After the disappointing turnout in Tulsa, President Trump’s aides are debating what his signature campaign rallies will look like going forward, people familiar with the matter say.
There had once been plans to announce another rally for the near future, perhaps as early as the next two weeks, but it now remains unclear when Trump will move forward with his signature political events. Some advisers suggested it could be weeks or even months before Trump attempts another rally, though as of this morning no decisions had been made on how to proceed.
Few people around Trump believe rallies, the President’s political stock-in-trade, will be eliminated altogether. But the empty seats and vacant overflow lot in Tulsa were an indication to those around Trump that their formula needs rethinking during the continuing pandemic and an altered political landscape.
There are discussions about finding outdoor venues where supporters might feel safer convening, the people familiar said. CNN reported Sunday a campaign source suggested holding more airport hangar rallies — a common feature of Trump’s last campaign.
Other officials acknowledged that Tulsa was a sign even Trump’s supporters remain wary of large crowds as coronavirus continues to spread — a reality that may force his campaign to book smaller venues for greatly-reduced audiences.
Whether Trump agrees to smaller rallies remains to be seen. One likelihood going forward: aides seem uniformly to believe that predicting massive turnout ahead of time is a mistake which only sets Trump and his team up for disappointment.
Trump's schedule this week: When the President speaks Tuesday in Phoenix it will be to a group of young supporters, not a rally, though aides are now working to ensure that event appears full. And Trump will visit Wisconsin on Thursday in an official capacity.