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Trump’s New Hampshire rally was canceled because of low attendance fears, say advisers

Trump’s reelection team canceled a planned rally in New Hampshire on Saturday over low attendance concerns, campaign advisers told NBC News. The campaign blamed a forecasted storm for the cancellation in a statement Friday. Campaign officials are reportedly desperate to avoid a repeat of the Tulsa rally debacle, where after being promised a sell-out, Trump spoke to…

  • Trump’s reelection team canceled a planned rally in New Hampshire on Saturday over low attendance concerns, campaign advisers told NBC News. 
  • The campaign blamed a forecasted storm for the cancellation in a statement Friday. 
  • Campaign officials are reportedly desperate to avoid a repeat of the Tulsa rally debacle, where after being promised a sell-out, Trump spoke to a half-empty stadium. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Trump campaign canceled the president’s planned rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire because of concerns that COVID-19 fears and a forecasted thunderstorm would lead to low attendance, people close to the campaign told NBC News. 

In its statement, the Trump campaign announcing the rally was being called off blamed a forecasted thunderstorm in the area and “safety reasons” for the decision. But officials told NBC that it was one of several factors that the campaign feared would lead to low attendance at the event, prompting the cancellation. 

“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 told the outlet. 

According to the report, campaign officials were terrified of a repeat of Trump’s rally in Tulsa in Oklahoma in June. The event was billed as the president’s big comeback, but the president addressed rows of empty seats after the projected sell-out crowd never materialized. 

The president was reportedly furious after the debacle, where thousands of teenagers on TikTok played a role in inflating expectations that the rally would be a sell-out by indicating attendance then not showing up. 

According to NBC, ahead of the New Hampshire rally, “there were no signs of the typical crowds of supporters camped out days in advance for a good spot.

The Republican governor Chris Sununu said he would skip it, advising anyone at high risk to stay home over coronavirus concerns” and “fears of a repeat of Tulsa’s disappointing turnout weighed heavily.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. 

Trump has faced criticism for resuming electioneering with his trademark raucous rallies.

At the same time, coronavirus infection rates continue to climb in the US, with many of the people who attended the president’s 4th of July speech at Mount Rushmore pictured without masks and not observing social distancing rules.

Vice President Mike Pence has defended the president’s decision to continue staging the rallies, telling reporters at a White House briefing in June that attending is an expression of Constitutional rights.

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