Many Vivek Ramaswamy-curious voters have something in common: They’re actually backing Trump

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Vivek Ramaswamy appeared at 11 public occasions in New Hampshire over Labor Day weekend, following a dozen stops in Iowa final week. He spoke to packed audiences all through the packed schedule, reflecting rising curiosity in his presidential marketing campaign for the reason that August debate.

Lots of the attendees curious to be taught extra about Ramaswamy had one factor in widespread past their curiosity in him: They plan to vote for former President Donald Trump.

The feelings shared in additional than two dozen voter interviews throughout 5 Ramaswamy occasions illustrate the central downside for the Republican presidential discipline: They’re competing for votes with a candidate whom nearly each Republican voter supported 4 years in the past. But it surely’s an particularly key concern for Ramaswamy, whose marketing campaign is so intently modeled after Trump in each coverage and elegance.

About half of those that spoke to NBC Information mentioned they plan to assist Trump. Granite State voter Bob Landry, who listened to Ramaswamy converse in North Conway, New Hampshire, is leaning towards Trump in 2024 as a result of “he is aware of the place all of the our bodies are buried,” he mentioned.

Robert Geoffroy, who heard Ramaswamy converse on the Salem GOP Labor Day Picnic in New Hampshire, is satisfied Trump is “the man.” Operating in opposition to the previous president, Geoffroy mentioned, is “like going in opposition to Hulk Hogan.”

“There are a number of issues I agree with him” on, Anyang Thiep mentioned about Ramaswamy after attending his city corridor in Hampton, New Hampshire. “However I’m a Trump supporter. So I’m planning to assist Donald Trump.”

Lilly Becanze listened to Ramaswamy converse on the Lancaster Honest. She informed NBC Information that she can be supporting Trump however wish to see Ramaswamy within the vice chairman place, including, “The 2 of them collectively could be superb and that’s what lots of people need.”

However for a lot of, like Norma Latona, it might take “some actual persuasion” to get her to vote for Ramaswamy over Trump. “I feel he’s kind of a clone of Trump in a number of methods, even his promoting, his emails,” she informed NBC Information.

Latona says she loves Trump’s insurance policies however is attempting to maintain an open thoughts this election cycle.

Even with the expansion he’s skilled over the past month, polling reveals that loads of folks serious about Ramaswamy aren’t planning to vote for him — no less than not but.

The NBC Information/Des Moines Register/Mediacom ballot carried out in Iowa final month, for instance, confirmed Ramaswamy at 4% assist within the GOP caucuses there. However one other 30% of Republicans mentioned Ramaswamy was both their second selection or a candidate they had been contemplating supporting.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur is conscious that the general public at his occasions are or have been supporters of the previous president. So is he: Through the first presidential major debate in Milwaukee final month, Ramaswamy mentioned, “President Trump, I consider, was one of the best president of the twenty first century.”

When voters ask Ramaswamy why he’s operating in opposition to Trump, he assures them the previous president can be a senior adviser, with strains like, “I count on President Trump to function certainly one of my most significant, in all probability my most significant adviser and mentor after I’m within the White House.”

Talking to reporters following a city corridor occasion in Laconia, New Hampshire, Ramaswamy mentioned the way in which to show Trump followers into Ramaswamy voters is “regularly.”

“We shouldn’t be speaking about ‘which individual’ but,” Ramaswamy mentioned, emphasizing that this a part of the marketing campaign remains to be about introductions versus locking supporters down. “We should always speak about who we’re. What can we stand for.”

In fact, there are many voters attending 2024 marketing campaign occasions in quest of a brand new candidate to assist, and Ramaswamy is interesting to them.

George Oliver informed NBC Information at a city corridor in North Conway that his prime candidate is Ramaswamy. Oliver mentioned he would vote for Trump within the basic election if he’s the Republican nominee, however not throughout the major.

“I don’t have a number of confidence in him, and particularly what’s occurring to him with all of the indictments,” Oliver defined.

New Hampshire voter Cynthia Perkins expressed her need for somebody new and thinks Ramaswamy is promising.

“I simply don’t desire a lame duck and I’d relatively anyone contemporary and new,” she mentioned, including, “And I just like the messaging that Vivek sends.” Perkins additionally likes former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, saying she wouldn’t vote for Trump within the basic election until he picked Ramaswamy or Haley for his ticket.