RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Donald Trump, whose straight-talking style has shot him to the top of the Republican polls, will be in Raleigh Friday evening for a rally, according to a release from the Trump campaign.
Dorton Arena at 1025 Blue Ridge Road opens at 5 p.m. Friday and the event begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free and are available at TrumpRaleigh.Eventbrite.com.
Trump continues to run strong in the GOP race for the nomination and has polled well among Republicans in North Carolina. In an Oct. 27 poll by Public Policy Polling, 31 percent of North Carolina Republicans said they supported Trump, compared to 23 percent for Dr. Ben Carson. Sen. Marco Rubio is in third place at 11 percent.
Still, Trump’s campaign hasn’t appeared to flatten out in recent weeks.
“He has hecklers and protesters at most of his rallies now,” said David McLennan, a Meredith College professor.
Meredith’s McLennan said it will be interesting to see what topics Trump addresses Friday.
“He’s been talking a lot about foreign policy, Syrian refugees,” McLennan said. McLennan said Trump’s “bread and butter” issues had previously focused on the culture of Washington overall.
Trump’s tough stand on some immigration issues has been controversial. David Salazar, who was arrested in October outside the Executive Mansion for protesting a bill on sanctuary cities, said he planned to be at the rally to protest Friday.
“The fact that he says that we are all criminals, that we are all bad, we are none of that,” Salazar said. “We are none of what he says.”
Trump’s comments on Muslims and Islam have also rubbed people the wrong way.
“Some people are radicals, but not the faith itself,” said Mohamed Elgamal, Chairman of the Islamic Association of Raleigh.
Elgamal says Trump’s opinions on the religion and terrorism are divisive and untrue.
“We are against all sorts of terrorism as a religion and as individuals,” he said.
Elgamal also says that the call to halt immigration from Syria is too extreme.
“To forbid refugees to come from places like Syria is not American because this is our core values, American core values is to accept people who are in need,” he said.
Both Elgamal and McLennan agree, Trump’s speech in Raleigh should focus on more than the fight against terror.
“It can’t be all about bombing ISIS back to the stone age, or something along those lines. He’s got to really expand his repertoire of issues,” said McLennan.
Dorton Arena is located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.