More than 100,000 requests have been made for tickets to President Trump's rally in Texas on Monday, his re-election campaign says.
To accommodate the sheer magnitude of interest, the Trump campaign announced in a statement Sunday that it will hold a "Big Texas Tailgater" at the site of Trump's "Make America Great Again" rally at the Toyota Center in Houston.
“Texas is big, and so will be the turnout for our MAGA rally in Houston, Texas Monday,” said Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Donald J, Trump for President, Inc. “That’s why we’ve organized the Donald Trump–Big Texas Tailgater outside the Toyota Center. We’ll have great food, live music, big screens, and a great time for all of our guests. Inside and out, the excitement at this Trump rally will be as big as Texas — it’s going to be epic."
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In a tweet, Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale boasted of "100,000+ RSVPS," and encouraged people to come see Trump "inside or out!"
Incredible numbers for #HoustonRally. 100,000+ RSVPs. I have flown in early and my great team is setting up the first ever TAILGATER for outside. So everyone come, room for everyone. Come see @realDonaldTrump inside or out! pic.twitter.com/92M3qBs5tp— Brad Parscale (@parscale) October 21, 2018
According to the campaign, the tailgater will feature "food trucks, live music courtesy of the Marcus Eldridge Band and the Will Carter Band, appearances by Trump campaign spokespeople, big screens to see President Trump’s speech, and more." The tailgating event will start in the morning -- with food trucks serving at 9 a.m. and band playing at 10 a.m. -- and extend into the afternoon before the rally begins at 6:30 p.m. local time.
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The announcement is the latest indication of intense interest in attending the event designed to give Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking re-election, a boost two weeks before the 2018 midterm elections.
On Thursday, Trump’s campaign said it moved the Cruz rally to a bigger venue in Texas after citing an “unprecedented” demand for tickets. Parscale tweeted the venue change, saying the response for tickets to Monday’s rally in Houston has been "HUGE and unprecedented."
The campaign rally will be held at the Toyota Center, which can seat up to 19,000 people for concerts. The previous venue, NRG Arena, holds about 8,000 people.
Cruz will face Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, in the midterm contest. O'Rourke has been competitive in some polling in the deep red state, and has put up strong fundraising numbers. A RealClearPolitics polling average shows Cruz retains a 7-point lead in the first two weeks of October.
Early voting in Texas begins Monday, the same day as the rally.
Editor's note: Corrects information about the start time for the tailgating event.