Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at a Republican Party fundraiser in Denver Thursday, and unsurprisingly, local activists are planning to show up in big numbers to protest his appearance.
But will they outnumber those attending the event itself?
It’s a valid question considering the Colorado GOP’s struggle to sell tickets to the event, which originally cost a minimum of $275, but then were discounted to $150 due to a lack of demand.
Colorado Republicans first indicated that they planned for 800 attendees, but later said they expected to sell just around 400 tickets. The Denver Marriott Tech Center can hold up to 900 people for events.
The Colorado GOP attempted to spin the story by saying they lowered the price because there was such a high demand for tickets, which, in addition to not being how anything works, was refuted by Daniel Cole, the party’s spokesman.
He told the Denver Post that they were “hearing from a lot of people that they very much want to see the vice president but the tickets were too expensive, ” and that they “couldn’t fill the large room at that ticket level.”
By contrast, more than 2,000 people have either expressed interest or said they plan to attend the protest on Facebook, which will focus on reproductive justice.
Pence has long been a leader in the fight against reproductive care, including an attempt as a U.S. Representative to make it more difficult for rape survivors to get abortions.
The protest will feature women dressed as handmaids from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, in which an authoritarian regime assumes total control over women’s bodies and forces them to bear children.
Organizing partners include OneColorado, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, The Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Indivisible Front Range Resistance, Indivisible Denver, Indivisible Colorado District 6, EDF Action, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, and others.
In response to news of chilly weather on Thursday, Indivisible Front Range Resistance posted a comment in the Facebook event page urging protesters not to be deterred:
“The GOP still fundraises—and Mike Pence still embraces radical 1950s ideology—when it’s cold and/or snowy,” stated Indivisible Front Range’s post.
The Colorado Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.