Oct 12, 2016 12:57 AM GMT
NYT: A day after Mr. Trump defended himself at the second presidential debate for making vulgar comments about women, amid a wave of polls showing an increasing lead for Hillary Clinton, thousands of Trump supporters turned out with undimmed fervor for the Republican nominee and optimism about his electoral prospects.
They reiterated Mr. Trump’s claim that national polls showing him behind by double digits were “rigged” and that he was heading to victory in November.
His supporters routinely pointed, as the nominee did, to the huge crowds still flocking to see him as evidence that his campaign remains strong.
Mr. Trump was in high spirits on Monday night in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the heart of a largely white, blue-collar region that he has visited regularly, running a campaign sustained by a visceral feel for his audience while ignoring abstractions like data and research.
“I think the state of Pennsylvania, we’re going to win so big,” he said. A New York Times polling average shows Mrs. Clinton 7.2 percentage points ahead in the state.
As he spoke, Katie Packer, a strategist for Mitt Romney in 2012, posted a photograph on Twitter of 30,000 people at an Ohio rally four years ago a week before Mr. Romney’s defeat. “None of the Trump crowds so far in the general election surpass what we regularly had in ’12,” Ms. Packer wrote. “They are so naïve.”