President Donald Trump will reportedly kick off his 2020 re-election campaign at a rally Tuesday evening in Florida, and people are already lining up for what they hope will be a momentous event.
The planned kickoff event is set to take place in Orlando, Florida, at the city's Amway Center, according to local Orlando media. Although the venue holds only 20,000 people, the president himself claims that his nascent re-election effort has already received more than 100,000 requests for the free tickets.
The Trump re-election campaign is, technically, kicking off early for a re-election effort, but the Trump 2020 effort is unique in that the actual Trump campaign, which began back in 2015, has never really ended. The operation did not close down and campaign officials have remained on the staff of a Trump re-election organization since departing the "original" campaign to make way for the presidential transition team.
Although the "real" 2020 campaign began making big hires weeks ago, bringing on several seasoned GOP operatives, to fill digital, public relations, rapid response, and communications roles, key 2016 Trump campaign officials like Brad Parscale have remained in quasi-campaign roles since Trump took office.
The rallies have also continued. Trump has maintained a steady diet of public rallies since taking office, and the "campaign kickoff" rally in Orlando Tuesday night isn't expected to be much different from rallies the president has held across the country since taking office in 2017.
There are differences: the Trump operation is, according to The New York Times, embracing the "fundraising apparatus" that Trump rejected in 2016, and, according to rumors circulating around Washington, D.C., picking up more traditional Republican operatives — including staffers who worked for Mitt Romney's 2012 effort — to fill some of the campaign roles that went vacant in the 2016 operation as the Trump campaign operated on a shoestring budget, and pledged to be a "different" sort of operation than the GOP campaigns that preceded it.
There are concerns, of course: over the weekend, news emerged that Trump's numbers were falling behind those of former Vice President Joe Biden and a few select Democrats competing for the party's 2020 presidential nomination in at least 11 states, including a handful of battleground states. Those numbers were from March, but a recent Fox News poll shows similar sentiments in places like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida (which might explain why Trump selected Orlando and not his New York office building for this campaign's official start).
In Orlando, though, the exuberance hasn't waned. "Eight Trump supporters started camping out Monday morning, with the first one showing up at 2:30 a.m. The rally is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday," Click On Orlando reported Monday.
"There's going to be a bunch of people, and it's going to be pretty intense," one of the Trump superfans told local reporters. "The electricity is going to be high. It's time for America to get back on its feet and be made better than it's ever been before."
Local Florida media said Monday that the campaign doesn't plan to turn away anyone with a ticket, and that interested parties can still request credentials from the Trump 2020 campaign. Tickets aren't guaranteed; the 20,000 seats inside the Amway Center are available on a first come, first served basis. Ticketholders who don't make it inside will have to watch a simulcast of the event on big screens outside the arena.