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Trump to attend Iowa State Fair likely to steal spotlight from Republican rivals in 2024

By Tim Reid

(Reuters) – Donald Trump plans to attend the upcoming Iowa State Fair but will skip events with other Republican presidential candidates, an aide to the former president said Monday.

It was not clear until now that Trump, the runaway frontrunner for the Republican nomination, would attend the annual fair in the capital city of Des Moines, which runs from August 10 to August 20.

It attracted 1 million visitors last year and is a major venue for political candidates as they bring voters to justice in the state that opens the nomination contest in January.

Trump’s move to attend the event seems designed to take the spotlight away from the other Republican candidates, especially his closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is sinking in the polls and who is desperately trying recalibrate his campaign in the early voting states. of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Most of his rivals have agreed to be interviewed individually at the state fair by Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds between August 11 and 18, but Trump declined her invitation. Trump is angry about her public neutrality in the primary race and her performance with DeSantis at several of his events in Iowa.

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In 2015, early in his ultimately successful bid for the White House, and when most pundits rejected his campaign, Trump flew to the Iowa State Fair in a helicopter.

He was greeted enthusiastically by crowds, an early sign of the support that would propel him to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November 2016.

“Just as he had a great event in 2015, he will have a great event at the Iowa State Fair in 2023,” the aide told Reuters.

Trump is currently crushing his primary opposition. He’s about 30 points ahead of DeSantis, while the others are still down by single digits.

Trump has been telling the crowd in recent weeks that he sees no point in attending the first Republican debate on August 23 because he is so far ahead of the field.

The aide said Trump has not ruled out attending the debate, but that it is “unlikely that he will attend”.

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(Reporting by Tim Reid; editing by Jamie Freed)

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