Trump, a prominent contender for the Republican presidential nomination, hosted a political rally in Pickens, a small town with a population of about 3,400.
Trump rally drew over 50 000 people
The event attracted an estimated 50,000 to 55,000 spectators, filling the main venue and overflowing onto nearby streets.
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The crowd size was estimated by Pickens Police Chief Randal Beach, who spoke with The Associated Press on the weekend.
The early presidential primary in South Carolina tends to draw numerous GOP candidates.
Trump currently leads the 2024 polls
However, none has managed to attract a crowd as large as Trump, who is currently leading in the 2024 polls.
According to a statement from the Make America Great Again Inc. PAC, no other candidate has sparked such passion amongst the electorate in Pickens, crediting Trump’s previous accomplishments for the United States.
Taylor Budowich, the CEO, praised Trump’s achievements, saying, “The Supreme Court decisions ending racist college admissions, protecting religious liberty, and stopping an illegal student loan forgiveness scheme were a reminder of how President Trump kept the promises he made to voters.”
Supporters braved extreme heat for the rally
He further commented on the heat of the day, noting that attendees braved temperatures over 90 degrees to show their support for the former president.
The rally marked a return to Trump’s popular large-scale events, reminiscent of his previous campaigns, and effectively transformed Pickens’ traditional Southern downtown area for the day.
Trump expressed his delight at the massive gathering, stating, “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be to kick off the Fourth of July weekend than right here on Main Street, with thousands of hardworking South Carolina patriots who believe in God, family, and country.”
The supporters, some of whom had started lining up the night before the rally, echoed the sentiment.
Trump’s die-hard supporters
Greg Pressley, who drove over three hours with his wife Robin from Tennessee to attend, shared his unwavering support for Trump since his initial 2016 campaign.
In the race for South Carolina, several other high-profile politicians such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Governor Nikki Haley, and Senator Tim Scott have also held events.
Supporter Shelley Fox said that she didn’t feel the need to consider any other candidates for the upcoming election, asserting that she would write Trump in without a second thought.
Trump joined by several other Republicans
The event was also graced by the speeches of Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.
During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump claimed a decisive victory in the state, taking 32.5% of the vote and earning all 50 delegates.
Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz trailed in second and third place, each claiming around 22%.
2024 Presidential race heats up
Trump’s 2024 campaign appears to be focusing on smaller-scale gatherings, punctuated by larger rallies like the one in Pickens and a previous one in Waco, Texas.
The ex-president also remains active in media interviews, speeches at state party organizations, and impromptu visits to dining establishments in towns he visits.
This grand showing happens in the face of Trump’s indictment on hush-money charges in New York, federal charges related to classified document retention post-presidency, and other ongoing investigations.
Despite this, the massive turnout suggests that Trump remains a dominant force in the Republican Party, with a devoted supporter base standing firm beside him.