- Massive crowds turned out to see President Donald Trump speak at his Wildwood, N.J. rally.
- In 2016, much of the media didn’t notice or ignored the incredible turnout at Trump rallies as an election indicator.
- Donald Trump lost New Jersey to Hillary Clinton by 13 points in 2016. Is the Garden State in play in 2020?
New Jersey turned out massive crowds to see President Trump speak Tuesday. Will Steakin, a 2020 campaign reporter for ABC News, tweeted an incredible video of the event. Decked out in red, white, and blue winter wear, the throng of Trump supporters stands shoulder to shoulder as far as the eye can see.
“Pretty stunning crowd,” he writes.
Trump Still Has Crowd Power
These New Jerseyites are braving the cold weather to see the president speak in person. Crowd turnout was one major overlooked sign that Donald Trump would win in 2016. Pollsters were giving him a very small chance of actually winning the election. FiveThirtyEight reported at the time:
[Election result forecasting] models tracked by The New York Times put Trump’s odds at: 15 percent, 8 percent, 2 percent and less than 1 percent.
But in a Joe Rogan podcast interview last November, famed Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi recalled the enormous Trump crowds that year. It left him looking at the poll numbers and scratching his head, saying:
The crowds are– they’re so huge. Like I was in Cincinnati, and I was late to one of his events… I couldn’t drive in because they blocked off all the bridges… so I had to walk like three miles away, and walk over a bridge, and I thought I was going to be the only person there… and it was just like a line of MAGA hats extending over a bridge all the way into Kentucky like a mile down a road.
He said his feeling in the journalistic profession was people ignored the phenomenon.
All the reporters saw this. And they all saw that Hillary was having real trouble getting four and five thousand people into her events. And so we were all talking to each other like– that’s gotta be a thing that’s going to play a role in the election eventually. But nobody kinda brought it up. Or they explained it away.
New Jersey A Swing State in 2020?
In 2016, New Jersey decisively rejected Donald Trump for Hillary Clinton. Trump took 41.8% of the vote and got stomped by Hillary’s 55% vote total. New Jersey also voted Democrat in every presidential election for the last seven cycles.
But the winds could be shifting in New Jersey. The reason for Trump’s appearance is to embrace New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew. The congressman actually flipped from the Democratic Party to the GOP to oppose the House Majority’s impeachment. The event also drew in suburban Philadelphia voters. Donald Trump could win again without New Jersey like last time, but Pennsylvania is a must-win state if he’s to be reelected.