President Donald Trump officially returned the campaign trail on Saturday with his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But, the rally didn't necessarily receive the turnout that his campaign desired. Despite the venue's capacity (19,200) and the number of people who registered to attend (more than one million), Trump's Tulsa rally was reportedly attended by just under 6,200 people, according to Forbes.
Forbes reported that the turnout at Trump's rally in Tulsa fell way below expectations. The Trump campaign previously announced that they had received more than one million ticket requests prior to the event. The BOK Center, which hosted the rally, only holds 19,200 people. To account for the possible high turnout, the Trump campaign originally planned to hold a second, outdoor speech for the "overflow" crowd. However, this "overflow" speech was later canceled, with the campaign claiming that the reason tied back to protesters and the media.
"President Trump is rallying in Tulsa with thousands of energetic supporters, a stark contrast to the sleepy campaign being run by Joe Biden from his basement in Delaware," Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's communications director, said. "Sadly, protesters interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally. Radical protestors, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President's supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out."
In advance of Trump's return to the campaign trail, TikTok users and other individuals online reportedly formed their own campaign to reserve tickets to the President's Tulsa rally with no intention of actually going. According to CNN, Mary Jo Laupp was one of the many users on TikTok who told their followers to register to attend the event so that the Trump campaign would believe that more were set to attend than what they initially thought. Laupp reportedly explained on TikTok, "All of those of us that want to see this 19,000 seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now and leave him standing alone there on the stage."
It's unclear exactly whether that campaign actually affected the turnout rate for the event. But, according to Erin Perrine, the principal deputy communications director for the Trump campaign, what these users did was send over their contact information to the president's camp. She told CNN, "Leftists do this all the time. They think if they sign up for tickets that will leave empty seats. Not the case at all. Always way more ticket requests than seats available at a rally. All they are doing is giving us access to their contact information."