Claims of punking to the contrary, the Tulsa rally is a net benefit for Trump
When Trump's Tulsa rally had lower attendance than expected, Democrats declared victory. They were wrong to do so. This was a win for Trump, no matter how you look at it.
There were two competing narratives in the lead-up to Trump's first post-Wuhan virus rally, held on Saturday night in Tulsa. The narrative from the Trump campaign was that over one million people submitted their names for free tickets.
The narrative from the Democrats was that, while the Black Lives Matter protests did not create Wuhan virus risks, Trump was going to kill people with his rally. As the rally neared, a sub-narrative was that Trump attendees were running a risk from outraged Black Lives Matters protesters.
The rally was less well attended than expected, with mostly filled seats in the lower tiers and many empty seats in the upper tiers. An outdoor event was canceled.
Democrats, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking the lead, claimed that the low attendance resulted from a clever TikTok campaign that saw teenagers order hundreds of thousands of tickets to block actual supporters from attending:
KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too 😌— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
NeverTrump Steve Schmidt, who couldn't drag John McCain over the finish line in 2008, boasted that his daughter interfered with an American political event:
My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens. @realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team. @ProjectLincoln https://t.co/VM5elZ57Qp— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2020
Accepting as true the claim that this TikTok-inspired interference worked (which it didn't — more on that later), it wasn't a victory at all.
First, Democrats openly used a Chinese communist media platform to interfere with an American election. That's not a good look.
Second, although this was a digital scam, the game-playing the Democrats are boasting about matches perfectly what Attorney General Bill Barr warns will happen if Democrat states insist on mail-in voting:
"Well, it absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud. Those things are delivered into mailboxes. They can be taken out," Barr responded. "There's questions about whether or not it even denies a secret ballot, because a lot of the states have you signing the outside of the envelope. So, the person who opens the envelope will know how people voted."
"There's no — right now, a foreign country could print up tens of thousands of counterfeit ballots, and be very hard for us to detect which was the right and which was the wrong ballot," Barr continued. "So, I think it can upset and undercut the confidence in the integrity of our elections. If anything, we should tighten them up right now."
Third, Byron York points out that punking campaign events will become the new standard for Biden rallies, too. He does not state the obvious, which is that it will hit the pathetic Biden harder:
Resistance, NeverTrumpers boasting on social media that they block-reserved tickets to Trump rally to keep seats empty. One says his 16 year-old daughter and friends got 'hundreds of tickets.' 2/4— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 21, 2020
Obviously, Trump will have to expect, work around, this sort of mischief throughout campaign. And after Saturday night, Biden will, too. 4/4 End.— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 21, 2020
As a reminder, this was attendance at Biden's last campaign event:
There seems to be lots of chatter about the attendance at last night’s Trump rally so I felt like I should share this photo from Joe Biden’s most recent campaign event.— Rob Smith 🇺🇸 (@robsmithonline) June 21, 2020
FEEL THE ENERGY! pic.twitter.com/1HXGuK5jNy
Fourth, Rick Moran reminds triumphant Democrats that they might have run afoul of the law:
[AOC] is encouraging attacks on free speech and the democratic process. Donald Segretti, an aide to Richard Nixon, went to prison for pulling stunts like this. He and his friends changed the date of Democratic candidate appearances. They forged other campaign literature. They planted vicious rumors in the press about Democratic candidates. They called it "ratf------" and it caused enormous headaches for Senators Edmund Muskie and Hubert Humphrey — Democratic candidates running for the nomination.
So, if AOC and her ilk were right, placing fake orders for tickets was a losing idea, not a winning one.
The alternative narrative, from Brad Parscale, is that the campaign had controls in place to filter out fake ticket requests and that the real problems were that people got worried by the media's fear-mongering about the Wuhan virus and about protests:
Additionally, while the media insisted the protests didn't block the entrance to the venue, Parscale had a photograph showing the opposite:
Sure no blocked gates @cnn. @cnn if you think families with children will push through this your sick.— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 21, 2020
America, this is the country @CNN is ok with, think about that.
This is the main gate of the rally: pic.twitter.com/wSKwotoajq
The most important data point is that, while people may have been scared away by the media and the protesters, that doesn't mean Americans weren't interested — incredibly interested:
🚨NEW Updated view count for tonight's @realDonaldTrump rally in Tulsa on RSBN:— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) June 21, 2020
2.8 million Facebook views
1.4 million YouTube playbacks
That's 4.2M views and again, this doesn't include any views from simulcasts we send out.
+Millions more watched on other sources. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/q7lUMwwoJM
By the time the campaign looked at all the data, total viewership easily exceeded 10 million people:
More than 10 million people watched President Donald Trump’s reelection rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, according to Gary Coby, the campaign’s digital director.
In a time of Wuhan virus, violent protests, and media hysteria, those numbers are a total win.
Finally, consider the fact that the Democrats, recognizing that they cannot create enthusiasm for sleepy Joe Biden (see below), are reduced to trying to sabotage Trump voters' sky-high enthusiasm.