Former President Donald Trump will lead the first two rallies of his 2024 presidential campaign this weekend in an effort to invigorate his next bid for the White House. It comes as he faces ongoing criminal investigations and the fallout from disastrous 2022 midterms for the GOP that many placed at Trump's feet.
Trump headed to New Hampshire on Saturday, during which he gave a speech that TIME said was filled with "hour-long, stream-of-conscious remarks that seemed vamped." He then traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, for an official campaign event, during which he will introduce his "leadership team" in the state.
New Hampshire and South Carolina are key early-voting states for both parties.
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Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, told The Washington Post the South Carolina event "will show the significant support he has from grassroots leaders to elected officials."
A poll cited by The Hill from the conservative South Carolina Policy Council found only 37 percent of the state's likely GOP primary voters said they would cast a ballot for Trump, compared to 47 percent who said they'd prefer someone else. Trump still has support among some key South Carolina politicians, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R). Some polls also show him slightly ahead in a hypothetical matchup with President Biden.
Trump launched his 2024 run more than two months ago, but Saturday marked his first official campaign event. When asked how Trump's campaign was going, Terry Sullivan, the campaign manager for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's (R) presidential bid in 2016, replied, "What campaign?"
Jan. 28, 2023: This article has been updated with new information about Trump's speech.
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