Trump set for victory lap at Iowa rally

Posted at 2:24 PM, Jun 21, 2017

For weeks, President Donald Trump and his administration have felt bogged down and damaged by a seemingly endless barrage of inquiries and news reports linked to the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The appointment of a special counsel and indications that the investigation is inching closer to the President himself have hamstrung the administration's legislative efforts and damaged Trump's political capital.

But Wednesday, Trump will roll into this Iowan city on the banks of the Cedar River feeling none of those worries -- just the wind at his back as he rallies thousands of supporters in an arena here the day after a Republican candidate triumphed in a special election that Democrats had sought to turn into a referendum on the President.

On the eve of Trump's rally, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, denying Democrats the chance to flip a solidly Republican district on the hopes that Trump's rising unpopularity could sink congressional Republicans.

Trump made no secret of his glee.

"Thank you @FoxNews "Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election," Trump tweeted after the race was called.

"Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0," Trump tweeted in one of a half-dozen tweets about Tuesday night's contests, which also included a less-hyped race for a South Carolina congressional seat.

Trump's high spirits continued as he went about his duties Wednesday at the White House, a White House official said.

Like the other rallies Trump has held since taking office, Wednesday's event will serve to buoy the President's mood further, giving Trump an opportunity to revel in the applause of his base and connect with his supporters that are removed from Washington.

Still, the latest polling shows Trump teetering on the edge of that base of support -- with just 36% of Americans approving of his job as president, according to a CBS News poll released Monday.

Trump's rally on Wednesday will also serve as a send-off for his newly minted US ambassador to China, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who leaves for Beijing this week, said Michael Glassner, executive director of Trump's campaign committee.

Trump will also discuss rural education initiatives, Glassner said.

The rally will come after Trump visits a community college to highlight agricultural issues.