PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — It was billed as a split screen proxy war in the desert: Donald Trump versus Mike Pence in a midterm election skirmish that would provide an early indication about the future of the GOP.
It ended up more like a varsity-JV scrimmage.
The Republican Party landscape, in Arizona at least, remains tilted sharply towards Trump. And those who came to watch the former president speak seemed to know it.
They rallied on Friday in a bunting-clad arena wearing “Still my president” T-shirts, offering wild conspiracies about the last election and certainty that Trump would win the next one.
For them, Pence — and every vestige of the old, establishment wing of the GOP — is in the past.
“He was a good guy,” one attendee said.
“I don’t have an opinion on [Pence],” said another, who was eager to persuade Trump to “head up a liquidation of the federal government” if elected.
Leaving the rally with her 11-year-old grandson — and stopping for a T-shirt that was