Trump’s legal problems haven’t stopped him from becoming the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination, while DeSantis’ campaign failed.
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s “largest and most enthusiastic” audience heard him speak last Saturday.
After inviting to the stage several Florida lawmakers who had shifted their endorsements from DeSantis ahead of Saturday’s rally, Trump told the crowd, “We’re going to win the Florida primary for the third straight time, and we’re going to win the state by a landslide next November.”
The words “Florida is Trump Country” flashed on a screen behind them as they spoke.
However, some social media users disapproved of such claims.
“Florida is NOT Trump country. Debbie Matthews wrote, “Don’t let them mislead you,” above a photo on X (previously Twitter) that showed scores of vacant seats toward the back of the room where Trump was speaking.
This photo of empty seats at Trump’s rally was shared by Peter Henlein in another viral tweet, with an image that purportedly showed DeSantis speaking “to a crowded room.”
Nonetheless, Trump supporters also tweeted photographs and videos showing a massive crowd at Trump’s presentation, with the audience singing his name.
During DeSantis’ address, the Trump campaign tweeted a photo of empty seats.
Florida’s Voice CEO and founder Brendon Leslie commented on accompanying photographs on X, saying that people are just being emotional and pushing talking points for their guy.
Some have also hypothesized that the images were taken inopportune, which may have affected the number of empty seats shown.
According to one witness, many of Trump’s backers walked out on the former president’s speech.
“I was quite taken aback by how many people had already left by 6:45,” Leslea Snyder reported. She said she saw “many Trump fans running to find the shuttle out of the convention center by 6:50 p.m.”
Many debate “crowd sizes” seen at various rallies and speeches. It seems to be an online exercise in futility. Trump’s massive advantage in crowd size compared to Biden did not translate into a 2020 victory.