Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma didn’t quite turn out the way he and his supporters had hyped. After boasting close to a million RSVPs and building a massive outdoor stage to accommodate overflow, very few people actually showed up for the event. Some news outlets estimate the count to be around 10,000 — not close to enough to fill up even the indoor arena.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence reportedly cancelled their scheduled speeches to the “overflow” crowd after supporters failed to materialize.
An outdoor stage had been set up to accommodate the thousands who would otherwise not be able to fit inside the 19,000 seat BOK Center where the president put on his first rally since March. The Trump campaign said they had a million requests for tickets, however they were texting “There’s still space” to supporters just minutes before the rally was supposed to take place.
Outside of the arena, six blocks were blocked off by police for the expected crowds, but it was devoid of people. Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s speeches were cancelled by the campaign.
The Trump campaign blamed protesters for the lack of a crowd, an excuse that doesn’t stand up to multiple accounts and live feeds that show the streets clear and empty right up until the rally start time.
“Sadly, protesters interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally. Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, said in a statement.
Empty seats were seen inside the arena too.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter that thousands of TikToking protesters reserved thousands of tickets giving the Trump campaign the belief that they’d have a sell-out crowd.
The rally was meant to reboot Trump’s presidential re-election effort, which has been side lined by the coronavirus pandemic over the past few months. The president’s approval rating has tanked due to his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and his ducking of speaking out against racial injustice since the death of George Floyd on May 25. Polls currently show Democratic rival Joe Biden winning in November.
See images of Donald Trump’s largely empty Tulsa rally below.