Trump rally sees “quite a few” leave early despite large crowd: Report
Former President Donald Trump‘s campaign rally in Waco, Texas Saturday saw “quite a few” of his supporters leave early despite drawing a large crowd, according to local media.
Thousands of Trump supporters flocked to the first rally of his presidential campaign in the Lone Star State, a traditionally conservative state viewed as potentially competitive in the 2024 race, Saturday night. During the rally, Trump addressed looming indictments in several investigations and hit out at his potential Republican opponents, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Trump supporters have viewed the rally as a substantial show of support from his voter base, as polls show him as the favorite to snag the GOP nomination, despite concerns from some Republicans about his electability. His supporters have pointed to the large crowd size as evidence of his ongoing popularity among conservatives.
However, Waco Tribune journalist Mike Copeland reported that “quite a few fans did not last” until the end of the rally.
“About 30 minutes into the rally, the crowd began to thin, with people getting a head start on the walk back to the parking lots, designated and otherwise,” the report reads. “Several leaving early said they accomplished what they wanted to achieve by showing up for the rally, enduring traffic and long lines. Some said after hours on the tarmac, they were tired, hungry or both and wanted to get home.”
Others, however, pointed out that Trump still brought in a substantial crowd.
“In case the mainstream media tries to tell you no one showed up to Pres. Donald Trump’s Waco rally. You be the judge,” tweeted Daniel Baldwin, a reporter for the right-leaning One America News Network, alongside a video showing thousands of Trump supporters in the crowd before the rally.
“No other GOP candidate or would be candidate could pull this crowd hours before a rally. The polls reflect the momentum, and Trump is leading BIG,” tweeted GOP consultant Garret Ventry.
The exact number of attendees was not known Sunday evening, and Newsweek reached out to Waco police for comment. The rally comes after some Trump critics have questioned whether he could still draw massive crowds.
Trump, during his 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, held a series of large rallies for his supporters across the country, and he has often boasted about his ability to bring in large crowds. He also held rallies in support of his endorsed candidates prior to the 2022 midterms, but Saturday’s was the first since he announced his presidential bid last November.
Following Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican who supported Trump’s previous presidential bids, suggested his lack of presidential rallies could be due to his alleged inability to draw a large crowd earlier in March.
“You saw the scenes at CPAC. That room was half-full,” Christie said.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment via email.
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