Amid news that he is slipping in a number of national polls, Donald Trump appeared at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Monday afternoon to rally supporters and tell them he thinks he’s still on top.
“We’re winning,” Trump told a standing-room-only crowd after making his way onto the stage just after 3 p.m.
The rally came just one day after Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on “Meet the Press” and told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “We are behind.” The remark was in response to results from an ABC News tracking poll that showed Trump trailing Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by 12 points.
Not to be deterred, Trump told supporters at the Monday rally that the Investors Business Daily tracking poll, which he touted as “the most accurate poll from the last three presidential elections,” had him up two points over Clinton.
But that poll, updated early Monday morning, showed Trump and Clinton locked in a dead-heat at 41 percent each.
A Real Clear Politics average of national polls (which includes both the Investors Business Daily poll and ABC News) has Clinton leading Trump by 5 points. Of the nine polls used in the average, only the Rasmussen Reports poll shows Trump leading. On Monday, he was up 43 to 41 in that poll.
Held on the day early voting began in St. Johns County, the rally at the Amphitheatre was clearly intended to motivate supporters to get to the polls and vote.
Duval County GOP chair, Cindy Graves, told supporters that, with a strong turnout in the northern part of the state, Republicans could “wipe out South Florida” and secure Florida’s electoral votes for Trump. She urged those in attendance to make sure they got friends and other supporters to vote by Nov. 8.
“It’s up to you to start your own personal campaign,” she said.
Graves was among a number of speakers to appear before Trump took the stage. Others included St. Johns County Republican Party chair, Bill Korach; Rep. Ron DeSantis; Republican hopeful for the 4th Congressional District and former Jacksonville Sheriff, John Rutherford; and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The speakers railed against President Barack Obama’s administration, the Affordable Care Act and the Clinton email server controversy that has dogged her campaign for more than a year.
Once he made his way to the stage, Trump spent about 20 minutes of his 45 minutes attacking Clinton and the “corrupt system” that he claims is shoring up her campaign.
“The system is corrupt, and it’s rigged, and it’s broken,” Trump said as the crowd shouted “corrupt media” and “the media is corrupt.”
Trump called members of the media “thieves” and “crooks” as the crowd turned to reporters and photographers in the press area and booed.
“Without the dishonesty and deceit of the media, Hillary Clinton would be nothing,” he said.
“The media isn’t just against me,” he added later. “They are against all of you.”
As he wound down his attacks, Trump shifted to listing what he plans to do if voters send him to the Oval Office. Among those promises were a Constitutional amendment to impose term limits, a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, labeling China a “currency manipulator” and repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act which is often referred to as “Obamacare.”
Immigration, which has been a hot-button issue for his campaign, also got some attention with Trump promising the “suppression of the Syrian refugee program” as well as canceling federal funding for “sanctuary cities” and removing “criminal aliens” from the country.
Later in his remarks, responding to shouts from crowd, Trump also renewed his promise to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We’re going to build a wall, don’t worry about it,” he said.
As he wrapped up his remarks, Trump promised to strengthen the country’s military, support law enforcement and select justices for the U.S. Supreme Court “in the mold of Justice (Antonin) Scalia,” before reiterating the calls for voters to hit the polls.
“With a victory in November, everything will change,” Trump said. “Leave here today and vote.”