唐纳德·特朗普是 (still) totally obsessed with crowd size

With his political career on the line in mere days, President Donald Trump is still fixated on making sure that everyone knows he can still draw a crowd. A big one.

Witness this exchange between Trump and “60 分钟” correspondent Lesley Stahl as part of an interview that ran over the weekend:
王牌: “Take a look. Yesterday we were in Arizona, record-setting rallies. Numbers of people like nobody’s seen before.
斯塔尔: “You used to have bigger rallies.
    王牌: “没有, these are much bigger than I ever had–“
    斯塔尔: “好, I don’t wanna bicker over that.
    王牌: “你懂, 你是– 你是–“
    斯塔尔: “Tell me about the mask wearing.
    王牌: “–so negative. You’re so negative. These are the biggest rallies we’ve ever had. 你只是带着消极的态度来到这里. These are the biggest rallies we’ve ever had.
    Here’s the thing: Crowd size is not always indicative of, 好, all that much. It suggests that some segment of your supporters are fired up enough to put aside their other plans for a day and turn out to a rally. But in an election in which some estimate upwards of 150 百万票 will be cast, 10,000 attendees of a rallyor even 50,000 — is minuscule.
    And that’s even before we consider the coronavirus pandemic and the federal guidelines to avoid large groups and to remain socially distant. 加, those warningsand the fact that 多于 225,000 Americans have died from the disease have a significant effect on dampening peoplesenthusiasm to attend a rally.

    So on the broad point, using the size of campaign rallies as a sign of supportespecially with an infectious disease raging across the countryis deeply misguided.
    But on the narrower point of just how many people are turning out to these Trump rallies, the President seems to be letting his imagination overtake the facts.
    In Allentown, 宾夕法尼亚州, 在星期一, local media reports said the crowd numbered in thethousands.” The crowd in Lumberton, 北卡罗来纳, for a Trump rally over the weekend was described as a few thousand in a local report. The largest recent rally crowd reported that I could find was for a Trump speech at The Villages in Florida last Friday, 在哪里 audience was estimated at 15,000. (Huge thanks to CNN’s Betsy Klein for her help with Trump’s recent schedule.)
    While those crowds are impressive, they are a far cry from some of the larger crowds Trump drew during his 2016 运动. The largest recorded crowd I could find was for a Trump event in Alabama in August 2015 什么时候 the reported attendance was 30,000. Which is doublebecause maththe largest recent crowd for Trump in this campaign.
    (Sidebar: Trump’s past claim that he drew bigger crowds than any other candidate ever is also not true. Barack Obama attracted an estimated 75,000 人 to a May 2008 rally in Portland, Oregon.)
    This is all, 当然, par for the course with Trump. This is a man who forced his press secretary to insist that more people had attended his 2017 inauguration than had attended any previous presidential inaugurationeven though there was ample photographic evidence that such a claim was totally outlandish.
      Why does Trump care so much? Because he thinks crowd size is somehow predictive of his chances of winning (it’s not). And because he is obsessed with always being involved in only thebiggest” 和 “best” 东西, even if he has to exaggerate wildly to make those fantasies come true.
      It’s an obsession for him, and a not very productive one. Given Trump’s problem with the electorateparticularly when it comes to his handling (and mishandling) of the Covid-19 pandemicthe size of his campaign crowds is the least of his problems. Everyone seems to get that except him.

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