President Donald Trump departed Washington, D.C., with a row to hoe this past week as he returned to the campaign trail amid nationwide civil unrest and the lingering throes of a global pandemic.
Eager for a return to his signature, stadium-size campaign events after a roughly three-month hiatus, Trump was at odds with media naysayers and cautious public health experts as he rallied supporters in the southern battlegrounds of Oklahoma and Arizona.
Prominent conservative commentators and political figures, however, applauded Tuesday in the hours prior to the president’s headline appearance at a packed Students for Trump convention in Phoenix, telling The Western Journal there was no better time for the campaign — or the electorate — to receive a shot in the arm.
“[Trump] has to get the spirit of America up,” Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona said. “And that’s what he’s good at. He’s good at rallying. This is the fighter-in-chief.”
“The president has a unique skill-set of getting people ramped up and rallied. We have a little over 130 days left before we vote on Nov. 3, and so it’s important to feel that vibration, feel that new movement of getting back this country, making it great again and continuing to make it even greater,” Gosar said.
Trump’s Tuesday event filled Dream City megachurch to near-capacity with roughly 3,000 young attendees showing up to see the president speak, Politico reported, alongside GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Trump campaign senior advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump, Jr.
It fell just three days after the president’s comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, unexpectedly failed to fill the BOK Center’s 19,000 seats.
Coming in an economic and social climate that is largely unsuited for celebratory rallies, both events paled in comparison to the president’s pre-virus campaign stops in terms of crowd size. According to The Charlotte Observer, Trump’s March 2 rally at Bojangles’ Coliseum in North Carolina brought in roughly 10,000 attendees, including the overflow crowd.
Airing the more recent Tulsa rally on national television, however, Fox News reported its largest audience in network history Saturday night.
Viral transmission fears, an economy short roughly 40 million jobs and at-times violent nationwide anti-police protests have all been floated as potential reasons for the comparatively low in-person turnout.
Former Tuscon police officer and black conservative commentator Brandon Tatum, however, told The Western Journal he was less concerned with the attendance numbers.
“It’s very difficult to pack a house like this — especially during COVID-19,” Tatum said. “But young people can see the benefit of coming out and hearing the president speak, coming out and being a united front, and I think it’s impressive, in my personal opinion.”
Across the aisle, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has struggled with rally attendance since well before his campaign made the jump to social media events in light of the ongoing pandemic.
Reports seem to indicate some of Biden’s highest-performing rallies, including a recent primary victory night in Detroit and a Philadelphia campaign kickoff event in May 2019, have pulled in anywhere between 2,000 and 6,000 attendees.
Trump, for his part, has long been known for filling stadiums nationwide to standing-room-only and beyond.
According to Heavy.com, the president filled the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum to its 14,500-person maximum capacity for a rally in February, with thousands more viewing the event from screens outside the stadium.
“That’s how the president wins,” Tatum said. “It’s because he has energy. He has voter turnout, enthusiasm. Those things are important to the campaign.”
“People want to hear from the leader, right? We don’t want a leader that’s sitting in a basement waiting for talking points. We want a man that’s unafraid to come out on stage and speak to the people and talk about values,” he said.
At the time of this report, the president’s campaign schedule is clear until July, when the president will rally with Alabama’s U.S. Senate-hopeful Tommy Tuberville prior to the political upstart’s primary runoff battle with former Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.