It’s been another relatively quiet week on the campaign trail for Donald Trump with one day in New Hampshire accounting for all his public appearances. Two of the several court cases currently circling the former president saw further updates whilst there was a slew of polling from several states.
Trump had one major campaign event this week, speaking at a lunch in Concord, NH for the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women, a powerful interest group in Granite State GOP primary politics. The event clashed with Ron DeSantis, who was campaigning 40 minutes away in Hollis. The two men traded blows, with DeSantis appearing to make more direct attacks than he has done in recent weeks. Trump spoke for an hour in a typically rambling affair, hitting DeSantis on social security cuts, hitting Biden on the “swamp” in Washington and repeating false claims about electoral fraud in 2020. Whilst Trump didn’t take any questions in Concord, he did speak to the press later in the day at the opening of a campaign office in Manchester.
Regarding Trump’s ongoing legal issues, there were updates in the cases regarding the defamation of E. Jean Carroll and the classified material found at Mar-a-Lago. Firstly, on Tuesday night, Trump’s lawyers submitted a counterclaim against Carroll, alleging that she defamed him. Earlier this year, Carroll successfully sued him for defamation regarding her allegations that the former president raped her in the 1990s. She has since launched a further defamation lawsuit following Trump’s comments following the suit on a CNN Town Hall. On Wednesday, a federal judge dismissed Trump’s lawyer’s attempts to have the second lawsuit dismissed. On the subject of the classified documents, CNN this week obtained and released a damning audio recording in which Trump can be heard showing classified documents relating to battle plans against Iran to a staffer whilst admitting he no longer had the presidential privilege to do so.
There were a series of very positive polls across several states for the Trump campaign this week. In Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina the picture seems consistently rosy, with leads between 23 and 45 points. DeSantis remains the main (albeit distant) challenger in all states with Chris Christie, Mike Pence, Tim Scott and Nicki Haley being the only other candidates in this bloated primary field to hit numbers higher than 5% (but none except DeSantis hitting double figures in any poll). The national picture remains pretty stable with Trump’s lead having grown by another point to 28.2 points.
As the all the campaigns ramp up operations around him, Donald Trump continues to operate a light schedule with large events taking place about once a week. Currently there are two more Trump events in the diary – in Pickens, SC and Council Bluffs, IA on the 1st and 7th of July respectively. Regardless of the seemingly endless legal trouble, this strategy seems to be doing the job as polling remains dominant and stable even as the likes of Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Mike Pence turn up the attacks.