Whether you want to thank crafty K-Pop stans or Joe Biden, one thing is clear: President Trump is slowly starting to flop, and Trumpland is panicking.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, his first major event since the covid-19 pandemic, had a total attendance of 6,200. This number pales in comparison to the expected turnout: The Trump campaign was certain they would fill the 19,000-seat arena, as well as an overflow area that Trump and Vice President Pence planned to offer warm-up speeches prior to the big event. Instead, the arena was less than half full and the overflow area was broken down when it was clear that there wouldn’t be enough attendees to fill it.
Needless to say, Trump is big mad.
From NBC News:
The president was fuming at his top political aides Saturday even before the rally began after his campaign revealed that six members of the advance team on the ground in Tulsa had tested positive for COVID-19, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said.
Trump asked those around him why the information was exposed and expressed annoyance that the coverage ahead of his mega-rally was dominated by the revelation.
“It’s politics 101: You under-promise and overdeliver,” a Trump ally said, conceding the missteps the Trump 2020 team took in the lead-up to the event by saying nearly 1 million people had responded to requests for admission.
Much of the blame is falling on campaign manager Brad Parscale, who in the days leading up the event aggressively touted the number of registrations, but those close to him stress that his job is safe, for now.
Several hundred or even thousands of young people—including K-pop stans and so-called “Tiktok Teens”—claimed to register for the event with no intention of attending, a move that surely helped turn the Tulsa event into a huge embarrassment. But they alone didn’t help Trump’s downfall: Covid-19 is still on the rise across the country, as are Joe Biden’s poll numbers. Biden is even starting to make some headway with Evangelicals, a voting block Trump cannot afford to lose.
Trump is struggling to make the case for why he should have a second term, and while the road to November is long and endlessly stupid, getting trolled by teens would be a hell of a way to go out.