Ever since Trump held his first MAGA rally in 2016, he has never had to try to fill seats. Tens of thousands of patriotic, conservative Americans willingly trekked from far and wide to nearby states to hear the then-presidential nominee speak. Trump successfully swayed the silent majority in his favor with charismatic “winning” speeches, promises of restoring American greatness, and vows to “Drain the Swamp.” Over the course of the past six months, however, the unprecedented events that have overtaken our way of life are calling into question how the president’s momentum will be affected for the 2020 election. Will the Democrats’ failed impeachment, the coronavirus pandemic, and the race riots ruin Trump’s chances of winning?
On Saturday night, Trump’s rally numbers dropped steeply below campaign expectations at his first KAG rally since before the lockdowns at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa city officials say there were about 6,500 rally-goers in attendance, whereas the Trump campaign argues there were at least 10,000. Either way, it did not look good for the president as far as optics. The lower levels of the BOK center, which seats 19,000, were packed to the brim, while the upper levels were eerily empty. The turnout was drastically lower than expected considering the KAG campaign boasted over a record-breaking one million ticket requests.
Although there were thousands of attendees, the mainstream media took the photo of the seemingly half-empty stadium and ran with it. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster more than 30 people to attend his rinky-dink rallies, but that’s neither here nor there. All weekend, the media smeared Trump’s rally, making it seem like his campaign’s momentum is severely suffering.
While optically it may seem that way, I strongly disagree that this is the case. Similar to how the economy and jobs report did far better than expected immediately following May lockdowns, I think the momentum for Trump’s campaign is greater than ever. Considering that the pandemic and riots were out of Trump’s hands, there is no reason to believe his supporters would be any less enthused than they were at the beginning of the year. In fact, I would argue they will be even more motivated to come out in support of the president. While you could argue Trump could have done things differently or handled the situation better, everyone admits that 2020 has been unprecedented. Even Democrats were praising Trump’s reaction to certain situations—although you likely didn’t hear much about that. Prior to the pandemic, unemployment rates were at historic lows, the economy was booming, and we were headed toward great times. And we will be back to that place again soon.
The Media Constructed A Poor Turnout
Trump supporters are smart. They understand the games the media plays and they understand the lengths to which the Left will go to destroy everything Trump stands for. However, his rally was held in Oklahoma. Anyone who knows the Tulsa area, or Oklahoma in general, knows that people who live there are very conservative, both politically and in how they live their lives.
Generally, Oklahomans are cautious people and they will do anything to ensure their families are safe. If they thought for a second that their family might be in danger by their attending a Trump rally during this tumultuous time, they would easily choose not to go, despite their love of what the president stands for. Family and safety come first. Given the history of Juneteenth, the association with the Tulsa massacre on “Black Wall Street,” the BLM counter-protest, and the lingering coronavirus fears, many probably elected to stay home.
To the naysayers who think coronavirus wouldn’t play a part in Trump’s turnout, it likely did. Interestingly, the media said cases were “spiking” just ahead of the rally. It would be exactly something the Left-controlled MSM would do to fearmonger Oklahomans into staying home. Guess what – they are now saying cases are spiking in Arizona too – which is Trump’s next rally location. Is coronavirus stalking Trump?
While conservatives have been the most skeptical of the government’s response to the pandemic and distrust many of the mandates, most of them acknowledge that coronavirus is real and it’s still a big concern for them. Even if they don’t think they’ll get it themselves, they don’t want to potentially put their loved ones at risk.
Furthermore, the media is good at painting Trump and his supporters as racist. Then you have Oklahomans who are very sensitive to race. They know many people think of the Midwest as a place rampant with racism – although that is largely untrue. The last thing they want is to have their friends and family turn against them over that. BLM protests turn violent almost every time and those same people held a counter-protest at the rally venue, posing a potential threat for any in attendance.
The Perfect Storm
All things considered, this rally was a big risk for people. Plus, it was the first rally after the pandemic. No one wants to be the guinea pig. A number of factors played into the smaller-than-usual rally turnout. The media’s games to deter turnout at Trump events are working and the Democrats are prolonging their race-baiting narrative for as long as humanly possible.
It may seem like the perfect storm for Democrats to construct an anti-Trump narrative, with a health crisis combined with high unemployment and police brutality, but I think it is working against them. Think about it: the Left wasn’t nearly as exposed in 2016 as they are now. If the silent majority swarmed the polls for Trump then, think what they would do now. Conservatives can see through the Left, and though they might now show it, that’s what scares Democrats so much. They feel they have to take it this far because they have no other options. The longer they let CHAZ go on, sidestep Constitutional rights, and attack law and order, the better it is for Trump because America will see how desperately we need a president who defends our country instead of destroying it.
Things may look bleak now, but we have five months until the election and Trump always comes out on top. That won’t stop now. I think as Americans become increasingly comfortable with leaving their house and being around others, Trump’s rallies will gradually start to fill out.