OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump weighed in on GOP rival Vivek Ramaswamy over a photo the latter shared on his social media platforms late last week.
In a post on the X platform, Ramaswamy noted, “A group of young men in Iowa came out in the blizzard. They sent a clear message.”
The post contained a photo of the young men wearing identical t-shirts that read: “Save Trump Vote Vivek” — and featured Trump’s mugshot from when he was booked into the Fulton County, Ga., jail last summer.
The post upset Chris LaCivita, who works on Trump’s campaign as an adviser. He responded:
Here is a great picture of this campaigns number one FRAUD – 1. Trump doesnt need “saving” 2. If you support @realDonaldTrump you sure as hell dont vote for this FAKE
Here is a great picture of this campaigns number one FRAUD –
1. Trump doesnt need “saving”
2. If you support @realDonaldTrump you sure as hell dont vote for this FAKE https://t.co/pTBYZggH2w
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) January 13, 2024
Trump also responded on his Truth Social platform.
“Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations,’ etc. Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks. Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the “other side” — don’t get duped by this,” he said. “Vote for ‘TRUMP,’ don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA. The Biden Indictments against his Political Opponent will never be allowed in this Country, they are already beginning to fall! MAGA!!!”
Meanwhile, as the first-in-the-nation primary in Iowa kicks off, Trump’s polling among average, working-class Americans has been climbing for months, but a new survey shows him with an even more commanding lead among that voting demographic.
The Center Square’s polling of “2,573 likely voters, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, shows Trump’s support is highest among Republican voters making less than $50,000 and those without a college degree.”
The poll revealed that among all probable Republican and Republican-leaning voters, Trump enjoys a substantial lead over other GOP contenders. Among these likely voters, 61 percent expressed their preference for Trump. Following far behind were former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with 13 percent and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 12 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy garnered 7 percent support, while former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has since suspended his campaign, secured just 2 percent, the Center Square reported.
Among voters with a household income of less than $50,000, Trump garnered the support of 70%. For voters in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range, the former president had 58% support. However, this figure declined to 51% for those with a household income above $100,000 annually. Regardless of the income level, Trump enjoyed more support than all of his GOP competitors combined, the outlet noted further.
“Voters without a college degree backed Trump with 68% support compared with 48% for those with a college degree,” the outlet’s report noted further, citing the survey data.
Michael Bitzer, politics department chair at Catawba College in North Carolina, told Center Square: “With the growing diploma gap between the two parties, if college-degree Republicans are softer in their support of the former president come the general election in November, that may pose a challenge for a candidate that believes he can only win his base and secure an electoral victory.”
He noted further that support from the suburbs will also weigh heavily.
“The other interesting dynamic is among suburban Republican voters compared to urban and especially rural Republican respondents,” Bitzer said. “Compared to almost two-thirds of urban and rural Republicans supporting the former president, the below 60% of suburban voters supporting the former president in the primary may be another warning signal for the general campaign, since nationally so many suburban areas tend to be the swing areas of deciding November’s election.”
David Byler, chief of research at Noble Predictive Insights, which conducted the poll for The Center Square, added: “Trump’s strength with the working class is a product of policy and persona,” he said. “On policy, he moved the GOP away from supply-side economics and toward tougher immigration policies – the working-class wing of the GOP wanted that for a long time. He made those moves and built unique credibility with working-class voters.”