MINOT, N.D. — Since the 2016 election, North Dakota has been one of the most consistently pro-Trump states in the union. Even now, according to polling data from multiple surveys that I’ve seen but am not at liberty to share in detail, the disgraced former president remains popular among North Dakotans.

But is there evidence that Trumpism has gone a bit moldy?

Trump’s rallies — featuring the man himself doing his insult comedy routine at the podium surrounded by various hangers-on and wannabes — have been a key to his success as a politician. This weekend, in Arizona, he held his first rally of 2022, and his first since the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot which saw his supporters storm the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

I watched, and have read the various accounts, and couldn’t help but feel a sense of ennui.

Columnist Matt Lewis, who circa 2004 was a campaign manager for North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Duane Sand, had a similar reaction. “Call it the Andrew Dice Clay conundrum,” he writes for the Daily Beast. “If your entire schtick is based on shock value, eventually the audience grows inured, and the lack of substance becomes embarrassingly plain.”

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