It is Friday night at a crowded biker bar in South Dakota: Chris Cox, founder of Bikers for Trump, is on stage. While many have come to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for some combination of riding and partying, Cox’s focus is on voting.
The coronavirus chaos has squashed many in-person get-out-the-vote efforts across the country, but Mr. Cox’s group is unbothered by public health recommendations.
As The Trump Campaign looks to bolster its momentum less than 90 days from the election, Bikers for Trump has taken advantage of recent motorcycle rallies to make direct appeals to register to vote.
While the group has gained a significant online following for providing security in Y 2016 at some Trump 2016 rallies.
To make his appeal, Mr. Cox enlisted female bartenders to join his nightly “Trump rallies” atop bars at One Eyed Jack’s Saloon.
Most of the rallies consisted of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem. As members of the predominantly male audience removed their hats, 1 bartender who was topless except for a pair of strategically placed American flag stickers performed the Star-Spangled Banner in sign language.
“If you live in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Florida the campaign needs you to double-down because those are the states that we need to carry this thing,” Mr. Cox shouted to the crowd.
Mr. Cox, who started the group in Y 2015, has shown a knack for generating political drama. He gained media attention during the Y 2016 election for assembling a quasi-security force at rallies and forming what he called a “wall of meat” to keep protesters from disrupting President Trump’s Inauguration.
Recently, he has enlisted bikers to give Amish and Mennonite Trump supporters motorcycle rides to rallies in Pennsylvania.
Since the last election, Mr. Cox has built Bikers for Trump into a political machine, registering a PAC (political action committee). Its Facebook group has more than 350,000 followers, and 180,000 people have signed up for a mailing list.
The annual Sturgis rally is expected to draw 250,000 bikers, within its estimated 400,000-person turnout. It is an impressive assemblage City officials in this South Dakota town voted to proceed with the event back in June it began Friday, 7 August and will run through Sunday.
Chris Carr, The Trump Campaign’s political director, urged members of the crowd at a rally Thursday to get their neighbors registered to vote.
With hundreds of thousands of people rumbling into Sturgis through this weekend, Mr. Cox may be in the right place to reach the suburban voters that The Trump Campaign is wants to win over.
Despite the stereotype of the bearded, tattooed biker, a significant number are known as “Rolex Riders,” professionals who can afford to travel across the country with expensive motorcycles. A growing number are female, college-educated and married, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.
President Trump Loves these People!
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!