Trump's Pennsylvania Rally Is 'Must See to Believe' Stuff, Others Question If It Matters

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump had a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania last night and it’s truly ‘must see to believe’ territory. The crowd is absolutely massive, and it’s likely one of Trump’s largest ever. That it occurred in a state that could catapult him to re-election is obviously a major positive as well.

I’ve seen some claim Secret Service put the total attendance (including overflow) at 57,000. Other local media outlets stayed conservative and just said “over 10,000.” Whatever the number was, there’s no doubt it was an incredible site and a much needed boost for a Trump campaign that seems to really be finding its footing in the home stretch.

The inclusion of a fracking well in the theatrics was a nice touch as well. That’s obviously a shot at Joe Biden, who has repeatedly indicated that he’d like to end fracking. Biden also claimed he wanted to phase out the oil industry by 2025 (a literal impossibility) at the last debate. Needless to say, those verbal admissions have put the Biden campaign on the defensive in oil producing and other blue collar states in the upper midwest. It’s probably not helping in Arizona and Texas either, though the later is likely safely in Trump’s corner.

Of course, some on the right were more skeptical about Trump’s massive rallies meaning anything.

I’m going to dissent here, not because I think Trump’s rallies are proof he’s cruising to victory, but because I think the comparison is really, really flawed. Yes, Mitt Romney drew a few big crowds in the latter days of his 2012 campaign. Of note is that Red Rocks (pictured above) only holds 9500 people, and there was no overflow. In other words, Trump’s rallies are obviously much more frequent and much larger in comparison.

Further, Trump showed in 2016 that this stuff does matter. Whether it can swing the race for him or not will be seen once all the votes are counted, but there’s ample evidence that Trump’s ability to drive enthusiasm is real and matters. Lastly, Romney was running against Barack Obama, who had huge enthusiasm behind him. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is one of the least exciting candidates in modern history. He simply doesn’t have the ground game or rabid support that Trump has or that Obama had.

Again, that doesn’t mean Trump will certainly win. There are a ton of variables here, and I think anyone claiming to know for certain what the outcome will be is just talking out of their backside. But after 2016, no one should be completely discounting Trump’s ability to draw crowds and translate that to votes. We’ll have all the answers soon enough though.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)