UVA Center for Politics reacts to CNN's Town Hall with Trump
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- On Wednesday night, CNN hosted a town hall with former President Donald Trump.
One purpose of the event was to give him a chance to appeal to undecided voters, but a political analyst says most voters have already made their minds up about Trump.
Instead, Trump used this CNN event to rile up his base again.
"Donald Trump, for better or worse has been the dominant figure in American politics for the past six to eight years. He is not going to change," said J. Miles Coleman with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Trump's first appearance on CNN since 2016 lasted for about an hour, and Coleman thinks it was a mistake for the network.
"This was a bad train wreck for CNN," he said.
CNN’s Kaitlyn Collins pressed Trump on topics such as his recent criminal indictments, being found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, the Russia-Ukraine War, and more.
An audience made up of Republicans and undecided voters was also able to ask questions.
"When you are going to put Trump in a room with 200 Trump supporters, it’s a big miscalculation from CNN. It was almost in kind to a contribution to the Trump campaign," Coleman said.
The lack of a diverse audience encouraged the former president to appeal to his own base.
"We almost saw a comedy routine," Coleman said.
Coleman said it seemed like Trump was vindicated by the laughter and responses from the audience and thinks it was reminiscent of the 2016 presidential debates when Trump would make jokes about other candidates.
He also said the event Wednesday night may not even help Trump appeal to swing voters.
"He's been around so long, you either like him or you don't by this point. There are very few people who are undecided," Coleman said.
Coleman said Democrats did benefit from his appearance because when it comes time for the general election, they will have more ammo to use in their attack ads.