President Trump has big rallies. He always has. He talks about his rallies, especially the size, every time he has one. He even talks about them when he hasn’t had one in a while. It’s important, and not just for the sake of stroking his own ego.
Last night’s rally in New Hampshire was a standard gargantuan affair. This time, it actually made history by drawing the largest attendance ever at the venue, eclipsing the previous record held by an Elton John concert.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2019
One of the images the President Tweeted, which can be seen at the top of this article, shows thousands of people watching his speech. It’s more people than currently attend any of the Democrats’ rallies. But here’s the thing. These weren’t the attendees surrounding the President for his speech. This is the overflow, the people who couldn’t get inside because it filled up too quickly. They’re watching him from outside on the big screen.
Inside, there were many more people who were smart enough to get there earlier.
When the Democratic field is whittled down to two or three, we can expect the survivors to have bigger crowds than they’re getting now. Bernie Sanders had famously large crowds when he was running, but at the time he was the only socialist and most of America hadn’t even heard of the candidates other than Hillary Clinton. This time, his crowds are modest by comparison because he’s splitting the socialists with Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and to some extent Pete Buttigieg.
But it’s important and quite telling that President Trump is still getting such large crowds coming out to see him. There are three small reasons for this and one huge one. The three small reasons are:
- Optics: Nothing gives the visual of a “winner” like a huge crowd of supporters.
- Buzz: Today, tens of thousands of people are going to talk about how great the rally was or how they had to watch it from outside. Either way, the stories being told will spread across New Hampshire.
- Confidence: Seeing rallies like these, whether in person, in replay, or on articles like this one, give the confidence voters need to hand over their hard-earned money in the form of campaign contributions. Moreover, it eases concerns of voters sitting on the fence that they’re not considering backing a lost cause.
These three are all important, but there’s a much bigger reason President Trump’s huge rallies are so important. They drive the passion necessary to win a presidential election. The base needs to be energized, and rallies do the trick. As these supporters feel the energy, they’re able to spread it. I hate to sound like Marianne Williamson talking about spirit and energy and other new age gobbledygook, but campaign passion is a real phenomenon that’s necessary to drive the base to do more than just vote. It mobilizes the campaign troops, so to speak, and fills them with the Trump juice the need in order to spread his message to friends, family, and even strangers.
The last president to win an election even though his base was not passionate was Lyndon B. Johnson. But like George H. W. Bush, Johnson still had a passionate base, just not for him. They loved John F. Kennedy just as they loved Ronald Reagan. Both Bush and Johnson won an election riding the wave of passion carried over from their predecessor. Neither won again.
Right now, there are two conflicting passions. One supports President Trump. One opposes him. But none of the candidates are generating enough passion on their own. If all they have is anti-Trump passion devoid of passion for the candidate, none of them have a chance of beating him in 2020. Right now, the only passionate support seems to be for Andrew Yang, and that passionate base is very small. All of the other candidates are still busy convincing people they can defeat President Trump while ignoring the need to drive passion about what they’ll do instead. Even the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, and gun control are only energizing the far left base. Every other Democrat is scratching their collective heads.
Let legacy media and the Democrats downplay the size of President Trump’s rallies until they’re blue in the face. It’s their mistake and as long as they think size doesn’t matter, they’ll continue down the road towards losing big time to the GOP in 2020.
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