The One Nation rally attendance figures are under the expected debate. One Nation estimates from the organizers are at 175,000 to 200,000, although many are questioning that right away. Nowadays, counting the crowd at a political gathering has become a partisan affair, as the right wing is quick to point out. The right has constantly accused the media of undercounting their rallies, especially regarding Glenn Beck’s event. Now with the debate over the One Nation rally, pundits and news outlets are scrambling to see if Beck did better.
When Beck held his “Restoring Honor” event, he claimed that there were up to 500,000 people who came to Washington, although one count via satellite was as low as 87,000. For the event this past Saturday, organizers touted that they would bring even more people to their left-wing gathering.
As such, their estimates were at 175,000 to 200,000, which is higher than the satellite estimates for Beck’s event, but much lower than Beck’s count. Even some in the media doubted that Beck only drew 87,000, and the press is questioning these numbers as well.
The Associated Press conceded that the One Nation attendees were “less dense” than the Beck crowds, and weren’t “as far to the edges” on the Lincoln Memorial. Even if the 175,000+ plus figures are correct, it only revives questions on how big the “Restoring Honor” event really was, and whether it was larger.
The organizers of the rally invited this attendance debate on themselves by predicting that they would get more people than the Restoring Honor event. Given the midterm momentum for Republicans, the 400 liberal organizations that put this together needed a big turnout. Although most of these groups are likely disappointed in Democrats and President Obama, they are more committed to stopping a Republican takeover.
This is merely the first left-wing gathering in Washington this month, although this one will likely be the more serious. In four weeks, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally To Restore Sanity” and “March To Keep Fear Alive” will be held in the Washington Mall. Although these events may be less overtly political, they will likely have their numbers nitpicked to death as well.
Since the National Park Service hasn’t provided crowd estimates in years, they have fallen under partisan bickering. Although the One Nation attendance numbers may not be as varied as the Beck estimates, whether they are bigger is still another matter.
Associated Press- “DC rally shows support for struggling Democrats”
New York Magazine- “Beck’s D.C. Rally Drew More Than Liberal Groups, According To Reports”
The Atlantic Wire- “Did The Liberal ‘One Nation’ Rally Draw a Larger Crowd Than Glenn Beck’s Event?”