President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden held “competing” rallies in Iowa on Thursday, and if their comparative crowd sizes are any indication of how the general election is going to play out, Biden might want to call it quits early. While Trump was speaking at The Knapp Center in De Moines before a capacity crowd of more than 8,000 enthusiastic supporters, Biden was nextdoor in Waukee speaking to a crowd of roughly 275 bored Iowans. This was as much of an energy mismatch as you can find in modern politics.
Or maybe not. Truth be told, you only have to go back to 2016 to find a clean comparison. Hillary Clinton was traveling around to VFW rooms and small banquet halls while Trump was filling arenas all across the country. Clinton managed to put together a respectable crowd or two before the campaign was over – but only when she was able to drag Bernie Sanders or the Obamas out to help her. Unfortunately, Biden has only himself to rely on this early in the game and…well, that’s not a whole lot.
At the rally, Trump expressed confidence in his ability to destroy whatever candidate the Democrats nominate.
“We’re winning a lot,” he said. “We’re beating them all.”
He pointed to a new “failing New York Times poll” that has Trump leading every single one of the “socialists” in the Democratic Party race.
“Let’s vote for Pocahontas, let’s vote for Bernie, let’s vote for Sleepy Joe,” Trump scoffed.
Meanwhile, over in Waukee, Biden was whining to his audience of 300 that Trump is a “bully.” This is a guy who calls his own town hall attendees “fat,” “old,” challenges them to pushup contests, and yells at them to go vote for other candidates. But sure, Trump is the bully.
The stark difference in the scenes reminds us of earlier this week when Katy Tur was wondering on MSNBC what the energy mismatch would mean for the upcoming election.
“As these candidates are getting a couple hundred, sometimes a thousand people, Trump is gonna fly in here, and if past is precedent, get 5,000, 10,000 people here in Des Moines,” Tur correctly predicted on Tuesday. “What does that say about the Democrats’ chances in November when Donald Trump is drawing crowds that are that big and the Democrats are not?”
What, indeed, Katy. What, indeed.