Trump’s Saturday campaign rally in New Hampshire has been postponed due to a big storm on the East Coast and will instead happen in “a week or two,” according to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
The rally was set to take place Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, outside the Portsmouth International Airport.
Held in a state narrowly won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, this rally will be an important gage for the Trump campaign, who polls have shown is trailing behind the presumptive Democratic nominee Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump’s campaign had “strongly” encouraged face masks at the outdoor rally, contrasting previous campaign events where social distancing measures and face-coverings seemed to take a backseat.
Nonetheless, state governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, said he would not attend the event: “I’m not going to put myself in the middle of a crowd of thousands of people.”
The Trump campaign has struggled to navigate hosting events amid a troubling few weeks of rising coronavirus infections in the U.S. Trump’s return to the campaign trail in Tulsa, Oklahoma turned out to be anti-climatic with a lower than expected attendance some attributed to a sabotage campaign by teens on TikTok and K-Pop fans, while Trump’s campaign said protesters outside the rally prevented entry. The event was also plagued by coronavirus concerns with several Trump campaign members and attendees reporting that they tested positive, and Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart noting the rally “likely contributed” to a subsequent spike in infections. A group of New Hampshire health officials asked Gov. Sununu earlier this week to “strictly” enforce wearing masks at the campaign rally, and New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff wrote his own letter to Sununu asking for the matter to be taken more seriously.
Anti-Trump organizers on TikTok had been planning a repeat strategy for Trump’s campaign in New Hampshire: registering for tickets with no plans to attend in order to inflate expected attendance numbers.