NBC News reports that aides close to the Trump campaign have shared that a campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was canceled due to mounting concerns about low attendance.
The Trump campaign released a statement announcing the rally had been canceled and blamed thunderstorms forecasted for the area as well as “safety reasons” for the event being canceled. However, officials close to the situation say it was the fear of low attendance that caused the event to be called off.
“It’s the perfect timing. The weather may have been dissuading people to attend, but many weren’t coming to begin with because of the virus,” an outside campaign adviser shared.
Reportedly, campaign officials, especially campaign manager Brad Parscale, were terrified of a repeat of Trump’s rally in Tulsa in Oklahoma back in June. Trump had billed the rally as his “big comeback.”
The rally flopped because thousands of teenagers on TikTok played a role in inflating expectations that the rally would be a sell-out by reserving tickets and then not showing up.
There were no early signs that the New Hampshire rally would be a success. There were no supporters camping out to get good seats.
Even Republican Governor Chris Sununu stated that he was skipping the event and he advised anyone who was at high risk for the coronavirus to remain at home.
Trump has faced major criticism for holding rallies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. electioneering with his trademark raucous rallies.
Vice President Mike Pence has defended Trump’s decision to continue holding campaign rallies. In June told White House reporters that attending Trump’s rallies is an expression of Constitutional rights.