UP-UP-UP-UPDATE: The estimates of tea party protesters keeps growing. One estimate has the tally at nearly 500,000, while Nate Silver (see below) now estimates over 300,000 attended the various rallies. Jim Geraghty has upped his estimate to 337,682.
. . . based on news accounts of 306 “Tea Party” protests in different cities across the country yesterday, I get a cumulative attendance of 262,025, with a fair number of (probably mostly smaller) events still unaccounted for.
These figures, wherever possible, are drawn from objective attempts to estimate crowd sizes, such as police accounts or estimates made by reporters. Organizers of these events have strong incentives to exaggerate crowd sizes.
Interesting then another reader said the police gave a higher estimate (3,000) for the turnout out at the Van Nuys rally than she, other participants and I had estimated (1,500-2000).Â Now, Silver notes he left out a number of rallies. He lists neither of the rallies I attended. So, it’s possible that more 300,000 people attended these protests.
Well, even if we lowball the estimate, using Silver’s number and add in just 2,000 folks at those remaining tea parties (which you’d get just by adding the two I attended), there were 50,000 more people protesting higher government spending, including Obama’s budget, than those who signed petitions in favor of the spendthrift document.
As I wrote last week, to consider the tea parties a success:
We simply need to have more people protesting the president’s budget than signed petitions supporting it: 214,000. Unlike the DNC’s Organizing for America which grew out of the Obama’s presidential campaign, the tea party effort is just getting started. [This was the outfit which gathered the signatures.] We don’t have a long-established organization in place with the resources of a national political party possessing a database of 13 million supporters.
And given that many (if not most) of these rallies were held during the day when some of those most likely to attend had to work, the turnout becomes even more impressive. And you also have to consider that we did not have a central command directing our efforts, providing experienced organizers with lists of volunteers or offering funding to pay for the rallies and bus participants to the rally sites.
It was a haphazard affair, largely run by a variety of individuals across the country, many of whom had never previously organized such events.
And we’re just got started.Â Unless the President and Congress take action to curb the increases in federal spending, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
UPDATE: Raven’s current tally at Redstate is 310,000.
UP-UPDATE: Jim Geraghty pegs it at 333,682.