Former President Donald Trump is set to resume in-person rallies, with plans to host events as early as next month.
Although the dates, locations and theme of the rallies have not yet been formalized, Trump is tentatively planning two events in June, with at least one additional rally planned for the month of July. The Daily Mail first reported on Trump’s plans to resume his rallies, which an adviser to the former president later confirmed.
With most of his accounts on social media indefinitely or permanently suspended, Trump’s rallies could become the main vehicle for him to disseminate his messages if they are picked up by broadcast or social media networks. Trump has attempted to start up his own website, where he delivers tweet-like remarks in the form of blog posts, but its rate of success has been dismal compared to his previous reach on social media.
It’s likely, however, that some networks will choose not to air Trump’s rallies live, as many did during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic and after the 2020 presidential election, in order to avoid providing a platform for false information.
Last week, Trump’s hold on Republican politicians was evident, as the GOP conference in the House of Representatives voted to strip Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) of her leadership position over her insistence that Biden had legitimately won the 2020 presidential race against Trump. With rallies scheduled for next month, Trump will be addressing his base directly, which could discourage Republicans from standing up to his “big lie.”
On the other hand, it’s possible that Trump’s rallies could have a detrimental effect on the Republican party, as the former president is known for making outlandish claims and controversial statements — the very type of behavior that may have contributed to his loss in last year’s race. In that sense, Trump’s endorsement could be a liability for some GOP candidates in 2022.
If Trump continues to push lies about election fraud, it may cause his base of supporters to distrust the democratic process altogether, in turn discouraging them from voting in the 2022 midterms, much like what may have happened in Georgia during the Senate runoff races earlier this year.
“This could cost the Republicans the majority in the House in 2022,” veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz recently said. “What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it’s not worth it to vote. … And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats’ arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022.”
In a post he published to his website over the weekend, Trump celebrated polling data that showed two-thirds of Republicans believed the 2020 election outcome was illegitimate.
“I agree with them 100%, just look at the facts and the data — there is no way [Biden] won the 2020 Presidential Election!” Trump errantly claimed, providing no facts or data in his post to back up his argument.