Monday, July 22, 2019 | ePaper
Trump heads back to base for 2020 campaign kickoff
President Donald Trump will get a big crowd of his most loyal supporters at Tuesday's official 2020 reelection campaign kickoff in Florida but dismal early poll numbers show the larger-than-life Republican businessman is vulnerable.
Organizers claim the Orlando rally has sold out a 20,000-seat arena, with many more to gather outside, watching on big screens.
"Looks to be setting records," Trump tweeted Monday.
After more than two drama-filled years at the White House, the fast-talking real estate salesman bets that a strong economy and his promise to fight for forgotten blue collar workers will persuade the country to give him a second term.
But more than 20 Democrats are lining up to take him on and there's no question that a lengthy probe into Trump's dealings with Russia and his divisive, bruising style have wounded the unconventional president.
A wide range of polls show Trump lagging far behind Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, who is campaigning on a promise to return the country to what he portrays as the calmer, gentler days of Barack Obama, under whom he served as vice president.
And it's not only Biden ahead.
Even Pete Buttigieg, the gay, small-city mayor emerging as one of the surprise stars of the Democratic field, narrowly pips Trump, according to a poll from Fox News released this weekend.
Polls so far in advance have limited value and in 2016 they famously failed to predict Trump's defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But in a sign of frayed nerves, Trump is lashing out at what he calls "fake" polling, while multiple US media reports say that his campaign has fired several of its own pollsters.