Trump rallies his base in Des Moines, Iowa

President Trump rallied his base in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday night, as he tries to motivate his core supporters to get out to the polls. That Mr. Trump even feels the need to campaign in Iowa, a state he won handily in 2016, suggests how he’s struggling nationally.

“Get your friends, get your family, get your neighbors, get your workers and coworkers, and get the hell out to vote because if I don’t get Iowa I won’t believe that one,” the president told his audience as he closed out his remarks. 

The president leaned hard into his record on farming, trade and energy issues. Mr. Trump said Iowa’s senator, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, are fighting to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Ernst is facing a potentially tough reelection bid, and her opponent raised nearly three times as much as she did during the third quarter.

“Nobody calls me on ethanol more than Joni and Chuck,” the president joked.

Donald Trump
President Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Mr. Trump, who has made little effort to strike a tone that would attract moderates in the days leading up to the election, on Tuesday night tweeted a meme that could be seen as insulting to seniors, a key demographic he won in 2016 but is losing according to recent polling. In Pennsylvania Tuesday night, the president also pleaded with suburban woman, another key demographic he is struggling to win over, to give him their votes.

“Suburban women, would you please like me? Please. Please,” he said. “I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”

The president reiterated that message Wednesday night. He said he’s not going to destroy the “American dream” for “stupid people” like “Cory Booker,” referencing the black United States senator and former presidential candidate who graduated from Yale Law School.

Mr. Trump has pitched himself as the savior of suburbia to his audiences, insisting Democrats would put low-income housing in the suburbs, and only he can stop this from happening.

The president also joked Tuesday, as he did Monday, that he felt healthy enough to “kiss” the men and women in the audience, after recovering from COVID-19. 

“I could come down and start kissing everybody,” he teased. “I’ll kiss every guy. Man and woman. Look at that guy, how handsome he is. I’ll kiss him. Not with a lot of enjoyment but that’s OK.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Clifford Lane, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have reviewed Mr. Trump’s COVID test results, including a PCR test, and have agreed that he is “not infectious for anyone else.” The review was completed ahead of his appearance at an NBC town hall Thursday night. 

On Wednesday, First Lady Melania Trump announced that their son, Barron, had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. Since then, all members of the first family have tested negative. 

Iowa, a state Mr. Trump won by nine points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, is rated a toss-up by CBS News polling, with Biden and the president each at 49% support right now.

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