MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In just three days, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
Trump supporters from around the country and here in Minnesota are on their way to Washington, D.C. to witness the inauguration.
The President-elect tweeted on Tuesday that “People are pouring into Washington in record numbers.”
But authorities in Washington, D.C., say they expect the turnout for the Trump inaugural to be significantly less than the widely reported 1.8 million people who turned out for Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
For the first time in recent memory, Minnesota will not be represented in the Inaugural Parade with a high school band or other group. But Minnesota GOP officials say at least 59 Minnesotans are traveling to the inauguration.
For at least 59 individuals who are going, the excitement and the anticipation is building. David Pergande, a flight attendant from the eastern metro, was wearing his “Make America Great Again” hat. He says he just has to go to the Inauguration.
“I am very excited. I think it is going to be a blast,” Pergrande said. “I am optimistic for the opportunities for this country and I just want to be there.”
While Pergande has a ticket to the swearing in, he is still hoping to get a ticket to one of the three official inaugural balls. Rick Rice of St. Louis Park does not have that problem.
Rice, a Republican National Committeeman from Minnesota, has received invitations to five separate inaugural events. Those include a ball, the swearing in, and a special reception with Reince Priebus, the President-elect’s future Chief of Staff, to the inaugural parade.
We caught up with Rice as he was busy polishing his shoes before he and wife left for Washington. We asked him what is he looking forward to the most.
“Intellectually the swearing in ceremony is probably the biggest deal, the peaceful transition of power in this country. Fun-wise, it will be the inaugural balls,” Rice said.
Rice and other local Trump supporters say they are not concerned with the growing number of Democratic lawmakers who have announced a boycott of the inauguration. They are also not worried about polls that show Trumps approval rating is at 40 percent, a record low for an incoming president.
“I would encourage folks to be open-minded and give him time,” Rice said.
Trump himself took to Twitter on Tuesday, blasting the new polls showing his approval ratings plunging, saying they are “rigged.” The President-elect added all the pre-election polls that showed he would lose the election all turned out to be wrong.