(UnitedVoice.com) – It’s one week to go until the election. Much like 2016, Donald Trump is jetting from one battleground state to another, holding large rallies to motivate his supporters and increase free exposure through the media. However, there’s a new swell of political activism that’s unheard of in modern US politics. Some of it may be because the pandemic has uprooted traditional campaigning, and those worried about the rise of the far-left socialist tendencies of the Democratic Party want to make their voices known.
Grassroots campaigns, as they are known, are designed by political campaigns to mobilize the most ardent supporters of a candidate. Committed volunteers help create momentum locally for a campaign. Some are highly influential in their communities and serve as point people to recruit volunteer workers who will spend their time making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, knocking on doors, and getting out the vote on election day. They are the worker bees of the political world, and without them, a candidate stands no chance of winning on his or her own.
As the presidential election nears, polls across the battleground states are tightening. Some show Biden with significant leads, and others show Trump is tied or slightly ahead. It’s hard to know if they are accurate or missing the mark again as they did in 2016. What has become clear is that Trump’s rallies and swelling of grassroots “Trump Trains” demonstrate that those who support the president aren’t shying away.
Something Different Is Happening
In 2016, Trump was masterful at controlling the media and getting his message out for pennies on the dollar. His rallies were large, and people waited in line for days just to attend one. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton tended to avoid the media, and her rallies were much smaller in comparison. The Clinton campaign significantly out-fundraised the Trump campaign and spent the money on mass TV, radio, print, and web advertisements. We all know how that election turned out.
2020 is seeing something very different. What’s happening is flying under the radar, and it could be the difference between winning and losing. Across Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, people are showing their enthusiasm for President Trump by the hundreds, or even thousands, at a time. It’s organic and spontaneous. People are organizing independently of the campaigns to hold what is being called “Trump Trains.” They are parades designed to support President Trump publicly. But they aren’t normal parades with marchers, confetti, and bands.
Trump Trains Organize En Masse
Last summer, some media outlets started reporting on a new phenomenon in Florida. Hundreds of boats lined up to support President Trump and cruised the waters of Florida with their 2020 Trump flags waving in a strong show of support for the president. In mid-October, in Rutledge, TN, dozens of antique cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and tractors drove 4 miles through the heart of the town with Trump flags and banners. In Hazelton, PA, 400 cars and motorcycles repeated the process.
Throughout October, the Trump Train rallies have picked up steam.
On Saturday, October 24, just two days after the presidential debate, a Trump Train in Cincinnati, OH, had so many participants they jammed the interstates. However, the most impressive one started in St. Clairsville, OH. As a few hundred cars traveled south to Wheeling, WV, the Trump Train kept adding supporters. All told, 2,000 cars were estimated to have participated as they honked and waved Trump and American flags.
What Does It Mean?
At a minimum, it means that Trump supporters are more enthusiastic about their candidate. However, that doesn’t mean the president will win the election. Nearly 50 million ballots have already been cast. While Democrats and left-leaning Democrats are not enthusiastic about Joe Biden, they are energized to get rid of Trump.
If the Trump Trains don’t do anything else, they could encourage people sitting on the fence to vote for Trump. However, in a time of uncertainty, there is only one certain thing. The election will come and go, and it won’t be long before we start analyzing the data. If Trump wins, this could be one reason, and the pollsters will be once again left to ask a lot of questions about where they went wrong.
We’ll see. Stay tuned!
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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