How Many People Will Trump Strand Today?

Today is the final day of campaigning, and President Trump is trying to get in as much as possible.

Trump’s been holding rallies at airports to make it easier for him to travel and to keep events outdoors to restrict the spread of COVID-19. The latter is a generous assumption, since masks aren’t required and social distancing is a totally foreign concept. People can’t park their cars in airfields, so the campaign has required attendees to park in faraway lots and provided buses to the rally itself. The problem is they don’t always have enough buses to get people back to their vehicles. Thousands of Trump supporters were stranded at a rally in Omaha last week, and over the weekend similar situations arose in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Throw in the recent Stanford study that links more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases and up to 700 deaths to Trump rallies and it’s clear attending one might get you stranded, sick, or both.

With five stops scheduled, the question begs—how many of his supporters will Trump leave stranded today? To calculate the over/under, we estimated the rally attendance using numbers from similar locations in 2016 and guessed that around one-third of those people would be left standing around waiting for hours.

Fayetteville, N.C.

Trump held a rally at Fayetteville Regional Airport on Sept. 18, and was scheduled to appear there last week but postponed the rally due to windy conditions. His 2016 rally in Fayetteville drew 3,000 people to Crown Arena, and based on photos from September, that seems like a fair number to start with here. Throw in the postponement and pre-election excitement and we’ll bump this up to 4,200.
O/U People Stranded: ~1,399

Avoca, Pa.

Avoca is the home of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Regional Airport. Trump’s been all over Pennsylvania but hasn’t made it here yet, so turnout should be fairly high. In 2016 he drew roughly 9,000 and 5,000 to rallies in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, respectively, so we’ll split the difference at 7,000 and assume he’s really gonna pack ‘em in.
O/U People Stranded: ~2,333

Traverse City, Mich.

Trump didn’t really campaign anywhere near Traverse City in 2016. Grand Rapids was the closest, and he drew 4,200 there. Trump did make it to Freeland in 2020, but that’s the furthest north he’s gone in the state. We’ll go with a conservative estimate here and guess he’ll draw about 2,500 people.
O/U People Stranded: ~833

Kenosha, Wisc.

Trump didn’t hit Kenosha in 2016 either, although 1,500 turned out to a rally in Waukesha about an hour north. There could be some drama here, though—the rally takes place during prime time and is bound to grab some media attention. Kenosha is also where police shot Jacob Blake four times in the back, leading to multiple nights of demonstrations that included teenager Kyle Rittenhouse killing two protestors. With all that baggage, we’ll juice up the attendance number to 3,700.
O/U People Stranded: ~1,233

Grand Rapids, MI

Trump is ending his 2020 campaign in the same city where he wrapped things up in 2016. The attendance guess here is based mostly on the 4,200 that showed up four years ago, but since it’s his last campaign rally (possibly ever), we’ll push it to 5,000.
O/U People Stranded: ~1,666

Total O/U of People Stranded at Trump Rallies on Nov. 2 : 7,464

So there you have it. The extremely unofficial over/under for the number of people stranded at Trump rallies today. We’d probably lean toward the over, but luck finding a bookie who’ll take that action.

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