Trump’s Tulsa Oklahoma Campaign Rally: What went wrong?

Trump's Campaign Manager Brad Parscale noted at some point that registration to attend the rally had surpassed 800,000. He said with heightened enthusiasm that this would be the “Biggest data haul and rally sign-up of all time” As it turned out most of those requesting for tickets to attend the rally, were part of the TikTok crowd with no plans to attend the rally, it was later discovered.

Trump’s Tulsa Oklahoma Campaign Rally: What went wrong?
Sea of empty seats at Trump's Tulsa Rally

According to many published reports, the President was angry at the first campaign show in Tulsa with a sea of empty seats at the Tulsa arena, the venue for Trump’s first campaign rally in the era of Coronavirus. The brunt of Trump’s anger understandably was directed at his campaign manager Brad Parscale. From all accounts the arena was half-empty the original plan was to carry over the overfill crowd to an outside stage when the arena was full to capacity. That plan was scrapped.

Six members of Trump’s campaign staff had tested positive for coronavirus before the rally and two more members also came down with the virus after the rally. All polls currently show that Trump’s campaign is far behind that of his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, suffices to say it was the same situation during the last presidential campaign against Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Trump still won the election on Electoral College votes, but fell short to Hillary Clinton on popular votes. Will history repeat itself again in 2020?

Many things went wrong on Trump’s Tulsa rally. First and foremost America is still struggling with Coronavirus pandemic, and many people are still scared of the possibility of contracting the virus at the closed Tulsa arena Trump’s campaign staff did not encourage the attendees to social distant and wear face masks. Although they passed out facemasks to anyone that asked for it, the official policy of the campaign is wearing a face mask at the arena is an optional left to individuals to make. Of course President Trump did not wear a face mask and everyone knows his position on that.

Trump at the Tulsa Rally

The arena has 20,000 seat capacity but only about 6,000 people were inside the arena according to Tulsa Fire Department. Trump’s campaign says about 12,000 people were at the arena. Whichever way one looks at it the crowd at the venue was largely below the estimates projected by the Campaign. White House Press Secretary speaking about Trump’s reaction over the rally said, “He’s quite pleased with how the rally went” but sources close to the campaign said that Trump's campaign have already started thinking on how they can change things to avoid a repeat of what happened in Tulsa.

Attendees of the rally were made to sign not to sue the Campaign if they contract coronavirus at the rally. That may have kept away many older supporters of Trump who had to weigh the risks of attending the rally in light of their older age and pre-existing conditions.

The fear of resurging Coronavirus was instrumental as Public Health officials in the United States continue to warn about the dangers of assembling in large crowds with no adherence to social distancing and wearing face masks. Some political campaign experts pointed to a major mistake of the campaign by over-promising and under-delivering as one of the big problems any political campaign can run into.

With the surging coronavirus and the US economy in recession, the scene has vastly changed for Trump’s campaign who is trailing Joe Biden in all US Polls including conservative polls undertaken by pro-Trump’s media organizations like Fox News. Many Republicans believe that the only factor that can turn things around for the Trump’s Campaign will be a turnaround in the US economy

There are some fall-outs from the nationwide demonstrations resulting from the Minneapolis killing of George Floyd and the handling of the matter by the Trump administration with particular reference to the tear-gas assault of peaceful demonstrators at the Washington Park just to clear the path for the President to hold up a Bible in front of the historic St John Church.

Before the Tulsa rally Trump’s campaign proclaimed that about 1 million people had requested for tickets to attend the rally partly to help the President move past the fallouts from the nationwide civil rights protests largely driven by “Black Lives Matter “ movement, which had increasingly turned into a rally for racial injustice and against Trump. Andrew Bates, spokesperson for Joe Biden said, “Donald Trump has abdicated leadership and it is no surprise that his supporters have responded by abandoning him” he added.

TikTok troll of Trump’s Campaign

Many of the 1 million people who had registered to attend the Trump rally in Tulsa did so as a plot to defy the President by misleading him and his campaign to think that he had a lot of people planning to attend the event. This led the campaign to set up a plan to move the excess fans to an outside stage when the arena was full. At some point registration to attend the rally surpassed 800,000 and Trump’s Campaign Manager , Brad Parscale described with enthusiasm, that this is the “Biggest data haul and rally sign-up of all time” As it turned out most of those requesting tickets to attend the rally, had no plans to attend, it was later on discovered. The founder of TikTok later said she has plans to use her newfound TikTok platform a lot more in the months leading to the November Presidential election. Now you know the rest of the story.

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Paul Oranika
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