DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Supporters of President Donald Trump started lining up outside the American Airlines Center in Dallas as early as Tuesday, two days before his “Keep America Great” rally.
The AAC is preparing for 20,000 supporters inside Thursday evening.READ MORE: Affidavit: Accused Serial Killer Jason Thornburg Says Slayings Were Human Sacrifices
Steve Burns drove to Dallas from Joaquin, Texas, east of Nacogdoches in an old convertible Cadillac fitted with multiple Trump flags and stickers.
âFirst rally ever, yeah, so Iâm jacked up. I canât wait,â he said.
Richard Snowden of Las Vegas is first in line to get into President Trump’s rally and says he’s traveled across the country to see him.
âThis is my 57th. We give back to him the love and the support contrasted with all the negative attacks made on him by his enemies,â said Snowden.
Before the evening rally, the President will hold a fundraising luncheon in downtown Fort Worth, then attend a ribbon-cutting in Keene in Johnson County for the manufacturing plant of Louis Vuitton, an upscale line of women’s handbags, luggage and other accessories.
The Trump campaign says since the President entered office, Texas has created about 775,000 new jobs as unemployment levels have hit record lows.
The Democratic presidential candidates have sharply criticized the President’s policies, and on Thursday afternoon, the Texas Democratic Party will hold a news conference to highlight their beliefs.
Democratic Party leaders say they believe the Lone Star State will be up for grabs in 2020.
President Trump was asked about that in Houston last month, and he said, “No, I donât think it is for us. But still you canât take anything for granted.â
The President said the only way he’d lose is if supporters become complacent and stay home.
âI donât see how I could possibly lose Texas. They want border security. They want to protect their Second Amendment. They want a lot of things that I stand for.â
SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson says the President maintains an advantage in Texas.READ MORE: Tarrant County Issues 90-Day Burning Ban Due To Drought Conditions In Unincorporated Areas
“I think President Trump is right the Texas isnât in play. Trump won by nine in 2016. I think he wins by five in 2020, unless he really has the bottom fall out of his campaign,â said Jillson.
But he says Texas will be in play in future election cycles, and that Democrats will continue to make inroads in Texas as they did last year.
âWe saw the Democrats win two Texas Republican-held House seats and 12 Texas House seats. So Trump knows heâs going to have to work hard to turn out his base because his base isn’t as solid as it was for previous Republican Presidents.â
Rachel Hassenteufel of Plano is turning out for the President, and was among the first to arrive.
“Iâm all in. Iâm supporting Trump. I think it says a lot and speaks a lot to his following that we’re willing to sit out all night and support him and be here for him,” he said.
âWhen I heard he was coming here, I was determined to get up front,â said Angelo Susini, who lives in Arlington.
This is the presidentâs sixth visit to Texas, this year alone.
âSo for him itâs wanting to be around the American people, but weâre confident Texas is a Trump state,â said Kayleigh McEnany, National Press Secretary for the Trump campaign.
There will be a big party outside the American Airlines Center Thursday. â45 Festâ kicks off at 10:30 a.m. and the rally starts at 7:00 p.m.
The streets right around the AAC will be shut down, so people may see traffic delays.
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) October 16, 2019
âThe traffic youâll see beforehand wonât be because of that,â McEnany said. âIt will be due to the tens of thousands of people trying to get into this venue.â
DART trains will be running on schedule, but road closures could cause bus delays.
The Trinity Railway Express will also have an additional train to Fort Worth leaving Victory Station between 9:45 and 10:00 p.m.MORE NEWS: Gang Member, North Texas Sex Offender Added To State's 10 Most Wanted Lists
Caroline Vandergriff contributed to this report.