Trump’s blog shuts down due to low readership, but his hold over the GOP remains

Trump’s blog shuts down due to low readership, but his hold over the GOP remains
Source: Octavio Jones, Reuters
Even though he was banned from social media platforms, Trump’s voice remains very dominant within the Republican Party.

  • Former President Donald Trump gained a lot of notoriety from his social media pages, with tens of millions of people following him on his Twitter account and millions on Facebook.
  • But after the insurrection at the Capitol Building on January 6, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter banned Trump for inciting the crowd.
  • Still, even though he was banned from these platforms, Trump’s voice remains very dominant within the Republican Party.

What happened to Trump’s blog?

  • Trump started his own webpage, a blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” but the page didn’t get anywhere near the same level of attention his other social media accounts received.
  • With data-collection help from BuzzSumo, NBC News found that the blog “attracted a little over 212,000 engagements, defined as backlinks and social interactions — including likes, shares and comments” on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  • That’s not much for a former president, particularly when compared to the immense popularity of Trump’s former Twitter account.
  • Just take Trump’s tweet announcing his diagnosis of COVID-19 in October 2020 as an example – it received more than 394,000 retweets, 483,000 quote tweets and 1.6 million likes on the same day.
  • So when confronted with these low numbers, Trump and his team decided to stop blogging.
  • So yeah, Trump’s blog is gone, but Trump himself is still a massively popular figure within the Republican Party.
  • This bucks the historical trend, which sees one-term presidents usually sliding away into obscurity and being replaced by others in the party. But that doesn’t look to be happening here.
  • When asked who they believe the “true President” to be in a poll by Ipsos/Reuters released at the end of May, 53% of Republicans answered Donald Trump.
  • At the same time, Republican candidates looking to run in the 2022 elections are doing their best to ally themselves with the former president so they can get the votes of his supporters. Candidates like Glenn Youngkin, who’s running for governor of Virginia, and Josh Mandel, who’s running for a Senate seat in Ohio, are echoing Trump’s rhetoric about election security and its threat to democracy.
  • Even those Republicans who don’t mention Trump by name know the importance of getting his endorsement and as a result many are repeating Trump’s claims that the last election was “stolen” from him.

How is Trump staying relevant when he can’t use social media?

  • On Saturday, June 5, in one of his first public speaking events since he left office, Trump spoke at a North Carolina Republican Party convention in a rally aimed at helping Republican candidates in 2022.
  • Many Republicans hoped his speech would focus on helping elect new Republicans or on Democrats’ weaknesses, but for the most part Trump continued to echo what he’s been saying since he lost the election.
  • “That election will go down as the crime of the century,” he said to the crowd, “and our country is being destroyed by people who perhaps have no right to destroy it.”
  • Even if that sort of rhetoric annoyed some Republican political strategists, it definitely appealed to the former president’s supporters. Trump received a standing ovation when he suggested China should pay the United States US$10 trillion in “reparations” for COVID-19.
  • This was just the first in what is expected to be many summer stops for Trump, who many believe is already building up support for another presidential run in 2024.

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