Walking the concourse of the Rupp Arena, home of Kentucky basketball and Monday's Trump rally, reporters took turns asking people why they still supported the president. "Because I have common sense," fired back one woman. He's done everything he said he would, insisted another. But what about the impeachment inquiry, Lawrence Jones pressed? "The American people aren't stupid," one man said bluntly. And based on the turnout at yesterday's event, he's right.
Days after the House's absurd vote to formalize Donald Trump's impeachment, the man at the center of the controversy was met by roaring applause. Thousands of supporters packed into a jammed auditorium to show Washington that Kentucky isn't buying what the Democrats are selling. "It's an absolute joke," one 20-something voter told Jones -- an opinion that a growing number of battleground states share. Even a New York Times-Siena College poll couldn't hide the fact that majorities in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are flatly against removing the president from office.
"We've known for a long time that everybody in California and New York want Trump to be impeached," one Trump campaign official told the Hill newspaper. "They've wanted that since the day he came into office. But in these states where the election is really going to be fought, we're seeing that voters oppose impeachment, and there's an intensity to that opposition." This entire Democratic circus, Paul Bedard explains, isn't hurting Trump's base -- it's expanding it. "Pollster Jonathan Zogby told us that Trump is making solid inroads with new voters who feel good about the economy, including those in urban areas and the poor, traditionally part of the Democratic base." Others, like journalist Mark Halperin, looked at the numbers and agreed. "I think Trump can run up the score in rural areas even bigger than he did."
Monday's rally certainly seemed to confirm it. President Trump spent more than an hour hitting back at the Left's radicalism, refusing to shy away from the tough issues. "We are sending a signal to the rest of the country -- to the rest of the world -- what the Republican party stands for. While we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the radical Democrats are going totally insane," he said. "These people are on the run," the president warned. This is "a deranged hyper-partisan impeachment witch-hunt... They've been plotting to overthrow the election since the first hour that we won. And actually, before we won, they were plotting to overthrow this election... [But] with last week's vote, the far Left has declared war on American democracy itself."
This is a party, Trump went on, that wants to "impose their authoritarian ideology on the nation, telling you what to think, what to believe and how you should live. They want to erase our traditions, our culture, our history, and our heroes... They want to obliterate the rule of law, drive out faith from the public square... silence you online, [and] confiscate your guns." This election, President Trump insisted, is "a chance to send the radical Democrats a message. You will vote to reject Democrats' extremism, socialism, and corruption, and you will vote to reelect Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin."
Then, he laid out a powerful case for why, ticking off some of the administration's most impressive accomplishments -- from the "hottest economy in the world" and job growth to a 60-percent drop in illegal immigration. The president talked about confirming a record-number of judges, "157 to follow the Constitution as written," securing the border, ending lopsided trade deals, and rebuilding the military. A week removed from one of the biggest success stories of his first term, the president reminded everyone that America is also "defeating radical Islamic terrorists like never before." To loud cheers, he exclaimed, "The monster animal known as Al-Baghdadi is dead..."
As if those contrasts weren't enough, he drew an even bigger one. "Virtually every top Democrat also now supports late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from their mother's womb right up until the moment of birth. And that's why I've asked Congress to prohibit extreme late-term abortion because Republicans believe that every child is a sacred gift from God."
"We believe in the dignity of work and the sanctity of life. We believe that faith and family -- not government and bureaucracy -- are the true American way. We believe that children should be taught to love our country, honor our history, and always respect our great American flag. Loyal citizens like you helped build this country, and together we are taking back our country. We are returning power to you, the American people. Our loyalty is to our citizens. And our devotion is to our Creator."