Some credit is due Nate Silver, who aimed to put together a list of Tea Party events and a head-count from local media accounts. He comes up with 306 events, with crowds ranging from 7,000 to 12, and adds them up to 262,025. In the comments section, that’s immediately declared a failure, which is ridiculous. (This would put the average crowd at about 865 people.)
Would organizers have liked to have seen even larger crowds? Sure, and the miserable rain on the east coast probably kept some folks away. Nonetheless, 262,000+ is nothing to sneeze at, and I’d be thrilled if that was my starting point for a grassroots movement.
UPDATE: It’s a good list, but it appears to have left some events off, which would boost the numbers even higher. I don’t see Macon, Ga., listed, and that was reportedly “almost 600” and “about 500″ at Warner-Robins, Ga.
Roanoke, Va., is not listed, and the local newspaper article mentions “325 people.”
Perhaps most glaringly, Columbus, Ohio doesn’t appear on Silver’s list, which had, according to organizers, 7,000 people. Even if you think the organizers are overestimating the number, it’s more than the zero that are in Silver’s current count.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Okay, this is starting to look like a fairly significant undercount. While Silver uses 7,000 for Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Public Safety estimated the crowd at 15,000.
He doesn’t mention Cleveland, which the Plain Dealer’s article put at “more than 2,000,” or Medina, Ohio, which is put at “more than 1,000.”
We’re up to 21,425 missing from the list.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: West Chester, Pennsylvania.: “About 200.”
Trenton, New Jersey: “As many as 400.”
Murfreesboro, Tennessee: “somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 protesters” (quoting an organizer).
Winchester, Virginia: “About 300.”
Silver lists 2,000 for Houston, Texas, which is tough to match with 8,532 who filled out the sign-in sheets.
Silver lists 2,900 for Nashville, but this article from The Tennessean says “as many as 10,000 people.” Even if you dispute that, there’s no listing for Franklin, Tennessee, which is reported as “as many as 4,000.”
El Dorado, Arkansas, “more than 300 people.”
Rancho Cucamonga, California: “more than 1,000 protesters.”
Provo, Utah: “Hundreds.” (Thanks, guys.)
Ogden, Utah: “About 150-plus.”
Nacogdoches, Texas: “An estimated 2,000.”
By my math, we’re now at about 38,307 missed from the Silver count.
Richmond, Va.: “Several thousand.” (For the purposes of our tally, I’ll use 2,000.)
Needless to say, lots of readers are sending in what they saw and have read and how it compares to Silver’s list. At this point, I’m much more interested in cities and towns where nothing is listed than cases where people are convinced Silver’s total is an undercount. We can argue whether a crowd looks more like 400 people or 600 people, but whatever it is, it clearly isn’t zero, which is what it’s scored as under the 262,025 count.
Elkhart, Indiana: “Hundreds.”
South Bend, Indiana: “a couple of hundred people.”
Santa Barbara, California: “More than 200 people.”
Here’s a big one: Dayton, Ohio, “approximately 8,000 people” with the figure attributed to police.
Durango, Colorado: “About 500.”
Kingsport, Tennessee: “Hundreds.”
Gillette, Wyoming: “About 150.”
Lubbock, Texas: “nearly 1,300 people.”
Granbury, Texas: “An estimated 300 plus.”
Trussville, Alabama: “approaching 1,000,” quoting an organizer.
Appleton, Wisconsin: “Several hundred.”
Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “More than 300.”
Wausau, Wisconsin: “About 1,000.”
Everett, Washington: “Several hundred.”
Enterprise, Washington: “About 400.”
We’re now up to 54,757 missed in Silver’s initial count.