President Donald Trump visited Wildwood, New Jersey for a rally Tuesday night. The 7,500-seat venue was packed, with thousands in overflow. The January 28 rally was for his 2020 campaign. Later reports indicated as many as 15,000 attended the New Jersey rally on January 28. Read on to learn more and see crowd photos and videos from the rally.
Note: To see how many people attended Trump’s rally in Des Moines, Iowa on January 30, see Heavy’s story here.
The Venue Was at Capacity & Overflow Space Was Needed
The rally was at the Wildwoods Convention Center and started at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Eastern.) The convention center has a listed capacity of 7,000 in the main exhibit hall theater. According to NJ.com, the venue can seat 7,500. The venue was packed and overflow space was needed.
According to Courier Post, the crowd was at capacity, which would mean 7,000 to 7,500 attended inside the venue, not counting the overflow crowd. There were thousands in the overflow crowd, adding to the count for tonight. You can see photos from the overflow crowd in the next section of this story.
Mayor Pete Byron later estimated that in total there were about 15,000 at the rally, New Jersey 101.5 reported. That would mean there were about as many in the overflow crowd as there were inside the venue.
During the rally, Trump talked about his opponents and the lower unemployment rate in the state. He was advocating for Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat who recently switched to being Republican.
Trump said that Van Drew had “guts” to defy his own party. Van Drew spoke for a few minutes, as did Kellyanne Conway.
Trump said that earnings were rising faster for the bottom 10 percent and said he had done more for the median household income than Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush.
Trump also spoke negatively about the Green New Deal, while also addressing immigration and thanked ICE. Trump had a lot of negative things to say about Bernie Sanders during his speech, which perhaps means he is seeing Sanders as the frontrunner. He also spoke in favor of private insurance and then spoke about prohibiting late-term abortions. “Every child is a sacred gift from God,” he said.
He also talked about how tough and smart the people of New Jersey are, and promised to “make America wealthy again.”
As Many as 7,000 or More Watched in the Overflow Space Outside
Because of the smaller venue, thousands crowded the overflow space, as you can see in the video below.
The overflow space was packed as people watched the rally on the large screen outside. Later estimates put the total crowd at 15,000, and with about 7,500 fitting into the arena, this would put another 7,500 approximately in the overflow area, New Jersey 101.5 reported. Mayor Pete Byron, a Democrat, provided the estimate.
Amy Rosenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer said on Twitter that there were “thousands” outside in the streets and the parking lot, but not “tens of thousands.”
The overflow crowd was in the nearby Park across from the Convention Center, she wrote.
Meanwhile at the Bolero Hotel restaurant, hundreds of people watched the rally on four projector screens.
People Started Lining Up Sunday, Two Days Before the Rally
People lined up hours early for the rally today. Here’s the crowd as Trump arrived in Wildwood.
According to NJ.com, some people even showed up Sunday afternoon to camp out for today’s rally, which wasn’t starting until Tuesday night. Here’s what the line looked like 20 hours before the rally started.
The center’s doors opened at 3 p.m. Eastern. The rally started at 5, with Trump speaking at 7 p.m. Eastern.
With only 7,500 seats, according to NJ.com, there were already 2,500 people in line by 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. About 100,000 people requested tickets to the rally, said Rep. Jeff Van Drew.
There was concern that there might not be enough portable toilets for attendees, especially those in the overflow areas.
Here are a few more crowd photos from the rally:
Trump’s next rally will be in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, January 30, 2020, just a few days before the Iowa caucus. That rally will begin at 7 p.m. Central (8 p.m. Eastern.) The rally will take place at the Knapp Center at Drake University.
After that, Trump will host a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central.) That rally will be held at the SNHU Arena.