Donald Trump met with several Republican rivals today while attending the college football game in Iowa. This was one of the few visits so far that the former president has paid to the state where the first electoral convention for the next nomination year will be held.
Trump introduced himself to the state’s largest sports crowd at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, where Iowa State was hosting Iowa.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other candidates were also at the game, appearing on Face Time with elected officials and Iowa football fans.
Now, as the race gets its traditional post-Labor Day boost, Trump has largely avoided holding town hall meetings or participating in many of the state’s cherished campaign traditions, although he has not yet paid the price for doing so.
Trump continues to lead DeSantis and other rivals in Iowa and nationally.
The former president has made a habit of visiting Iowa on the same day as DeSantis, whom Trump sees as his biggest threat.
Both were in the stadium before the game began, reminiscent of a scene last month in which Trump managed to draw a large crowd at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while DeSantis spoke to a smaller audience.
Today, Trump left the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, a farmhouse in the middle of Iowa State’s fraternity and sorority district, where he met privately with students to the cheers of hundreds of people clamoring for a photo opportunity. The red brick house with the former president outside.
He stopped on the way out to sign autographs and give a few dozen soccer balls, which he threw into the crowd of students cheering him on before heading to the game.
However, Trump received some contempt throughout the day. As his motorcade drove to the university campus before the game, some football fans walking the streets of Ames made profane gestures as he drove.