Although Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been stretching out his lead in the polls, he’s still stumping hard and not taking anything for granted.
And a resounding straw poll victory Saturday could mean it’s paying off.
“Normally I wouldn’t say this but I need your frigging vote, do you understand that?” he told a crowd of loyal supporters in Nashville on Saturday.
Imagine Jeb Bush coming out with that? He’d get kicked out of the country club. Hillary Clinton? The feminists would figure out what “frigging” really meant, and get the vapors. Even regular-guy Scott Walker would probably never say it out loud — not into a microphone, anyway.
But Trump made it sound like a winner.
While the billionaire-turned-politician spoke at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies conference, a grassroots organization associated with the tea party, immigration activists, led by a mariachi band, protested outside, according to Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN News 2, which reported:
Prior to the event, a prominent message for Donald Trump was displayed on a sign for a south Nashville immigration lawyer, which reads “Donald Trump, make Nashville great again. Please leave soon.”
Elliott Ozment called the sign a “collaborative effort” with some close friends to come up with the message after learning that Trump was scheduled to speak this weekend in downtown Nashville.
Senior Trump adviser Chuck Laudner told the station what he thought led to the Trump explosion.
“It’s going beyond what any of the experts thought would happen, but he is tapping into something that runs a lot deep than Republican, Democratic or Independent,” he said.
“What he’s doing is broadening the base of this party, reaching out to minorities, women, millennials and all the cross-over votes,” Laudner added.
Whatever he’s doing seems to be working. The conference participants held a straw poll of GOP candidates and Trump came out way on top.
Well, @realDonaldTrump won the Nashville straw poll with 52%. @tedcruz was second with 24%. http://t.co/D6P6BFy5hR pic.twitter.com/o5DRLNX3xc
— Resist Tyranny (@ResistTyranny) August 30, 2015
And some of his supporters arrived long before the sun rose to assure they’d get a good seat.
“We got here at 2:30 this morning,” one woman told News 2. “I live about two hours from here” a man told the station. “So I left at around two o’clock, and got here around four, 4:30.”
After his address, Trump hinted at a possible third-party run.
“In terms of victory, that would certainly be the best path to victory,” he told News 2. “And we’re going to be making a decision very soon, and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy.”
Watch a report of the event, followed by reactions from supporters and protesters, both via WKRN News 2,
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