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GOP strategist says Trump’s dwindling rally crowds show base disappearing

·3 min read

A GOP strategist who used to work with one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers is pointing to the crowd sizes at his recent rallies as evidence that the GOP base is slowly losing its enthusiasm for the former president.

Susan Del Percio appeared on MSNBC where she made the comments on Sunday to Weekends with Alex Witt guest host Cori Coffin. Ms Del Percio, a PR specialist and Republican strategist who served as deputy commissioner for finance and administration in the administration of ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said that dwindling crowd sizes at Mr Trump’s rallies in conservative areas were proof that the Trump brand was losing its staying power.

Mr Giuliani would go on to serve as Mr Trump’s personal attorney throughout the 2020 election and often acted as his attack dog, dispatched on missions to dig up dirt on Mr Trump’s opponents. The former mayor was at the center of the 2019 scandal resulting from his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s president into opening a baseless and politicised criminal investigation into Joe Biden and his son.

Ms Del Percio commented on the size of Mr Trump’s rally crowd in North Carolina, estimated to be around 1,000 to 2,000 by the Raleigh-based News and Observer, noting that “that is what you saw there, his shrinking base”.

"Donald Trump? Yes, he can bring out those people, but those crowds are getting smaller and people aren't buying into it, mostly because Republicans want to move on," added Ms Del Percio. "They don't want to talk about the big lie. The people of this country don't want to hear about it anymore. They're done with Donald Trump and his lies except for a small group that we see there."

The News and Observer further pointed out that the same venue, The Farm at 95 in Selma, North Carolina, hosted a previous Trump rally in 2016 that drew an audience of around 15,000.

Other recent Trump rallies have also seen similar lackluster attendance figures, potentially indicating that his diehard loyalists are tiring of hearing the same or similar remarks from the former president at every appearance he makes. Mr Trump frequently uses his public appearances to re-litigate his falsehoods concerning the 2020 election and to make efforts to punish Republicans he sees as disloyal, all the while hitting Democrats on issues including immigration and violent crime.

A recent appearance by Mr Trump in Commerce, Georgia, was described by a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “the smallest crowd I've seen at a rally of his in Georgia since he won the 2016 election”; the reporter, Greg Bluestein, also noted that the crowd was “significantly smaller than the crowd [that attended a Georgia Trump rally] in September”.

Mr Trump remains on top of all polling of Republicans’ top choice for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, but has yet to officially announce whether he will mount a third bid for the White House under the GOP banner. He is expected to make that decision after this year’s midterm elections conclude, but many expect the former president will run again given that he continues to host the presidential campaign-style rallies which he returned to after leaving office in 2021.