It is not a given that an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump will be an avid supporter of the Republican Party.
Trump, who is now running again for the country’s highest elected office, held a rally in South Dakota this weekend, where a video played for attendees touting accomplishments by members of the party in the state. Though there were still sparse cheers seemingly audible at certain moments, viewers — meaning the Trump rally’s attendees — clearly were not fans of GOP Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds, who represent the state in the Senate. They booed both of them — though the crowd was, to be clear, booing a video, meaning the actual targets of their ire were not there to face the crowd’s wrath. That’s unlike the South Carolina Trump rally where attendees booed on-again, off-again Trump fan Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in person.
Thune is a close associate of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The South Dakota crowd was, though, a fan of Republican Governor Kristi Noem, currently serving in the state. She’s known as among those vocally Trump-oriented in her beliefs and has formally endorsed Trump in his latest run for office. Trump faces a sizable crowd of challengers, but none of them are making substantial inroads against him in polling from the Republican presidential primary, and in survey data, Trump often holds an outright majority whether nationally or in individual states.
Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis was originally considered to have strong prospects against Trump, and he’s now formally been in the race for some time — but he’s barely staying in the double digits in polling. DeSantis has proven unable to parlay his right-wing popularity around a rejection of basic protections against COVID-19 into a national profile substantial and lasting enough to put him close to the Republican Party’s presidential nod.
Boos at the Trump rally in South Dakota for images of Senator John Thune and Senator Mike Rounds pic.twitter.com/quzmFWqJNK
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 8, 2023