I usually have a good back-and-forth with many of my liberal readers, but something about the Tea Parties has made a bunch of them aggressively imbecilic.
More than a few — what, did some memo go out Journolist or something? — are echoing the argument that if the attendance at the tea parties was about 300,000, and if the population of the United States is 300 million, then the rallies were a failure, because only .1 percent of the population attended.
Determining success by what percentage of the national population attended is an interesting and new measuring stick for rallies, since it would mean that just about every rally in the history of the world has been a failure. By this thinking, the Obama event in Portland last year that had an estimated crowd of 70,000 was a failure, because out of the 2,159,720 in the Portland metropolitan area, it only brought in 3.2 percent of that region’s population. And 96.8 percent of folks in the region stayed away!
Anyway, for what it is worth, the Pajamas Media folks have put together a count of 551,919 using both media accounts and organizers’ estimates. Another collection of counts is here. My number, of course, aims to give the indisputable minimum; I’m using only media numbers and 200 every time a news report just says “hundreds,” 2,000 every time a report only says, “thousands,” etc.
Many, many folks argue that the local press was lowballing the count, which is another argument for another time; my aim in yesterday’s post was to point out that just by using Nate Silver’s measuring stick, numbers from press accounts, the number was signficantly higher than the initial 262,025.
Anyway, here are a few more cities that were missed, and then I’m going to move on to other things . . .
Terre Haute, Indiana: “At least 225 people.”
Tipton, Indiana: “More than 100 people.”
Gulfport, Mississippi: “The crowd, which organizers estimated to be about 1,000.”
Laurel, Mississippi: “Hundreds of local people.”
New Iberia, Louisiana: “More than 150 people.”
Pueblo, Colorado: “more than 500.”
Greenwich, Connecticut: “about 120.”
Throwing in these, I’m up to 341,477.
Contrast this to, say, the five people in Connecticut who contributed to Chris Dodd this quarter, and it really looks like a lot.