Supporters lined the streets outside of Orlando’s Amway Center in anticipation of President Donald Trump‘s massive kickoff event slated for Tuesday evening as Trump attempts to direct some of the media attention away from the Democratic candidates and back towards himself.


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The rally, which Trump estimated would be attended by 20,000 people, marks the beginning of the president’s second bid for the White House. In traditional Trump style, the leadup to the event has been marked by fervent celebrations by his diehard followers and grim preparations by his critics. While the president’s supporters have staged spa celebrations, erected flashing billboards, flown banners from airplanes and held a mini-concert outside of the Amway Center, progressive activists have been gearing up to begin a counter-protest against Trump’s kickoff event.

Opponents of the president will be holding their own event at the Stonewall Bar Orlando, a gay bar named after the famous Stonewall Inn. Three hours before Trump is set to take the stage in the 20,000 seat arena, liberal activists will begin their “Win With Love” event. The demonstration will feature appearances by marginalized and minority individuals such as a transgender individual banned from the military and a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The “Baby Trump” balloon is expected to hover nearby, and there will be performances from a drag artist and a mariachi band. The counter-protest reflects the sentiments of Orlando itself, which, along with the surrounding Orange County, leans liberal.


Even though he doesn’t have the support of the city’s residents, Trump’s followers are numerous in the counties further outside of Orlando. These followers will play a key role in the 2020 election, as Republican political strategists have marked Florida as crucial to the president’s ability to remain in the White House. Trump won the swing state in 2016, along with several other important battleground states, but as polls show Joe Biden leading in places like Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, it becomes even more essential that Trump capture the Sunshine State.

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