November 26, 2023

Trump receives boisterous welcome at South Carolina-Clemson football game

College football is a favorite part of millions of Americans' Thanksgiving weekend plans, and this year, former President Donald Trump took part in that tradition by making an extremely well-received appearance at the University of South Carolina's game against Clemson on Saturday, as the Daily Mail reports.

Notably, Clemson is the alma mater of Trump's fellow GOP primary hopeful, former Gov. Nikki Haley, but at least from the reaction of the crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium, the former president was more than welcome in the Palmetto State.

Raucous reception

According to the Mail, Trump's arrival at the stadium sparked chants of “We want Trump! We want Trump!” as well as repeated shouts of “USA! USA!”

Trump was hosted at the game by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, and he was also in the company of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has long been an outspoken supporter of the former president.

Once halftime rolled around, Trump was ready to delight the crowd again, walking out onto the field to the sound of raucous cheers and applause.

However, not everyone in the immediate area was pleased to see Trump in town, with a number of electric billboards placed in locations across the state's capital city displaying messages the prodded the former president about his 2020 loss to Joe Biden and his ongoing legal troubles.

“You lost. You're guilty. Welcome to Columbia, Donald,” the signs read.

Haley on the march

Though Trump retains a massive lead in the GOP primary stakes at present, and while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was once viewed as the only Republican capable of giving him a real challenge for the nomination, Haley has recently emerged as a credible contender -- at least for second place in the race for the party's 2024 nod, as Fox News noted.

As the Associated Press recently reported, Haley is prepared to launch a $10 million advertising campaign in New Hampshire and Iowa beginning in early December, a strategy clearly motivated by a desire to overtake DeSantis' current runner-up status in the GOP primary contest.

The AP added that, according to AdImpact's tracking analysis of Haley's projected upcoming ad spend, the outlay amounts to more than five times the resources DeSantis has available to use over the same period of time.

Given his inability to gain a great deal of traction in relation to Trump, DeSantis has devoted much of his hope -- and his resources -- to the early caucus state of Iowa, but whether that effort is sufficient to keep Haley at bay is very much an open question.

Regardless, given Trump's sizable -- and seemingly untouchable -- lead in the Republican primary realm, not to mention the warm reception he received in Haley's home state this weekend, it is far from clear that any of the other candidates' initiatives will prove fruitful in the end.

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