Pro-Trump caravans are crowding freeways, sometimes forcing gridlock

Trump caravan clogs Tappen Zee Bridge
(Image credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Before the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump warned of caravans of migrants coming up via Mexico. With just a few days until the 2020 election, Trump supporters are the ones forming caravans, taking to highways and freeways in large numbers to demonstrate their support for the president or make some other statement.

In some cases, like when a Trump caravans waited on I-35 in Texas to "ambush" a Joe Biden campaign bus, things turned a little sinister. The FBI is investigating that incident, though Trump tweeted that in his opinion, they should let it go. In other cases, the rallies just caused traffic jams. Around Denver on Sunday, the gridlock appears to have been an incidental byproduct of the "MAGA Drag The Interstate" rally. In other places, such as New York and New Jersey, the goal appears to have been to shut down traffic.

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Is purposely causing gridlock a winning strategy?

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In New York and New Jersey, it doesn't really matter — Trump was never going to win there anyway. Indiana comedian Brent Terhune, pretending to have organized one real "Trump Train" rally, deadpanned, "We think the best way to show our support is to create traffic. If we can make somebody late for something, then we've shown our support."

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The real goal for most caravan participants seems to be a visual show of strength amid dire polling for Trump. But police are preparing for chaos and confrontations on Election Day, and already "early voting has been marred by accusations of voter intimidation and unease around the polls, including many reports of caravans of honking vehicles flying Trump flags at times blocking access to voting sites," The Washington Post reports. Actionable voter intimidation includes people confronting voters in official or military-style uniforms outside polling places or "poll watchers" following voters or aggressively challenging or threatening them.

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