Donald Trump is the one who has made crowd sizes at his events a thing — even though he kind of just keeps losing on that front.
Multiple sources documented rows and rows of largely empty seats at a speech Trump gave this weekend at the latest installment of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where results from a poll of attendees’ preferences for the next presidential race made it clear Trump supporters were well represented. True to form, Trump has repeatedly tried to tout the turnout for his CPAC speech. He did so both during the remarks and later on his knock-off social media site Truth Social, where he said: “CPAC was packed for my speech, you couldn’t get into the building. A special thanks to the area Fire Department for making it work so well. Great job!” The available images of the empty seats make it seem like he’s basically making up a fairy tale.
And guess what? Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who will probably be the subject of speculation about the possibility he launches a campaign for president for the foreseeable future, saw high turnout at a speech he recently gave, an image from inside the room revealed. “Source in room for DeSantis Reagan Library speech sends this shot, 1300+ attending,” journalist Tom LoBianco posted on Twitter alongside the relevant image. Although the photo doesn’t give quite the same vantage point as the sweeping footage of empty seats taken during Trump’s remarks, it seems clear DeSantis’s turnout was high, as hardly a single empty chair is visible and attendees seem to extend indefinitely. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is in southern California, near Los Angeles. Trump’s event, meaning CPAC, was in Washington, D.C. — the same locale where baseball fans booed the then-president at a World Series game while Donald was still in office.
In California, polling of registered Republicans that was recently circulated showed the Florida governor nearly 20 percent ahead of Trump when put against the ex-president one-on-one, and he still led by plenty when other candidates were included, none of whom have come anywhere close to making such a consistently promising showing against the ex-president in surveys. California could figure prominently in deciding who wins the GOP nomination, since its primary will likely be relatively early in the process, with a comparatively high number of nominating delegates on the rhetorical table. In state primaries, delegates are ordinarily won roughly according to the portion of the overall vote that a given candidate nabbed.
Source in room for DeSantis Reagan Library speech sends this shot, 1300+ attending pic.twitter.com/2vYaKWarW6
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) March 5, 2023