FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Many people arriving at the Grand Wayne Convention Center for Thursday’s Ted Cruz Rally expected to see a lot of commotion when they got there. For someone just passing by, they might not have even known a presidential candidate was in Downtown Fort Wayne.
Brenda Mossbarger took a break from work to snap a few photos of the ‘hoopla’ outside the Grand Wayne Center. She said she didn’t see much going on.
“I guess I was just expecting to see some spillover, maybe people waiting to get in,” she said. “It seems to be pretty quiet.”
A half-hour before the event, which started at 11 a.m., one protester was marching outside of the convention center. His sign read ‘Hillary for Prison.’
“Well, I figure Ted Cruz fans will be on board with me as not liking Hillary because they’re probably going to be running against Hillary,” said Dan Carroll.
An NBC news truck was parked outside of the center. There were also five marked police cars as well as a couple of fire department vehicles. There were some cars being used to block off a sidewalk on the side of the building, but other than that nothing else stood out about the convention center from the outside.
Inside the center, about a 1,000 supporters came to see Cruz. Many people thought the turnout was underwhelming.
“I was surprised how few people there were,” Joseph Romary said.
Valerie Reynolds said she was surprised half the room was empty. It holds about 2,250 people.
“I mean it’s a big room,” she said.
People had different theories on the turn out. Some thought it was poorly publicized. Others thought it was Donald Trump, either that he has more supporters in the area or that he is just more of a draw than Cruz at this point.
“Trump has kind of sucked the wind out of his sails on Tuesday,” Reynolds said. “If Tuesday had gone a different way for Cruz, I think their might have been more people.”
There were supporters who found the turnout realistic.
“Because it was such short notice, I don’t think people really had time to plan and it is in the middle of the work day, but I thought it was a pretty good crowd,” Tara Greer said.
Cruz will be back at the Grand Wayne Center on Monday between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m.