Editor’s Note: This was a popular story with our readers when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.
Back during the 2016 election, one of the first things we noticed here at The Western Journal that told us the conventional wisdom of Clinton handily beating Trump might be wrong was the size of the crowds both candidates were drawing.
Yes, Trump was down big in all the polls, but measuring enthusiasm in the polls is a trickier beast. And anyone could turn on the news every day and see Trump rallies with tens of thousands of people and compare them with Hillary events, which were routinely outdrawn by World Team Tennis matches.
That wasn’t terribly scientific and correlation isn’t causality, but it was clear to see that Trump had an enthusiastic base even as his party leadership wasn’t particularly jazzed about him, while Hillary had almost no base but a party apparatus seemingly convinced they were dealing with the reincarnation of Cincinnatus.
This week, we couldn’t help but notice the attendance battle of two presidents — and what it could say about the 2018 midterms.
On Monday, President Donald Trump visited the Toyota Center in Houston to stump for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. While the center could only fit 18,000 people, over 77,000 applied for tickets.
This was the scene outside of the venue on Monday evening:
The president also posted some pictures of his own:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018
In Nevada, meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen is locked in a tight race with incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, for Heller’s Senate seat. We’ve seen a lot of national figures out there in recent weeks, including Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
However, on Monday, the Dems brought out their biggest name, former President Barack Obama. He went to Nevada’s biggest city. He picked a small venue. He still couldn’t fill it:
2,000 in the crowd for Pres Obama & Jacky Rosen at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavillion in Vegas pic.twitter.com/3fIFB4vsj0
— Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) October 22, 2018
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) October 23, 2018
2000 at Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas which has seating capacity of 2500-3100. Couldn’t even fill it with help of special guests J Balvin, Salt-N-Pepa featuring DJ Spinderella, and DJ D-Miles https://t.co/6LSmXeIxjE
— dani (@southerntadpole) October 23, 2018
In all fairness, there aren’t a whole lot of things I wouldn’t do to avoid Salt-N-Pepa, at least in space year 2018; there’s nothing I want to see less than a few 50-somethings performing “Shoop,” even if it’s the people that originally performed it.
However, I don’t think that was necessarily to blame for the failure of Obama’s speech. Consider the fact that Biden, the putative Democrat frontrunner in 2020, drew even fewer in Las Vegas.
Trump, meanwhile, drew considerably better in Nevada — in Elko, a city of 18,000. See if you can find a whole lot of reports about any of this attendance asymmetry, however.
We’re not saying this is an absolute sign that conventional wisdom is wrong. After all, the sample size is exceptionally small here.
However, history can repeat itself — and, if the Democrats don’t retake either house of Congress, we can perhaps point to this handy enthusiasm metric as being more worthwhile than the media gives it credit for.
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