Donald Trump storms into West Virginia for his first rally since becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a rally Thursday evening in the capital of the coal-mining state where Trump has become hugely popular, on his promise to bring back lost jobs to the stricken region.
Scroll down this page to view the full replay of Thursday’s Donald Trump rally in Charleston, West Virginia.
One thing that West Virginia voters will not hear the Thursday rally — music by the Rolling Stones, who have instructed Donald Trump to stop using their recording at his rallies.
Rolling Stones ask Donald Trump to stop using their music https://t.co/wlMUObeAgP
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 5, 2016
After he won a resounding victory with 53.3 percent of the vote in the Indiana primary on Tuesday, clobbering rival Ted Cruz by nearly 17 percentage points, with Ohio Governor John Kasich garnering only 7.5 percent, Trump now finds himself the lone candidate standing.
Both Cruz and Kasich dropped their bids for the Republican nomination in the aftermath of Tuesday’s drubbing.
With West Virginia holding its primary election the following Tuesday, May 10, both Cruz and Kasich certainly saw that they would suffer yet another devastating defeat, further destroying their argument that either one should be selected as the Republican nominee over Trump.
Donald Trump is wildly popular among West Virginia GOP voters, earning a massive 61 percent of voter support in a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling. In that same poll, conducted prior to the Indiana primary, Cruz pulled in only 22 percent of West Virginia voters, while Kasich polled at an anemic 14 percent.
Trump’s favorability rating is at a whopping 67 percent in the state— meaning that two of three West Virginia Republican voters have a positive impression of Donald Trump.
Compare that number to national polls of all voters, which give Trump a “favorable” rating of just 28.4 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, with a nationwide average “unfavorable” rating of 65.4 percent — a staggering number for a national presidential candidate.
Watch a full replay of the Donald Trump victory speech after his win in the Indiana primary on Tuesday, in the video below.
To watch a full replay of the Donald Trump rally at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia, click on the video below. The festivities are scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Pacific, on Thursday, May 5.
Trump may also have trouble gaining support from within his own party. The only two living Republican former presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, have both said that they will not endorse Trump for president.
Neither of the only two living former Republican presidents of the United States will endorse Donald Trump. https://t.co/6lbvMSdXxy
— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) May 5, 2016
Perhaps more importantly, rank-and-file Republican voters appear to be abandoning Trump in significant numbers, with a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday showing that 28 percent of self-described conservative voters say that they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump on November 8.
Conservative voters – TONS are saying they will leave and vote Clinton pic.twitter.com/RCEg6aV3Hm
— Benchmark Politics (@benchmarkpol) May 4, 2016
Numerous Republican elected officials have said that they will “support” Trump but will refuse to “endorse” him, though whether there is any practical difference between the two positions is unclear.
On the other hand, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who supported Cruz in the primary, believes that Republicans will eventually come around to Trump, even if they find him personally distasteful.
“There will be some that will take days and weeks to realize that there are two choices and that it’s between Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee, which most of us believe will be Hillary Clinton,” Bryant told The New York Times. “Realistically, and I think Republicans are realists, this is an opportunity to have a Republican president sitting in the Oval Office.”
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Though his nomination is now certain, Donald Trump has chosen to remain on the campaign trail, with another rally scheduled for Friday, a rally that will stream live from Omaha, Nebraska.
[Featured Photo By Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images]