Ali Alexander Election Report: Trump's Pandemic Tulsa Rally Internally and Externally Sabotaged; Trump Speech Saves Event
The National Weather Service registered a 4.5 earthquake near
Tulsa, Oklahoma shortly after the 45th President
left the city. 👀
Or was that President Donald J. Trump yelling at staff?Weird energy this weekend
, as I've pointed out.
Before Trump took to the stage, I said there was a problem (video
). Previously, in a private conversation with a friend, I had dismissed the press' tweets as trolling. They were vindicated last night. Attendance was poor. There's no other way to put it. Some folks didn't like the truth, but that's what I'm here for.
After Trump finished, I rightly praised his speech (video
). I was vindicated. I had put out some tweets at the beginning of his speech (now deleted), that pointed out the speech was sucking during those first 5 to 10 minutes. It wasn't until Trump decided to regain his energy through humor did he get going. He probably also reset his visual frame, refusing to look at the upper-deck where there was barely anyone. This is a tough business and you have to guard your mood. That's why I block so many people on livestreams. Vibe check!
Press reports count around 6,600 in attendance. I heard, somewhere, that the campaign was saying 15,000 in attendance. I don't know that that's what they said, but it's what I recall hearing last night. My own really rough estimate was 11,000—a number I'm not wedded to. If I had to guess now, maybe 8,000 to 9,000?
So, less than 1% conversion rate between the 1,000,000 tickets reserved an actual attendees.
The campaign is wanting the conversation to be about 5.3 million unique viewers who have watched the rally on the campaign's digital properties. That number was 4 million last night; live uniques presumably. Here's the thing: it's a campaign talking point for the base. That number isn't that large considering the circumstances and not really relevant considering tens of millions Americans watch Trump rallies on the Internet or television. That's the whole point of them. But, it's a useful talking point so good on them.
I can tell you all of this because I don't work for the campaign. I work for us
Communications strategy and narratives
Trump, Grade A:
Trump took away the press' ability to write a singular narrative from the event that concentrated on the lack of attendance. The relentless optimist is trying to protect enthusiasm. In politics, the "enthusiasm gap" determines turnout of the base and pollsters mind this number when crafting samples. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Clown on media, fueling their hate (Art of War tactic)
- Obsessed about a non-controversy with self deprecating humor, providing the press with polarizing (and now normative) coverage
- Break behind-the-scenes news about governmental dealings, forcing serious reporters to report on those stories
He sorted all sections of the political press and gave them stories of greater significance than his crowd size. Genius move.
I do livestreams. I get the performance art aspect of talking about current events and political theory whilst also trying to be entertaining. I read comments while formulating my own thoughts and have an outline I use in my memory—all still while extemporaneous speaking and riffing. I get Trump.
Trump didn't like what he saw. His first 10 minutes sucked. His prepared speech in the teleprompter even highlighted things the base are pissed off about right now.
He went off script to talk about the slick railless ramp and the water to not only control the press coverage but to reset his energy. It's a tactic he uses and those of us who publicly speak on a regular basis. He handled himself fine after that and returned to parts of the teleprompter.
His actions confirm my concern and my deleted tweet pointing out that his speech started off with low energy and bad content. Like, why remind people of Gorsuch right now? Yikes!
This is why he’s The Marketer
! In private, we've spoken about his marketing genius. He takes great pride in knowing what he's doing. I cannot think of a greater brander in modern history. Seriously! Campaign, Grade D:
The campaign flew in a ton of surrogates. Looked to be a total waste. Zero ROI.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale made a bet when he publicly touted that the event had 1,000,000 RSVPs. Let me explain because this point cannot be missed.
I knew that number was fake. He knew that too. We knew that Democrats were spamming.
Here's the thing: Brad and I didn't care. Brad loves data and he loves data about Democrats. He plugs it into his massive database (largest in GOP history) and monitors voters and activists. When Brad was trolling a bit publicly and owning the number to stir up positive press or energy, I thought it was the correct move.
It was the wrong move and the data should've revealed that. This was a failure and likely
points to a deeper problem with how the handling the data.
Even though Democrats were meddling some, I believed hundreds of thousands of those tickets were Republicans even if some wanted commemorative digital ticket receipts or something. That happens in this business. Remember, all I had to go on was public information. My expectations going in were an arena bursting at the seams and tens of thousands outside. Tulsa is just 4 hours north of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. None of my friends went. Maybe they thought people would come in from Kansas too.Update 10:45a central:
campaign put this tweet out
after I published this piece. They claim 12,000 attendees or so. Was any of that the hundreds of press? Staff? I dunno. Democrats, Grade B+:
Democrats effectively trolled Brad Parscale and the campaign, pissing off Trump. Still, focusing on size of rallies isn't a longterm narrative win for Joe Biden. Base-level Democrats will be too stupid to get off this point until they feel defeated because of large Trump rallies or more embarrassing Biden rally photos. LOL!Media, Grade D:
Media scored points against the Trump Team and the President himself. But, they're killing the country in the process. Demonstrators preventing people from exercising peaceful assembly will ruin the same Amendment that protects the press' ability to do their job. Dumbasses.
They're not fairly or accurately covering Republicans. Trump also played the press during the rally.
> Here's where Parscale went wrong: his communications strategy.
If you bragged about 1,000,000 tickets and 50,000 to 100,000 showed up, you can still claim total victory. That's not at all what happened.
Things got so bad that during the rally, shortly before Trump was speaking (also read: too late), it's being reported that the campaign sent out text messages to people in the area saying there was still room.
Someone needs to be reprimanded.
Democrat Congresswoman AOC (also affiliated with the DSA) bragged
and thanked the online activists who trolled Trump and Parscale. The New York Times has a story about the left-wing digital activists, principally from TikTok and Korean pop music (Kpop) fans
, who committed fraud.
I'm not happy
Election meddling and foreign collusion are fun memes and ways of controlling the narrative. I support using those talking points. However, let me be clear. Falsifying information on a digital form, with the intent to violate the Terms of Service or cost someone fees is unlawful. It is a tort. Amazon has sued others for false reviews.
Trump campaign should consider suing a dozen left-wing activists. And sue in Oklahoma. Damages can be demonstrated.
Now, I revisit the original thought I had, "why Tulsa?"
Was it just to troll the press and the massacre there? I hope not. All seems to stupid now.
I do like that they've all but dropped this KAG - "Keep America Great" stuff. It must remain, Make America Great Again! MAGA!
Better branding! Update 10:30a central:
Parscale gave away any chance at a lawsuit. I don't even see the advantage of this statement. All he's saying is 'nuh uh!'
And now it's clear it's under his skin. He admits the the phony ticket requests too but just says it "didn't factor into their thinking." Well, duh. You didn't build an arena for hundreds of thousands of people, ha. The point is you
touted the number and couldn't
fill this arena nor
the outside venue you set up. Brad, someone is giving you poor communications advice.
Executive decisions going forward
There needs to be a private, internal investigation done into why attendance sucked. It should be done by an outside party or trusted Trump ally. I have a feeling the President will figure it out anyway. He loves turning around organizations.
Trump needs to find out what the main cause was or how this all divvies up.
- Coronavirus concerns in Oklahoma?
- Fear of riots; Antifa and criminal elements?
- Lack of enthusiasm or base concerns within the GOP base?
No; I don't believe that violent left-wing demonstrators kept out 10,000 rally-goers. There's no evidence for that just memes. They kept out some, but ten thousand? No. Worse, the Trump campaign was expecting an overflow outside where the Vice President was going to speak. They pulled that. So, you're telling me 20,000 people were kept waiting outside? Nope.
Savanah is an honest person and fair player. This is good video
and she did good reporting. Still, it shows a few hundred Trump supporters. And I don't see the BLM blockers, but I'm sure they're there. Anyone using this video of hers to suggest 20,000 Trump supporters were blocked from entering ain't being honest.
Again, some hundreds to a thousand or two (we don't know how many because no one has a photo with many thousands) were kept out
. Just not 20,000.
If Trump believed the talking point, he could send the Department of Justice's Civil Rights unit
to Oklahoma for the violation of tens of thousands of citizens' First Amendment rights.
He won't. I agree with Jack Posobiec. One side is playing to win.
Let's get serious. Please?
Here's a thought. Was this Trump's smallest rally since 2015? I don't know but yikes.
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