In a 70-minute stop at West High School in Sioux City on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a few times veered to discuss the quality of the reporting by journalists who cover him. (At one point, in discussing illegal immigration, Trump noted that there are bad people everywhere, including no doubt some at that very rally, while adding that they most likely were the journalists present.)
Trump would possibly give this post a thumbs up, because it gives confirmation to his boasts that the things he has are the best or biggest. He told the Siouxland crowd, "We have the biggest crowds, we have the most enthusiastic crowds."
Trump drew an estimated 2,300 to the high school gym, which is by far the most in Sioux City during the 2016 election cycle. A few candidates -- Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans such as Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz -- have drawn crowds of 200-plus people in Morningside College appearances. Trump himself drew 200 at Morningside in his only previous stop in the city in May, back when he was still mulling whether to become a presidential candidate.
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He took that step in June and, of course, since skyrocketed to a lead in Iowa and national polls. That lead has fallen -- only down to second place in Iowa, behind retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Trump would say -- but obviously a lot of Siouxland people wanted to see him Tuesday.
Trump's crowd was the largest in the city since 2012, when Democratic President Barack Obama was running for re-election. On Sept. 1, 2012, Obama drew crowd of 2,800 people in an outside Morningside College event. That's when Obama said he should be re-elected to prevent Republican challenger Mitt Romney from returning to the failed policies of the past.
Fire department officials said the West High School venue had a maximum capacity of 2,500. The crowd kept growing before Trump spoke at 6:15 p.m. It quickly hit 1,000, then kept going. The last time I spoke with a campaign aide, the count was 2,100 and he said another 100 or so were anticipated.
One recap on Twitter put the crowd at 2,375, so with what the Trump aide said, 2,300 is no doubt a sound count. Trump has said his crowds have been enthusiastic, and there was no disputing that with reaction in Sioux City on Tuesday.