How Big Was the Crowd?

There has been a surprising amount of controversy over the size of the anti-Obama administration protest in Washington yesterday. Liberal media have pegged it in the “tens of thousands” (or even just “thousands”) range, while some have claimed that there were as many as 2 million people there, which seems impossible. There probably will never be a definitive number, but efforts to lowball the crowd are ridiculous. I have no expertise at estimating crowds, but this one was obviously huge. If you compare it, in very rough terms, to the 50,000 or so it takes to fill a stadium, it appears to be well into six figures.
I have no doubt that Washington Democrats are well aware of how many people turned out, even as their media outlets try to downplay the event. Ultimately, those media efforts will have little effect, just like the media’s silly attempt to portray anti-big government voters as “racists,” etc. The rubber will hit the road in November 2010. If present trends hold, the ruling Democrats will suffer a severe reversal that the media will not be able to avoid reporting, however much they may hate it, as in 1994. On the other hand, if the economy turns around and the Democrats hold on next year, no one will care much how many protesters did or did not turn out yesterday.
SCOTT adds: The site John linked to for the photo he originally posted above has retracted it, noting the picture was of another rally. Nick Gillespie discusses the estimates of crowd size here (via RCP), venturing only that “the crowd was truly huge.” Mark Hemingway commends Rand Simberg’s estimate of the crowd size between 240,000 and half a million, in line with John’s remarks.

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