Donald Trump clearly enjoyed doing his rally in Florida on Monday night, even though he was so sick and weak they had to set up a miniature staircase outside Air Force One just so he could make it onto the plane. Trump spent his rally falsely insisting he’s now cured and immune, and threatened to begin kissing people at random to prove it.
Trump may be having his deranged idea of a good time, but he’s not helping himself. NBC News estimates that Trump’s Florida rally only drew about 7,000 people. That’s really no better than the paltry 6,000 people he drew for his ill fated Tulsa rally awhile back; the only difference this time was that Trump’s handlers knew the Florida rally wouldn’t draw much of a crowd, and set up the venue accordingly.
There’s never been any real correlation between rally size and voter turnout, but it’s notable that Trump is now only able to draw a fraction of the people he used to draw. If his people are staying home because they fear the coronavirus, then it means they don’t buy into his claim that the pandemic is somehow over. And if Trump’s people are staying home because they’re just tired of him, then that’s an even worse sign.
But here’s why Trump’s rally was a disaster for him. He managed to garner all kinds of negative headlines for daring to hold a rally while still contagious with coronavirus, and when you consider that the rally didn’t gain him a single vote that he didn’t already have, he did it for nothing. Trump is merely stroking his own bruised ego at this point. He’s either oblivious to, or uninterested in, how badly he’s hurting himself with this bizarre endgame.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report