Donald Trump Rally: News Coverage Focuses On A Surprising Twist: Lower-Than-Expected Turnout
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When President Donald Trump tried to take the stage at his high-profile rally in an indoor arena in Tulsa, OK, the focus in front of the media focused on empty seats and the cancellation plans for an outdoor speech for a crowded crowd.
"Smaller than expected, the crowd is pouring into the Tulsa rally," read CNNs Chyron on Saturday evening when Anker Wolf Blitzer concentrated on the empty spaces on the upper deck of the BOK Center, which seats 19,199 people.
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The crowd was still large for a campaign event, but it was nowhere near what had been charged. The campaign had more than 1 million ticket requests - knowing that the venue could never accommodate so many people - and raised the expectation that the event would fill the arena.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale also tweeted pictures of a stage built for the president to address a crowded crowd. But shortly before Trump was due to arrive in Tulsa, the campaign announced that the outdoor event had been canceled.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh blamed protesters and the media.
"Unfortunately, demonstrators disturbed the trailers and even blocked access to metal detectors, which prevented people from really entering the building," said Murtaugh. "Radical demonstrators coupled with a relentless rush of the media tried to scare the president's supporters. We are proud of the thousands who made it."
However, some reporters contested the notion that the demonstrators had a significant impact on the participants' entry into the arena, and found that the problem was that not enough people showed up. The campaign sent a text at the last minute to the supporters, notifying them that there was still space in the arena.
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Trump has focused on the crowd, including challenging reports of vacancies at previous rallies, and most of all, sending his first press spokesman Sean Spicer to the media to insist that the president have attracted “the greatest audience ever” Witness an initiation, period. "
The rally was seen as a way for Trump to get back on the campaign path, in a format he usually seems to enjoy in what his campaign called "Great American Comeback". His last rally was held on March 2nd in Charlotte. It is almost nine points behind Vice President Joe Biden in the Real Clear Politics poll.
Trump also sends a message of defiance in the midst of the corona virus, which has otherwise forced large events around the world to be canceled or postponed. Journalists have urged the White House and campaign officials to take security measures for the rally, as the state has reported an increase in some cases. As of Saturday, Tulsa County has the most cases from one state in the state - 2,206.
The campaign insisted that action be taken. The participants were offered masks and hand disinfectants and they were given the necessary temperature tests, but as many correspondents found in the arena, many participants did not wear them and were not socially distant.
On Saturday afternoon, the campaign announced that six employees had previously tested positive for corona virus and "quarantine procedures were implemented immediately". This raised concerns that the rally itself could be the source of a "super-spread" corona virus, more fuel as thousands crowded into an interior. The issue of masking against no mask has become a political statement as Trump has refused to wear one, and has even indicated that this is a sign of political correctness.
Murtaugh said in a statement: "At today's rally or near attendees and elected officials, no COVID-positive employees or individuals will be in direct contact."
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