Even after making reservations, printing tickets and fighting a two mile backup along I-10, thousands of Trump fans (and those who are just Trump-curious) who were trying to attend Tuesday night’s rally at the Tallahassee Car Museum were stopped dead in their tracks by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy guarding the venue’s only public entrance, a gate more than half a mile from the podium where Trump would later speak, pointed the finger of blame squarely at the Trump campaign, saying the tickets the rally-goers were waving were essentially worthless.
“Don’t blame us, blame Donald Trump,” the deputy told the crowd, to immediate jeers, boos and chants of “We want Trump!” and “Let us in!”
A source inside the Trump campaign told The Capitolist that attendance far exceeded expectations, and that the Secret Service had ordered the gates to be closed for security reasons. Democrats had initially scoffed at the idea of a large turnout for a Trump rally in the Democratic stronghold of Tallahassee, but as things turned out, it’s clear the sheer size of the rally exceed everyone’s expectations, including that of Trump’s advance team.
Signs that the rally had reached capacity became apparent long before actually arriving at the blocked entrance gate. Traffic, already backed up for miles, ground to a halt on I-10 when police blocked the westbound exit on Mahan Drive. That forced determined rallygoers to merge with highway traffic and exit in the opposite direction, taking them further from the rally. Instead of continuing in the wrong direction, frustrated drivers abandoned their cars along the highway exit ramp and made the rest of the way on foot. But it was all for naught, as the closest they got to see Donald Trump was the moment when his motorcade roared past about 45 minutes later: