With the conversations over exactly how many people attended President Trump’s ‘MAGA’ rally last night, the question now many be; how were those numbers utilized for the future?
UTEP Communications professor Dr. Richard Pineda shared his insight on the numbers debate swirling around President Trump’s El Paso rally at the County Coliseum.
“If it’s a 100 people, 1,000 people, 10,000 people… you got a pool of potential voters, donors, and certainly people who are engaged enough to show up to a rally like this,” Dr. Pineda said, “There’s no reason you can’t work to foster those people to your spectrum and act on your behalf.”
Here’s what the President said onstage about the number of people who showed up, “Now the arena holds 8,000 and thank you Fire Department, they got in about 10. But if you really want to see something, go outside. Tens of thousands of people are watching screens outside.”
Coliseum officials said there were roughly 7,000 people inside the coliseum, not 10,000. Those officials estimated another 6,000 watched from outside, not tens of thousands.
Dr. Pineda said accurate or not, numbers can be used as a political strategy, “From a rhetorical strategy, it’s a strong strategy. It gets people talking about the wrong thing and focuses moved off. It’s almost a throw away line. People chase after that and in fact there’s other issues that need to be put on the table.”
The communications professor also shared rather than numbers, both sides should focus on opportunities presented by rallies: voter registration and voter contact information. “I think a lot of times people forget the mechanisms of a rally, to get people out and supporting a particular idea, is very important but there’s all these other behind the scenes, back of house details that should also be a part of these rallies.”
Officials with the Coliseum said the capacity is subject to change depending on the setup from each event they host.