds simply baffling. On Sunday, Trump told CBS’s Face the Nation that he was blindsided by the turnabout.
“I don’t understand Iowa because frankly, I just left and we had tremendous crowds and tremendous enthusiasm,” Trump said. Unfortunately, his first reaction to Carson’s pulling-ahead was retweeting a joke about Iowans having “too much Monsanto” in their corn, creating “issues in the brain?” He deleted that retweet and blamed an intern.
Even to Trump’s supporters, it’s not really a surprise that Iowans are showing more love for Carson. “I expected it,” Wally Hamann, a 68-year-old Trump fan, told CBS News. “He’s a little too abrupt. [Iowans] like nice people, like Ben Carson – who’s a super guy.”
Maybe it’s time for more Trump chopper rides for the kids?