Weather Gang Blog
Customize your weather

Enter your zip code and click "Accept" to set weather for any U.S. location. (You'll have to do this again - once - for each computer you use.)

CBS' Estimate of 215,000 at Stewart/Colbert Rally is Wildly Low

7:14 AM ET, 10/31/2010
Just at it did with the Beck/Palin rally, CBS News commissioned an independent, non-political firm (AirPhotosLive.com) to estimate attendance at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Sanity/Fear event yesterday. The result? 215,000 yesterday for fun and sanity vs. 87,000 for Beck/Palin's bizarre version of "honor." Good news, right? Well, yeah, except that the AirPhotosLive.com estimate of yesterday's rally is almost certain to be wildly low. How so? Three reasons.

1. For anyone who tried taking Metro yesterday, you know that it was completely FUBAR. For instance, if you lived any further east than Vienna, Virginia, you had close to zero chance of getting on an Orange Line train in the hours leading up to the rally. I personally tried to do this around 10-11 am at Virginia Square Metro in Arlington, and it was "nothing doing."  

How many of the tens of thousands of people who wanted to take Metro but were not able to do so ever got to the rally is beyond me, but my guess is that the vast majority simply gave up after realizing it was hopeless. Presumably, the same thing was happening on other lines, as the Metro person I spoke to at Virginia Square told me that Metro hadn't put any additional trains on,  based on an apparently complete breakdown of communications between rally organizers and Metro, but simply operated on normal, very slow (trains at 12-13 minute intervals) weekend schedule.  It was a complete debacle, and I don't remember hearing anything of this sort happening at the Palin/Beck rally. WTF?  Anyway, add tens of thousands of people who tried to go the rally yesterday but were stymied by Metro.
2. Along with tens of thousands of other people, probably a lot more, I finally made it to the outskirts of the rally, but not to the rally itself.  The photo above was taken as I walked with two friends (Eric of Blue Virginia and his wife, Marna) from the Chinatown area towards the rally. Note that we were surrounded by thousands of people, and also note that this was occurring on pretty much ever street heading south from the District towards the rally.  At one point, I looked up one of the streets, probably around 7th or 8th NW, and saw swarms of people as far as the eye could see trying (but not succeeding) to make their way towards the rally.  None of these people, almost certainly tens of thousands (if not more) if you count all the people on all the streets, are not even in the AirPhotosLive.com photo, which they used to make their estimate.

3. Finally, who knows how many people heard about the impossibility of making it to the actual rally, and simply repaired to a friends' living room, bar, whatever. Obviously, none of those people were counted.

The bottom line: even not accounting for #1-#3 above, there were more than twice as many people on the Mall itself to participate in the "Sanity" rally yesterday compared to the Beck/Palin rally in August. Accounting for #1-#1 above adds tens of thousands of people, possibly hundreds of thousands, to the 215,000 estimate. Let's be conservative, and say 100,000 rallygoers were jampacked on DC streets heading south, stuck on Metro platforms, sitting at bars in DC, etc. That would easily push the numbers yesterday over 300,000, but my bet is that the real total was a lot higher than that.

P.S. A straw poll of rallygoers by Celinda Lake, "86 percent of those surveyed plan on voting Democratic next week, another 8 percent said they are undecided with 1 percent planning to vote Republican."  Also, "An overwhelming majority (90 percent) approved of the President, including more than half (56 percent) who approve of him strongly. In contrast, only 10 percent disapproves of the President (2 percent strongly.)" Quite a contrast to the Beck/Palin rally in August, which was pretty much a 100% anti-Democratic, anti-Obama affair.


Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz
Comments

Crowd was really very small. I easily found parking in the area twice during the day.

Posted by: state82 | October 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

state82 - You failed to mention where you were when you "found parking in the area twice during the day". Might you have been in Beaver Creek, MN - because I was there yesterday, and yes - I found parking pretty easy to come by there, too...

However, my friends in DC found that parking anywhere near either event - PRICELESS. And impossible.

Posted by: borntorun45 | October 31, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse


Nearly three times the beck crazies. If only we were as excited about voting. The truth is, the majority of the American people want things like universal health care, but, as usual, the rabid, radical right is so loud and, yes, so motivated, that they will get in power, and this time, unfortunately, probably finish the job they started of wrecking the country.

Posted by: monk4hall | October 31, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, none of those people were counted."

Yes. Crowd estimates were estimates of people AT the rally, and did not include those trying to get there. What part about this concept don't you understand?

Anyway, your anecdotes do not necessarily apply at different locations and at different times.

Posted by: TheChileanPresidentIsMuchBetterRespondingToDisastersThanObama | October 31, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I was there. I was also there at huge anti-war rallies in the '70s, and this absolutely dwarfed anything I have ever seen. At least a half million, and that isn't Fox News numbers. Obviously from the pitiful coverage at the Post, Fred Hiatt is p-d off about it. But we were there. We crushed Beck and his dittoheads; it wasn't close. Lots of very nice people, and not a John Bircher in the group.

Posted by: faygokid | October 31, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Is state82's "Crowd was really small" comment an example of the denial we're likely to hear coming from the right after the election on Tuesday, when the much-vaunted TEA Party/GOP victory fails to materialize?

Just a reminder: The only poll that really matters is the one day after tomorrow. If people can travel half a day to attend a rally, we can certainly find time to make it to our local voters' booth.

Posted by: sailorashore | October 31, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The rally was a perfect example of the Democrat party…..it was led by two comedians, Ozzie Osborne…a drugged out rocker and a Muslim convert, Cat Stevens.

Posted by: priveye | October 31, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

As an indicator of traffic-- had departed Baltimore before 10:30am and both 295 and 95 were very slow and backed up. Took one hour to travel to Columbia, MD. Traffic appeared backed up points south of Columbia.

Posted by: crushed-ice | October 31, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the photos it's obvious Beck's was tiny..unless you use the Tea Parties pictures taken in 2005....
before the native American building was erected.

Posted by: newagent99 | October 31, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Fox was providing denial spin before I even made it home from the Rally. Too true, Metro screwed up royally. We were lucky to make it out of Crystal City on a Blue Line train. We got onto the Mall near 4th Street so we enjoyed the whole Rally from start to finish. I'm afraid our denial friends don't get satire and missed the point of the whole event. Also, just in our area, there were people of all races, creeds, age and orientation. It really was a cross section of America. And, as no surprise, two hours after the end of the rally all downtown Metro stations were jammed. Thank you fellow travelers for your patience and good humor. That pretty much sums up the Rally - reasonably sane people.

Posted by: sue1047 | October 31, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I parked at Pentagon City Mall and took the Yellow Line to the Rally with no problem but I did go very early so as to secure a good spot and get some of the free swag. On the way back, I noticed the huge line trying to get into the L'Enfant plaza station. I then decided to walk back to Pentagon City via the 14th Street bridge and got back to my car in 2.5 hours with a detour to get something to eat at the Washington Marina. Not an easy walk, especially on the VA side since there is no easy way to get to the Pentagon by foot but I managed to do it without too much trouble and avoiding most of the traffic.

Posted by: jmichaelharris1959 | October 31, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The line of people trying to get in the Dunn Loring metro yesterday around 9:30 AM was so long that we abandoned our efforts. Watched it on TV and sent in $50 to the mall cleanup charity instead. Love Stewart, but crowds? Not so much. I've never seen a line of people outside the station like that before.

I'm very glad so many people went and it sounded like a great day.

Posted by: sarahabc | October 31, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Stewart rally covered a much smaller area than the Beck crowd. The only real information you can get from CBS estimates is that CBS undercounts people they don't agree with and overcounts people they do agree with. But of course anyone with a lick of sense knew this already.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | October 31, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Crowd was really very small. I easily found parking in the area twice during the day.

Posted by: state82 | October 31, 2010 1:08 PM |

There's no way you were there.

It took me three hours to travel from my house in Manassas to the Smithsonian station and it was 4 hours after the rally ended before I could get on an Orange line train traveling to Vienna that wasn't packed with wall to wall people. Metro completely dropped the ball on running enough trains and communication. Once we arrived at the rally, we couldn't get close enough to see or hear anything but the camraderie of the crowd on the Mall and in the surrounding streets was joyous enough.

Posted by: tink712 | October 31, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Since liberalism is a serious mental disease, all these hypocrites need to do is restore their own sanity. It's standard operating procedure for liberals to reverse the truth. They are the crazy ones, and so they pin that slander on the sane people. Meanwhile the crazy-liberal Post is running a story about Democrats protesting some
GOP nominee for a House seat who allegedly has taken part in a "Nazi renactment." So? Hollywood actors do that all the time. It's known as "acting." If Democrats don't like Nazi behavior, they should reform their own real- life behavior. beginning wwith the White House.
The Post closed comments on that story prematurely...wouldn't want anyone to tell the truth about this latest liberal smear.

Posted by: kypriotis | October 31, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually, part of state82's post is very believeable. I was walking around the perimeter of the crowd at about 2 pm while the event was in full swing. The crowds were immense; as far as I could tell virtually all attendees were coming on foot or by Metro. So with hundreds of thousands of people attending the event, there were, indeed, open parking places at the curb on the Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle, Freer, and USDA. More than I have ever seen on a Saturday! So if on was crazy enough to drive into that mess, one very likely could have found parking. How one could do that and fail to see the hundreds of thousands of people around them is puzzling, though!!

Posted by: 33rdStreet | October 31, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how many attended either this latest rally, or the revival meeting held by the Beckists. Don't really care, to be honest, as I do not make value judgements based on popularity.

Statistically, just under half the population has "below average" intelligence. In a nation the size of the United States, that is a lot of folks, a lot more than the Mall could ever hold.

Instead of focusing on a body-count, I watch and listen to what is being said and done, then judging accordingly.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | October 31, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I've been living in this city for over 20 years and I can tell you I have not seen that many people EVER. I thought the 4th of July was crowded. I thought President Obama's inauguration was crowed. This was the MOST crowded I've ever seen.

All the platforms on Metro were overloaded. People took the train in the opposite directions to get on at the first stop. By the time you went three stops, it was already packed. I'd also give METRO an D. Seriously, they need money and more people to use the system and they mostly failed. That's the only thing that made me angry. Otherwise, the rally was CROWDED, fun, and energizing. Also, I spent 1/2 the rally in the bar at Hotel Monaco drinking a martini while watching the show on TV with a crowd of others. Yes, there were easily twice the number of people they are estimating simply because we couldn't fit on the Mall.

Posted by: allie7 | October 31, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

215k? I think most of the people were tourists that were just walking by.

Posted by: yokosuka1985 | October 31, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

If the “Sanity” rally was intended to be a political liberal response to the conservative Restoring Honor rally, it appeared more like a satirical “sad sack” comedian rally for Destroying Honor. The timing close to preparing for Halloween was good but the rally was a grave yard flop with Zombie ghouls for comedians. Watch TCM movies for definition of ghouls.

Stewart-Colbert rally over sanity comes off like two schizophrenics talking to each other and no one is listening. This is a rally to Restore Sanity by Fear of going totally “wacko” and think it is funny. It is not the demons we need to fear. It is the big red dragon on the school bus. It could be the new logo for the liberal Democrat Party of Obama politics without a Congress majority. It is a comedy show of politics and the American voters know who the butts of the jokes are.

Posted by: klausdmk | October 31, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

2 things really disappointed. 1 was of course Metro. I ended up walking from Courthouse because Metro obviously wasn't going to happen. I walked past the Rosslyn stop and the line just to get into the station was out the door. Tried calling a cab and was told that wasn't going to happen either. Buses run only once every 20 minutes on weekends and any bus going towards the city was packed. I had hoped that maybe Metro would get some more trains for after the rally but nope.

Second, the organizers really underestimated the number of attendees. I finally got there about 45 minutes before the rally started and couldn't see any of the projectors. Also could barely hear because they didn't place speakers far enough back. Frequently the people near the back started chanting "Louder! Louder!" There were thousands of people behind me, I assume it was worse for them.

Still, I'm glad I went.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | October 31, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

sailorashore:

Yes, the rally was led by two comedians and a bunch of entertainers, including (gasp) one who is a Muslim. And the Beck rally was led by another entertainer who is a recovering alcoholic with a penchant for delusional conspiracy talk, and an ex-governor with a tenuous grip on actual governing and policy making, attended by thousands of people (fewer thousands, it is now clear, than yesterday), who may be angry, but who are mostly getting their information from a lot of one-sided and strident sources. Sort of like your comment.

Posted by: mbfaust | October 31, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I drove down to Virginia Square metro to meet up with a couple people and we couldn't get on a train because they were so packed. We ended up getting a cab down to the WWII Memorial and walked from there. The crowds of people was unbelievable. Even when we were trying to get on Metro at 5:30 all 6 trains that passed us were jam packed. We ended up getting a cab back. There were well over 300K people there.

Posted by: JulzDC | October 31, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I drove down to Virginia Square metro to meet up with a couple people and we couldn't get on a train because they were so packed. We ended up getting a cab down to the WWII Memorial and walked from there. The crowds of people was unbelievable. Even when we were trying to get on Metro at 5:30 all 6 trains that passed us were jam packed. We ended up getting a cab back. There were well over 300K people there.

Posted by: JulzDC | October 31, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

sarahabc:
Are you kidding? I was there, and the crowd ON the mall stretched back from the stage in front of the Capitol Reflecting pool to the foot of the Washington Monument. That is twelve blocks, or a mile and a half or so. In the aerial photos of the Beck event, the corners of each block were empty, all the way back--- no doubt because that is how the screens were set up. In the area where the first three sets of jumbotrons were set up, nearly every scrap of space was jammed, in addition to the street, on the steps of the Smithsonian museums, and to read many of the comments above, up many of the North-South side streets who could not even approach the event.

It looks like at least 200,000 people were within some sort of the sight of the event, with probably another 50,000 to 100,000 nearby but not within earshot or view, trying and failing to get there. I concur with comments above about the METRO crowding and lines, which were not like anything I have ever seen before.

Posted by: mbfaust | October 31, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

sarahabc:
Are you kidding? I was there, and the crowd ON the mall stretched back from the stage in front of the Capitol Reflecting pool to the foot of the Washington Monument. That is twelve blocks, or a mile and a half or so. In the aerial photos of the Beck event, the corners of each block were empty, all the way back--- no doubt because that is how the screens were set up. In the area where the first three sets of jumbotrons were set up, nearly every scrap of space was jammed, in addition to the street, on the steps of the Smithsonian museums, and to read many of the comments above, up many of the North-South side streets who could not even approach the event.

It looks like at least 200,000 people were within some sort of the sight of the event, with probably another 50,000 to 100,000 nearby but not within earshot or view, trying and failing to get there. I concur with comments above about the METRO crowding and lines, which were not like anything I have ever seen before.

Posted by: mbfaust | October 31, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

yokosuka1985:

I think that you must have been viewing a different event than the one that I was, which was full of good humor--it was politically pointed, but the main target was the media--just like on Stewart's program. You really seem to have gone swimming in Beck-flavored Kool Aid (yech!) to judge by your typically histrionic comments about the big red bus. If you think that a president elected by a healthy majority and a probable continuing Senate majority for the Democrats adds up to some sort of tiny cabal frustrating the will of the majority, you are clearly capable of adding two and two and getting five, or maybe, more to the point, three and three and getting Thursday.

Good luck!

Posted by: mbfaust | October 31, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I was astounded by how ill prepared the DC Metro was. I came in to the Greenbelt station and there was traffic backed up onto the beltway. I have never seen that happen before.

I think the cry wolf rosy estimates of previous rallies led to a sense of complacency. They were really tone deaf to the expected crowds because I knew plenty of people who came in from out of state for the event.

And it wasn't just the Metro. Restaurants were overwhelmed because the downtown places didn't have extra waitstaff on hand for the hungry post-rally crowds.

Next time take us radical moderates seriously.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

When I walked over at noon, the only entrance to the Mall was at 7th and Indep. Many people stood behind the fences covering the streets which were closed off including 7th across the Mall. Many stood on the steps and walls by the American Indian Museum and Air and Space and Hirshhorn steps. It wasnt supposed to be closed but was filled with people. Hundred of bicycles were chained to fences. At 1:30, streams of people came from L'enfant and Smithsonian Metro stops. There were plenty of people even later due to the Metro lack of cars and probably many had to get metro tickets from the machines. In some places the crowds were so tight that it was uncomfortable and trying to get clear over near the streets was a lot of work. Too many people but a great day for fun and fellowship.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 31, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I drove down from Delaware, arriving at the Greenbelt station at 10:30. It was immediately evident that the parking lot was completely full, so we make a U-turn, and found parking in a nearby office park, then walked the half mile back to Greenbelt, where we stood in line from 10:45 to 12:30 to get to the actual station and buy Metro passes, which were on sale at an "express" table, avoiding the lines at the vending machines. Since Greenbelt was the end of the line, our train actually had seats available.

Disembarking at Archives, it took us 30 minutes to exit the station, and another 30 minutes to reach the mall because of the huge crowds, which spilled well beyond the confines of the mall. We hung around for an hour (most of which was occupied by slowly making our way to the portalets), then started our return journey at 3:00, stopping at a Starbucks to pick up some much-needed water, and surprised that the line was as short as it was (and that they still had water in stock).

Relatively easy to board a train, but SRO. Back at Greenbelt, staff had simply opened the gates -- no delays to feed tickets through the machines. I give DC Metro high marks for coping with enormous crowds.

CBS used the same people to analyze aerial photographs at the August and October rallies -- to my knowledge the ONLY comparisons that use the same methodology. You can believe propagandists like Beck (500,000) or Bachmann (1 million or 1.6 million, depending on when she was speaking), or you can believe evidence and analysis. I'm not a witch, and I don't believe in magical thinking. There is no doubt that the Rally to Restore Sanity was far bigger than the Restoring Honor rally.

Posted by: Selden_D | October 31, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Voting matters, rallies don't.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 31, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

After 90 minutes at West Falls Church metro I saw
4 trains. All had 6 cars, not 8.

No more than 10 people total got on each train.

The line for the farecard machine that stretched through the 66-overpass, down the road and into the parking lot

Soon after that I gave up and left, and watched from home. I guarantee fewer than 1% of the people at WFC with me made it to the rally before it ended.

A major disaster by metro.

(My friends who drove from Maryland did find parking, probably because we had all been told to take metro. 66 is such a disaster though that it was useless for me to try to drive from NOVA.)

Posted by: mjp3md | October 31, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

We live in Ballston and could not get on the Metro at around 12 noon. My husband and I, along with three total strangers, hitchhiked a ride from a couple in an SUV as we stood in front of Macy's. They were so nice! They drove us to Arlington Cemetery and we walked the rest of the way.

Plus we made three new friends. The five of us hung out together for the duration of the rally. That's the way to restore sanity!! (BTW the age group was 30's, 40's and 50's.)

Posted by: org2 | October 31, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

BTW: Over the last nine years, I've been to at least 10 demonstrations, rallies, 4th of July, inaugurations, etc. and I've never had to hitchhike to an event.

Posted by: org2 | October 31, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Our country has reached the height of absurdity. This many people come to a rally for a couple of comedians? Wow. There are rallies every week in D.C. for many worthy causes and this is what gets people in their cars? Sad. Just sad.

Posted by: LivinginthePromisedLand | October 31, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Metro was crowded, I mean like really crowded, so of course there must have been like at least a million people there compared to less than five or ten thousand at Beck's rally."

Holy cannoli, this is what the Washington Post has come to.

Holy cannoli.

Posted by: couwnt | October 31, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

If they had put up more Jumbotrons (and porta potties) they would have had MANY thousands more people. There were a lot of us who gave up and went home. Some because the metro made everyone get off and more because once they got to the mall, they could not see or hear anything.

We ended up seeing the last part on TV at home. It was still awesome. Go, Team Sanity!

Posted by: Whazzis | October 31, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Whoever was responsible for Metro running on a normal weekend schedule should be fired. The crowds and lines were HUGE and metro was running 6-car trains every 15-20 minutes. LOTS of people, myself included, concluded that getting to the rally via Metro would be impossible, and went home to watch it on TV.

Posted by: Ynjo | October 31, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.


free shipping

competitive price

any size available

accept the paypal

http://www.famalegoods.com


jordan shoes $32

nike shox $32

Christan Audigier bikini $23

Ed Hardy Bikini $23

Smful short_t-shirt_woman $15

ed hardy short_tank_woman $16

Sandal $32

christian louboutin $80

Sunglass $15

COACH_Necklace $27

handbag $33

AF tank woman $17

puma slipper woman $30

http://www.famalegoods.com

Posted by: jofdsa8f9a | October 31, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm Metro contributed to the low estimate of the crowd by not scheduling extra trains. Did Metro schedule extra trains for Beck's rally? Could it be that Metro is trying to alter the politics of the situation? Quite controversial for Mr Catoe. If he was intentionally negligent to thwart the efforts of Jon Stewart I would like to see him lose his job. I don't think he should have been offered another contract to oversee Metro after 9 people died in the 2008 collision. How many people have to die and how much money does Metro have to lose for Mr. Catoe to lose his job?w

Posted by: mjoy | October 31, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone tried to count the crowds at the satellite rallies? I'm in Austin, TX and I'd say there were about 5,000 of us at the rally here.

Posted by: lalalu1 | October 31, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

For the my crowd is bigger than your crowd activists, fact is that Steward/Colbert rally was much bigger than the Fox News crowd is not new.

This was confirmed by other independent sources which had covered both rallies and had already confirmed that fact.

Posted by: Citi__Street | October 31, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

My husband and I came from Alaska, and so did at least 12 other Alaskans who we know of. We both grew up here, so your ways are strange to us, but we knew enough when the first Pentagon City metro came into the station absolutely jammed (as was the station) to bail and look for a cab. A nice driver knew just where to take us because he'd already made 10 trips to the Mall that morning.

By the time we arrived at the rally at about 10:45, we found a spot in front of the last big screen. Man, do we feel lucky. One of our friends took photos of hundreds of people stuck on 9th, unable to cram into the Mall. She herself gave up and returned to her hotel to watch it on TV.

Yes, it was crowded, but I've never been in a friendlier group--people from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Mexico, sharing their chairs, their food, their stories. More middle-aged people and older were in our area than young people. I think the media has really misunderstood who Stewart/Colbert's real audience is and why we were all there.

Thank you, DC, for a great experience. Wish we could have stayed longer, but we have to get home and vote. (Joe Miller! Yikes!)

P.S. Sorry about the whole Palin thing, everybody. Trust us, she was never like this when she ran for governor. She just picks up her mail here now. We think of her as America's Right Wing Sweetheart now. Enjoy!

Posted by: BlueDog1 | October 31, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

This rally was humongous. It makes me think alot about thedirection that this country is going in by the will of the people versus the will of the moneyed few. In a choice between Honor or Sanity, I choose Sanity.

Posted by: glenglish | October 31, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

To all those at the rally, please vote on Tuesday. The rally was cool, but the votes are needed to bring sanity to our national politics....

Posted by: mkinhk | October 31, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

It was a liberal Rally(LOL, more like a free concert) of course the 86% would vote democrat. CBS is very left leaning and has no credibility and is part of Obama's Political Machine. SO, feeding it to another Left leaning media source (Washington Post) only makes more questionable.

Posted by: rmart2817 | October 31, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to be sure that the civil/rational cohort of the population was bigger than Beck's - and it was.

Posted by: rootedcosmopolitan | October 31, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Two friends and I drove to the Dunn Loring station at 9:20 where we saw a line of at least 100 people outside the entrance. We decided to take a chance and drive in on Route 50. No traffic the whole way, probably because people were advised to take Metro.

Constitution was clear all the way down to 9th or 10th where we hung a left and found a parking garage. We were on the Mall by 10:00 and the crowd was already backed up to almost 7th, so we sat on the side of the mall.

The place filled up amazingly fast, and although we couldn't gauge the size of the crowd by view, we got an idea when we did the wave. It took a good 15 to 20 seconds to reach us, and it took another 35 to 40 to reach the end.

Getting off the Mall was a nightmare because it turned out that the people that couldn't get onto the Mall were on the side street. We finally gave up and waited out the crowd back on the Mall.

It was a huge crowd - packed in tight. I know that they underestimated the attendance beforehand because there weren't nearly enough Jumbotrons.

There was a helicopter circling overhead for most of the rally. I would love to see the pictures they took of the crowds on the Mall, the sidestreets parallel to the Mall and all of the feeder roads.

I've been to many events on the Mall and I've never seen it that packed. 4th of July looks bigger, but everyone is on blankets so they're more spread out.

It was a fun day, never dull. Didn't know what to expect but the signs were clever, the entertainment excellent and the message calm and brotherly.

I can't even read the "official" media accounts because it seems they were at a different event...

Posted by: lastaxell | October 31, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Metro on a Saturday broke records - over 850,000 rides. That doesn't count the cars -- we drove to my office and parked in our garage, and saw others doing the same thing. I'd believe over 215,000 people were there. The place was packed.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | November 1, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I went to the Beck rally, which was wrapped around the 600 yard long Reflecting Pool, and Beck's fans were on lawn chairs and blankets all the way down front. The Sanity rally covered the same area MINUS the reflecting pool and seemed to have true shoulder to shoulder density, so yeah the sanity rally probably was 3 times larger.

Also, the little area between the stage and the first cross street was bigger than the entire area of the 2009 9-12 rally, and that really was about 60,000 people.

Becks "Honor" rally was a real fizzle in terms of turnout. I went and left happy. I also enjoyed talking to people who had walked miles to get there. I parked in my secret spot 20 minutes away. :-)

Posted by: BurfordHolly | November 1, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Sure were a lot of white people for a rally that wasn't a Tea Party one. Are those who attended the rally a bunch of racist and bigots also the way the Democrats and the MSM portrayed the Tea Partiers because they had more white people. We can't have it both ways. Any gathering in the eyes of Obama and the Democrats that are mostly white are racist and Nazi's. Obama and the Democrats set the rules for rallies that are mostly white. Is the NAACP go to investigate this rally also because it was mostly white. These standards were established by the Democrats, not the Republicans, the Tea Partiers, or the Conservatives. It's time for the Democrats, the left, and the NAACP to practice what they preach.The Democrats, the left, the NAACP must come and say the rally was a racist one for them to have any creditability. If they don't, they can never say a word about the Tea Partiers again. This is what happens when the Democrats paint themselves in a corner for playing the race card.

Posted by: houstonian | November 1, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Sure, EVERYBODY trusts 'independent polls' commissioned by the absolutely unbiased Washington Post....

Oh, the whining that will begin on Wednesday by Gene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, David Broder, Richard Cohen and the rest of the equally unbiased Washington Post chattering magpies.

Posted by: JPMcC | November 1, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that local election boards didn't erect voting booths at the event for the convenience of the voting public. If not that, local election offices should have been opened and buses made available to deliver to vote those whose sanity was restored by Stewart & Colbert.

Posted by: Basil_Cocksure | November 1, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have any picture of Jon Stewart jumping over that shark in the Reflecting Pool? 'Cause that was so, like, totally awesome! How's he gonna top that -- I don't know!

Posted by: pyellman | November 1, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

There must have been at least a BILLION people there.

And it's REALLY, REALLY important.

I mean, the Post has been wondering about headcount for days. Why the concern, since this was just a bunch of people getting together for a civil discourse and to watch some comedians.

There's no political agenda, right?

Posted by: postfan1 | November 1, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

My experience on the Red Line Shady Grove leg were similar to the authors, in that I boarded a nearly full train at White Flint and, by the time it reached Medical Center two stops later, the train was already filled to capacity and could take on no more riders. We stopped at ten other stations between there and Judiciary Square, and the story was always the same: platforms filled with Metro patrons who couldn't board the train. There were at least a couple thousand people on that line who had to wait for who knows how many more trains after ours to board (if they ever managed to get on at all, that is).

I also noticed the tens of thousands streaming along the feeder streets to or paralleling the Mall which where not visible from the jellyfish-like camera platform hovering in the air behind the Castle. These folks also went uncounted, I'm sure.

And the Mall itself was packed shoulder to shoulder, so much so that I could never get close enough to the jumbotron screens or the banks of speakers to catch most of the event. Unlike the Beck event, where plenty of folks were sitting in lawn chairs or milling about freely along the edges of the Reflecting Pool. (I wandered by the Beck rally too, by the way.) The density per square foot at the Stewart/Colbert rally was just as bad as it was at the Obama inauguration in '08 (though a darned sight warmer, thank goodness!) I'm sure I'm not the only attendee who watched the rerun on C-SPAN that evening just to find out what I missed even though I was there. LOL

Nevertheless, it was an amazing and refreshing gathering of smart, neighborly people who deeply care about our country and
came out to say so. Sanity still has a good chance if this is any indication.

Posted by: whatmeregister | November 1, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Basil_cocksure:

Actually, there was early voting available right at the Judiciary Square Metro station. I noticed that when I was leaving, partly because of the huge number of candidate signs there and partly because of a couple of candidates's volunteers asking me if I was registered to vote in DC as I walked to the station. Just wanted to let you know.

Posted by: whatmeregister | November 1, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

One thing in defense of Metro: If they were going by recent past experience, specifically the Beck rally, I can understand why they'd be hesitant to schedule additional trains based on the sponsor's projected crowd estimates. After all, I'm sure Beck told them to expect hundreds of thousands, only to have roughly 80,000 (well within Metro's normal weekend capacity) show up and leave them running plenty of extra trains without the ridership to justify the expenditure.

I doubt Metro expected anywhere near a quarter million or so attendees. I sure as heck didn't, or I would've left my house a couple hours earlier!

Posted by: whatmeregister | November 1, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

~


Look... I don't doubt that it was tough going for anyone trying to get to the "rally," but for Metro to simply say the problem was "based on an apparently complete breakdown of communications between rally organizers and Metro" is, I think a lot of hogwash.

I think Metro was saying, 'you line our pocket with some extra cash, and we'll provide the trains.' Metro, never has and never will understand that if they provide a reasonably efficient service, the people will use it.

Simple evidence demonstrates how Metro took away extra parking at the Vienna Metro where if you're not in the parking lot by 8:30 AM on a weekday, you're driving into DC. Because there ain't no parkin' spaces left in the ramps. And it was all in the name of making a bundle of money by selling the land around the Metro stops, that the local municipalities essentially donated to Metro that they sold and is now being developed.

And then if people want to get on the trains at stops inside the Beltway, they have to squeeze into the trains, or not get on at all because they're so packed.

And it isn't a matter of adding more cars to a train, is providing more trains and having a system adequate to handle the extra traffic.

And certainly, you don't want to move too far away from the doors, because the drivers don't give the riders enough time to actually exit the trains and allow others to board the trains at the stops before the doors close and start moving on.

Metro is a disgrace when it comes to customer service. It seems they think that the customers owe them something instead of the other way around. And the fact is... THEY DON'T CARE!

I don't know who's zooming whom, but if Metro is spending too much cash, it's certainly not going to station staff who would help the customers, because time and time again, at any stop, the only employees I see are the train driver and the guy standing at the turnstiles.

Oh yeah, and the engineers making makeshift repairs on the "constantly being repaired" escalators.

~

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 1, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

It was a liberal Rally(LOL, more like a free concert) of course the 86% would vote democrat. CBS is very left leaning and has no credibility and is part of Obama's Political Machine. SO, feeding it to another Left leaning media source (Washington Post) only makes more questionable.

Posted by: rmart2817 | October 31, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Feeding what? And makes what more questionable? What are you talking about? Your first statement seems to take the poll at its word as factual but dismisses it because it's numbers would naturally be skewed, which I don't doubt is true, as are the numbers from the polls of those at the Beck rally--this is neither a surprise nor a revelation to anyone at all--then you go into nothing but denials and criticisms of...something undefined

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | November 1, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I, kids in tow along with friends went. We found parking south of the rally easily - BUT - it was in a residential neighborhood 6 blocks south of most of the rally crowd. However, we didn't get to the rally until 11am and I have to say - was shattered by the number of people there. We got "close" to the 7th street entrance but had to turn back - the press was just too heavy for kids. We spent the rally sitting at the main building of the smithsonian, watching the people stream in - the mall was filled, from the stage @4th far past us (around where 10th would cross - if it crossed). People were streaming into the rally area - for the entire 3 hours we were there (11 to 2) - at 2pm the metro was still disgorging a constant stream of people. Cabs, bikes, walkers - there were a LOT of people there.

No idea what estimate was correct - but any estimate for the rally would have to be low - not including the people who actually got to the rally but who physically could not get in.

As far as the Beck rally goes - who cares? Professional satirists drew a huge crowd of people tired of the extremist shouting on both sides - that says a lot. Given the circular logic navel examining of cable news - that means something. At least to me.

Posted by: rancor1 | November 1, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

~


Why can't some people understand that the majority of those who went to the trouble of attending the "rally" went for the entertainment value, and nothing more.

And Beck's rally WAS a Republican publicity stunt.

I watched what was said on the repeat broadcast, and I heard nothing from Stewart or Colbert that was in support of the Democratic Party.

It was simply a Stewart/Colbert publicity stunt and you know what? It obviously worked. It seems to have attracted a considerable number of Republicans.

~

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 1, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Crowd looked just as white and lacking in diversity as the WaPo claimed the Beck rally was. Just based on the photos shown.

Posted by: jack71 | November 1, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I attended both rallies. The crowd for Stewart/Colbert was much, much bigger than for Beck/Palin. On 10/30, jam-packed trains were still coming into the city at 1:32pm, when the rally was half over.

(Why did I attend both? Because I like to observe things first-hand when I can.)

Posted by: thump41 | November 1, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Let the clowns have their day. God Bless
America, that's what makes this country great. The Dems and their cohorts are just beating a dead horse, because "We the People" have been abused and dis-respected and we will remember on election day. We will not be dis-suaded or deterred. We waited a long time too be heard here in the "land of the free- and the home of the brave". The Democrats have not heard us, but they will hear us on election day, at the polls! We will vote the Democrats out, and do so in record numbers. We will have eyes watching to make sure that this election is not stollen by them.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Posted by: barrysal | November 1, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Progressives,

I have analyzed the photos and can state with certainty that approximately 9 million people attended the Sanity Rally, while only Glen Beck, his dog, and 7 homeless people attended his rally.

This proves beyond any doubt that you are better people than the fringe right wing lunatics you so righteously despise.

Hopefully, this encouraging information will help get you through your post-election blues!

Happy to help.

Posted by: jd5024 | November 1, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I went to the Beck rally to take photographs and tape conversations for a historical book. I can honestly say there were more people at the sanity rally than at Beck's rally.

These people were pleasant and having a good time.
Great insight into the state of America and much more intelligent than the people at the Beck rally.

I think the real Americans were at the sanity rally, the white bigoted racist christian zealots were with the Beck rally.

My photos and tapes don't lie. I never heard the MN word yesterday.

Posted by: COWENS99 | November 1, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who tried to ride the Metro on Saturday can attest to what a clusterf#ck it was. Blue, Orange, Red, Green, and Yellow lines all filled to capacity pretty much throughout the day. Too bad they only had 4-car trains running 15-minutes apart on all lines. "Hmmm, major rally planned? Should we add more cars? Nah! No one will show up!" As I stood on the crowded platform at Silver Spring waiting for a full train that was over 10 minutes away and looking at the lines of people spilling out of the station, I remarked to my friends that had this bullsh!t happened for Beck's rally, Fox News would be surely there with live coverage about the "liberal conspiracy" to keep Tea Party Patriots out of Washington.

I can fantasize that the inept moron in charge of Metro would get fired for this colossal f#ckup by not anticipating maybe a slight uptick in riders, but I doubt anyone will even be disciplined. When it comes to Washington Metro, I guess we should just be relieved when the brakes actually work.

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | November 1, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Why does a Post link titled "Official Crowd Estimates" take me to this Blue Virginia guy's personal anecdotal tales of the rally, laden with hard-core data like "Dude believe me, there were TONS of people there. We kicked Beck's ass!"

But I was not surprised at all the vitriol here from the left. Even in writing about what they consider a successful, feel-good event, they can't help but to savagely trash anyone who dares disagree with their agenda. It's so sad. And after Tuesday they'll be absolutely livid.

Posted by: aconnbrad1 | November 1, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Okay, it's anecdotes. But: I was at DuPont Circle, heading toward the rally at 10:30 a.m., and I made the terrible mistake of not just walking. Three metro stops to Judiciary Square. I'd be there well over an hour before it started.

The first train came and it was jammed. Those Japanese train-stuffers would have been hard-pressed to cram anyone else in. Meanwhile the DuPont Circle stop was getting fuller and fuller of people trying to get to the rally. I decided to go a couple of stops out. Then I was stuck. Every stop was jammed with people. I went another stop, another stop, another stop. Got out once or twice and the next inbound train was as impossible to board as the last. Finally at White Flint it wasn't too crowded. Some of us, the most stubborn, squeezed in the next train, leaving many people still at the stop. Nobody else got on after that.

One woman was just trying to get to work. She was 90 minutes late by the time she got to her stop. Hundreds of reasonable people managed to rearrange themselves to let her out. Somehow.

At Judiciary Square, not one of the rally's "official" subway stops, the sidewalk was full of people streaming to the Mall. It had taken me two hours--two hours!--to get those three Metro stops by going most of the way out and coming back in.

There was no way to get onto the Mall once I'd almost got there. The street bounding the Mall and both sidewalks were packed shoulder to shoulder--I started trying to push my way further back from the stage. Eventually, blocks further back, it became almost passable.

Even so, and with me pardoning myself and pushing and moving people and barely avoiding stepping on feet--it took about an hour to get maybe about 20 feet into the Mall from the very edge of the grass. 20 feet. Strangers were bumper to bumper with strangers, everyone standing--some in trees--and no more than a few inches between any two people. But I had to push that far in to hear the sound from the nearest speakers, and to get bare glimpses of parts of jumbotrons over other people's shoulders.

It's only because I was by myself and as stubborn as anyone you know that I ended up standing on the Mall, hours after having left for there from DuPont Circle. Just the people who were streaming near the Mall and couldn't get on it were thousands and thousands. My train, when I finally got one, passed thousands of passengers who didn't have a chance of boarding.

Tell yourself it was just tourists who happened to be there--sure.

The crowd was whiter than I liked, but it was all ages. The signs were mostly silly and/or polite. People needed to be amazingly polite to deal with the crowds (esp. on the train when the air conditioning went out for two stops and it became a sauna!).

The hope that politics could stop being a blood sport was palpable. Forlorn, but palpable.

Posted by: asympt | November 1, 2010 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh: and I came on a large jet from San Francisco (yeah, yeah) the morning before the rally.

Before we took off, the lead flight attendant asked everyone who was flying in for the rally (it was a direct flight from SFO to Dulles) to raise their hands.

More than half the people ON THAT ONE PLANE raised their hands! Yes, it was from San Francisco. OTOH, that's a long way to come for one event--

Posted by: asympt | November 1, 2010 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Democratically elected President Barack Obama is the epitome of class, grace, civility and rational thought. He has inherited an epic financial mess caused by irresponsible politicians on both sides who have been corrupted by the Greedy Corporate climate. President Obama has done a lot to save this country from a total financial meltdown. He could have done more if it had not been for the bigotry and corruption of many members of congress. When a congressman from Oklahoma says he had not read the bill and will not vote for it, that's either bigotry, corruption or both. This has been the attitude of the GOP and the Tea Party and some of the "Blue Dog" Democrats. It is high time for the moderate, sane, compassionate and rational people to get up off of the sofa and speak out against this uncivil nonsense and to get out and vote against the obstructionist idiocy that is going on. It's TIME FOR SANITY! VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!!!!

Posted by: mrselfthinker | November 1, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

CBS estimates? Washington Post estimates? That's like taking Dan Rather's or the New York Times political opinions seriously.

Posted by: suegbic1 | November 1, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Let the numbers speak for themselves.

According to Metro, there were 825,437 on Stewart/Colbert day and 510,020 on Beck day. Average Saturday ridership is about 350,000 (both events were on Saturday).

If you exclude the average daily riders, and assume two trips per person (one there, one back), that yields 80,010 for Beck and 237,718 for Stewart/Colbert.

This method corresponds to APL’s analysis of 87,000 for Beck and 215,000 for Stewart/Colbert. Thus, at a minimum, it seems fair to conclude from the data that Stewart/Colbert drew three times as many as Beck.

Kind regards

http://www.wmata.com/rail/disruption_reports/viewPage_update.cfm?ReportID=1919

http://wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4717

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/metro-says-stewart-beat-beck-at-the-faregates-20101031

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20021284-503544.html

Posted by: ur2008 | November 1, 2010 4:42 AM | Report abuse

I waited on the platform for 90 minutes, from 11:45 until 1:15 at West Falls Church along with hundreds of others who stood five deep from one end of the platform to the other. There was a line to buy tickets that stretched out to the parking lot and wound around, I'd say it was 50 yards long.

Only about four trains going to DC came through the station and each one was packed tighter than the last one so there was no way to get on. Metro was even busing people west (!) from Courthouse in the hopes they could get on at Falls Church. I went home and watched the rally on C-SPAN.

I understand Metro simply opened the gates for the Beck rally but that wouldn't have done any good Saturday because there weren't enough trains. What an embarrassing failure of our nation's metro system.

Posted by: pjmurphy1 | November 1, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

Well as usual metro really screwed the pooch. It's nonsense to claim that there was "failure of communication" between Metro and the organizers. Don't the people at Metro read the newspapers? Any one with a brain could see the crowds would be huge in a largely liberal city like DC and yet the idiots at metro kept to their regualar Sat schedule. This type of thing together with the safety problems, incoherent or nonexistent announcements of stops, dark stations, dead escalators, unexplained service interruptions, etc. When is Metro going to be put in some sort of receivership?

Posted by: Afraid4USA | November 1, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, ur2008, for providing data and sources, rather than anecdotes. There has been far too little of the former, and far too many of the latter in this and other discussions of crowd size estimates.

Posted by: Selden_D | November 1, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I arrived at Bethesda station at about 11:15 a.m. Saturday. The mezzanine was completely filled with people. You could make it to the platform but the wait to buy farecards was at least half an hour. You could feel the body heat from the crowd from the escalator.

I ended up walking to Medical Center. The first train was too full, I was able to get on the second train that came, but most on the platform were left behind.

Posted by: FrankIBC | November 1, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

From yesterday's Metro press release:
"Metro set a new record for highest Saturday Metrorail ridership on Saturday, October 30. Officials estimate 825,437 Metrorail trips were taken, with many people traveling to the National Mall for the 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.'...Average Saturday Metrorail ridership is typically about 350,000.”

I took Metro to the rally from the Brookland/Catholic University station -- er, tried to, but I've NEVER seen so many people pack the Brookland station. (I think Metro forgot that college students would attend this rally, because they watch Stewart and Colbert!) We ended up going in the opposite direction to Fort Totten to get a yellow/green line train (also packed, but slightly less so) toward downtown.

The crowd wasn't as big as the one for Obama's inauguration, but I think estimating around 300,000-350,000 people would be a safe guess.

I think Metro is shading the truth when it claims that extra trains were added. I think they didn't start figuring it out until the rally was almost started -- and by then, it was far too difficult to find Metro workers to call into work on a Saturday in time to handle the crowd.

Posted by: Kathy8 | November 1, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a flip who had the most people at a rally? (The fact that the rally was held in the middle of liberal Wash DC would kind of lead you to believe that Dem rallies would draw bigger crowds). And in a rally about irony, it’s ironic that the most popular leaders in the Democrat Party appear to be comedians. In any case, the only “rally” that matters is the one that’s happening on Tuesday.

We’ll see who has the biggest crowd for that rally.

Posted by: PoWhiteTrash3 | November 1, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Add my family to the list of thousands who tried to go but couldn't get on the metro. Waited at VanNess/UDS for an hour.

Heads should roll at metro. A regular Saturday schedule? WTF?

Posted by: trace1 | November 1, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

To ThisisReality
From: dww128

In an effort to allow you the benefit of the doubt, I think you were probably in Leesburg. It's a nice quiet place on weekends.

Posted by: dww128 | November 1, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I am really amused by the people trying to sell the impossible notion that there was hardly anyone at the Mall on Saturday. Look at the pictures! The place was packed. The Metro was nearly overwhelmed. There were lines a half-mile long at multiple Metro stations or out-of-towners to buy farecards with cash. Really, really well-behaved and friendly lines.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 1, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The crowds were GREAT! Attitudes were positive, people were well informed, the WAS DIVERS ED, God's presence was there....what more can I say? Even after the event; people left joyful and talking about solutions. There were absolutely no talking heads...this march was HUGE....Park Police has the numbers....the article's were low. Hal a million for sure......

God Bless America (I will stand beside her)

Posted by: lindarc | November 1, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

There were several hundred thousand for each rally.One was political...the other entertainment.They both served a purpose and were peaceful.End of story.

Posted by: bowspray | November 1, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Ahem.

I know you liberals desperately want to prove that the Rally to Restore Smugness was oh-so-popular.

But why not show the overhead images side by side? After all, Airphotoslive.com used aerial photos of both. Wouldn't that be rather illuminating?

I know, I know: you want the spin, not the truth. It's "true" that only 87,000 attended the Beck rally -- the lowest estimate of that day -- and now it's "true" that 215,000 attended the Stewart rally.

Good thing liberals are sheep. If they ever decide to think for themselves, they might demand evidence.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | November 1, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

dueling estimates;

now, let us see what the only number which counts turns out to be; turnout at the polls on Tuesday.

We can only hope, pardon the pun, that every one who was at this rally energizes four or five of their friends to go to the polls and vote for Insanity vs. what the polls tell us is going to happen.

Posted by: bobfbell | November 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I found myself driving through both events in Downtown DC and I can tell you that the Rally on Saturday had many more people flowing through the streets of DC and traffic was backed up to a snails pace on 95 north of DC up to Columbia MD exits. The Beck Rally had a fraction of that attendance. But to be fair the Beck rally did have more hot air.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | November 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Aconnbrad1 wrote:
So you're judging people not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin. But that's not racist because . . . you're hyperliberal?

Posted by: Religulosity | November 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

And SeeBS's Tea Party estimate of 87,000 wasn't "wildly low"? And you libby libs still don't see that today's state-run, state-controlled fake media is nothing but cheerleaders for Dummocrats.

Posted by: kbarker302 | November 1, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I was at both rallies in DC, Jon Stewart had a much larger crowd than Glenn Beck. Metro also set a ridership record on the Saturday of Jon Stewart's rally, well beyond the number of people using the Metro system on the day of Glenn Beck's rally.

Posted by: JBinVA1 | November 1, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I joined the many thousands who walked along E. Capitol from RFK. I was at the Palin-Beck faux patriotism Fox news event and this weekend's crowd was by far and away the larger and more fun. Beck-Palin was a bunch of old, angry white people. The Stewart/Colbert rally looked like America.

Posted by: HillRat | November 1, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The children had their rally on Saturday, now its time for the adults to have their rally on Tuesday and restore sanity to congress.

Posted by: wthaljr | November 1, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Aconnbrad1 wrote: "The crowd was whiter than I liked . . ."
Acconbrad1, you're judging people not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin. But that's not racist because . . . you're hyperliberal?

Posted by: Religulosity | November 1, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The children had their rally on Saturday now its time for the adults to have their rally on Tuesday and restore sanity to congress.

Posted by: wthaljr | November 1, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Travel in D.C. on Saturday was difficult at best, virtually impossible at worst, whether by car (who in their right mind would have tried this?!!), train or on foot. However, we always found ourselves surrounded by decent human beings and the mood was always reasonable and upbeat. What a great day! What an enormous crowd! I was proud to be an American with the right to gather peacefully on our nation's front lawn. I hope people weren't messy, but we made a donation as requested anyway. :) The Rally to Restore Sanity was a great event and a great experience. Glad we made the effort to go!!

Posted by: no1buckigirl | November 1, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Why so much emphasis on the size of the crowd?

Beck's rally was unique while Stewart-Colbert was a contrived event promoted by various organizations, free out-of-town bus service and who knows what else.

And when all is said and done, this insane rally to regain sanity has done nothing to advance life in America.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | November 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

We went, biggest rally we have ever attended! Metro was absolutely unprepared. Had a great time.

Posted by: BigR1 | November 1, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I had two friends from Berryville that tried to get in Sat. am and the article is correct about not being able to even make it to the train line going in to DC. After riding around for several hours they finally had to give up and come home.

Posted by: jrussell1 | November 1, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

It's really hysterical reading posts from right wing blowhards who want to pretend Saturday's event was somehow smaller than Beck/Palin's.
Face it-- your side didn't muster up even half as many people *on the Mall* as Stewart/Colbert. The rally was ENORMOUS and the crowd was, overall, very pleasant and well-behaved.
It's a shame that the right wingers posting here have a hard time with understanding the message or getting that the event attracted so many more people than their "restoring honor" (and what the hell does that mean, anyway?) Repub-fest. It's great that Republicans turned out for the rally on Saturday, because I think Stewart and Colbert had a better message:
we are one country, with lots of people who don't live red or blue every second of every day. We can get along and, for the most part, we do. Take it down a notch. Switch to decaf. And turn off the angry, frothing, red-faced talking heads whose job it is to stir up hatred and rage.
As for the rabid Republicans posting on this board-- I'll be laughing and laughing all day at how these two comedians trumped your two Tea Party demigods.
Enjoy!

Posted by: dbitt | November 1, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post seems obsessed with defining this event a certain way.

Just like they seemed obsessed about promoting the event.

It's clear that some are more concerned about competing with Beck, than about the stated objective of the event, which was just to have a good time.

What was proven? That if you host a free comedy performance in Washington, and advertise nonstop in the Washington Post and Comedy Central, that some of their readers/viewers will show up.

Maybe the Washington Post should ease up on the "Mine is bigger than yours" attitude, and start publishing real news.


Posted by: Benson | November 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"... estimate attendance at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Sanity/Fear event yesterday. The result? 215,000 yesterday for fun and sanity vs. 87,000 for Beck/Palin's bizarre version of "honor." Good news, right?"

Well, if you say so, Virginia. But many of us do not support either group, specially the piously clueless open-border Colbert.
- - - -
Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | November 1, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

After reading all of these Metro horror stories I feel so lucky that our group were able to get on with no problems. We came in from Fairfax, Va and parked at Pentagon City and got on a half full train at 8:30 arrived at the mall around 9. I brought a DC map with me and studied it before the show started to find an out of the way station to go to and found the Federal Center off 3rd and D street just south and east of the mall. Yes there were people there and it took us about 10 minutes to get thru to the platform but the train that came was almost empty and that was at about 3:45. We took the blue line and by the time we reached Pentagon City we had to push our way off the train. My friend made fun of me for studying the map earlier on but when it all worked out so well she couldn't thank me enough.

Posted by: poodlemom | November 1, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The rally was huge in comparison to Beck's, and you're absolutely correct about people giving up. We were lucky. My brother and his wife live in Falls Church. We got a later start than we should have, not thinking it was going to be so packed, but we still thought we had plenty of time. When we got to the metro station in Falls Church the line for metro tickets was at least a 1 1/2-2 hour wait. We never would have made it to the rally on time standing in that line. We called my sister in law, who wasn't going because she had some chaperone duties for their children. She was kind enough to drive us in and drop us off close enough to walk the rest of the way. That was around 11:00 am, and it was already packed. Clearly, they didn't anticipate such a huge crowd. It was still a great event, even though we couldn't hear. We had my sister in law tape it for later viewing. I guarantee, if everyone got there who wanted to be there, the crowd would easily have been 250K+.

Posted by: ggwalt | November 1, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Being part of the reality-based community, I believe the estimate by a nonpartisan, independent firm, subject to refutation by other credible evidence.

On the ground, I don't think it's possible for a lone participant to tell the difference between a rally of, say, 150,000 versus a rally of 300,000.

If you want anecdotes, I got on the Red Line at 9:15 way far in, at Woodley Park. Yes, it was crowded, but I did in fact get on.

Posted by: BreckJack | November 1, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

If you weren't there, you can't comment on the crowd size. I have been to a lot of events on the Mall and I have never seen anything like the rally on Saturday. It was packed for blocks. Yes, there were a lot of white people there- there are a lot of white people in this country- but it was a lot more diverse than the Beck rally appeared to be. However, I wasn't there, so people who were there: please feel free to share your diversity stories.

To recap: The CBS count drastically underestimates the number of people attending the rally because those of us who spent hours in traffic, or waiting for the Metro, or standing on the perimeter of the Mall because it was too crowded to get closer still consider ourselves participants. We all want the same thing and came to DC to say it!

Posted by: ppc5n | November 1, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My family was some of the many who turned back at the Metro. Being that we have a small child we were unable to go early to the station and found the wait at the Vienna station at 10:45 AM to be absurd. Once we decided that Metro had dropped the ball, we decided to go elsewhere.

Posted by: FairfaxM | November 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't bad at WFC at 815, but the train was already pretty full from Vienna/Dunn Loring alone. We got out at Fed Triangle and walked the rest of the way. We squeezed into a spot between the two tents towards the front ~ not too bad.

A friend DROVE in from Fairfax later and had no problem! She dropped off six boys who came up from college to see the rally and drove home because there was no parking ANYWHERE.

Posted by: filfeit | November 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Why not show an aerial picture of both rallies ?Hmmm.

Posted by: votingrevolution1 | November 1, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

When I got to the Vienna Metro at about 11:30 am, saw that all the parking lots and parking garages were full, saw the lines of people waiting to go into the Metro station, and saw I-66 with bumper to bumper traffic, I knew it was a big crowd. It's pretty rare to see that for a weekend event. So we went home and watched on TV. The traffic away from from the Metro station was heavy -- I think a lot of people did the same as we did. I had my fill of Metro misery on Inauguration Day.

Ironically, Jon Stewart began the rally by joking about how the only thing the media cares about rallys, is the size and color of the crowd.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 1, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm a local and had no problems getting in (even got a seat), leaving was another issue.

Parked at Eisenhower (10:30am) and rode in to L'Enfant. Walked around. Got stuck in the crowd many times but the folks were good natured. However, some idiots with DC emergency services decided to move TWO ambulances through the no room crowd standing on the Mall road (those roads between the grassy areas). There was no emergency. They did this twice (!), first time during the national anthem (what?) and the second with the siren on! Get your act together!

Finally found a spot in front American Indian Smithsonian, sat on a boulder and enjoyed the show. Hoping for reply video online soon.

Leaving DC, the metro was hopeless for hours. Metro really, REALLY dropped the ball Saturday. Platforms were dangerously packed. No one was monitoring the crowd or stopping people from entering packed stations. The only reason no one was injured is because the people were being nice. Metro and the ambulance corp made us (DC area) look disorganized. *facepalm*

Otherwise a wonderful day with a great event!

Oh, don't forget to count ALL the meetup group folks!

Posted by: janeway1 | November 1, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Having been to past rallies, including with WTO/WB protests and the march for Women's Rights (est. at 900,000) I'd put this rally in the 350-400,000. It was packed past 7th street and there were people gathered all the way to 14th. I stood in Gallery Place/Chinatown for an hour waiting for some friends to grab sandwiches and the stream of people continued unabated for the entire hour.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 1, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The voting machines are not on the mall. And tomorrow they are going to drive the Obama regime into the dirt where it belongs! It's November, remember?

Posted by: stinkingtuna | November 1, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

If the children that couldn't make the rally want some laughs they can come over to my house Tuesday night. I'll be hootin' it up all night.

Posted by: twann9852 | November 1, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

We tried to go, but we couldn't get a train.

Maybe next year.

Posted by: ZZim | November 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I think the Post needs to do an article on Metro and why they were hopelessly unprepared. Not changing the train schedule at all for a Saturday? They get an F for planning and execution. I wasn't here when Obama was inaugurated, but I hope Metro did a better job on that day than this past Saturday.

Posted by: FairfaxM | November 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse


Why is it that people that bemoan the intelligence of their fellow Americans so often commit egregious statistics or grammatical abuses? From 33rdStreet:

"Statistically, just under half the population has "below average" intelligence. In a nation the size of the United States, that is a lot of folks"

That's not necessarily or even likely to be true. Half of Americans are less than the MEDIAN intelligence level (whatever "intelligence" means). For example, the average could be quite high courtesy of a small number of very intelligent people. Finally, even those of us below the median aren't necessarily stupid!

What a ridiculous post.

Posted by: anonymous5 | November 1, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

At around 10:45, I took the yellow line at the end of the line from Huntington station and already, the metro car I was in was pretty jammed with people. By the time we got to Pentagon City, our car was at "crush capacity". I got off at Archives station, and it took me over 20 minutes to leave the station, the crowd was so dense, and people kept lingering outside the turnstile for their companions. Once I got to the rally, I could only really get as close to the jumbotrons as across from the National Archives, I couldn't see and barely heard anything.

What crowd counters usually do is take a square section of people and multiply that by the amount of space taken up by the crowd. The problem with that is we were all so tightly packing in, because we all wanted to see and hear what was going on, but couldn't get as close as we would have liked. I really don't see how you could have gotten a turely accurate count with the kind of crowd density I experienced.

I could definately believe that there was about 250,000 people there, but it would be hard to say for sure. There were so many people watching the rally from trees, a-top port-a-potties, on other people's shoulders, on the roofs of nearby buildings. Every imaginable way there would have been to cram people in, it was done.

Posted by: kblowry | November 1, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So if Metro broke its 19-year ridership record showing 825,437 used Metro on the Sanity rally day, I think its pretty clear. This doesn't even account for the people who couldn't or didn't get on. I drove to the rally as did others or those who live close enough to walk did so, too. Facts are facts.

Posted by: booboo117 | November 1, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Message to insulting, pompous, effete, self-important commentators: See you Wednesday morning and you will find how unproductive and sterile your arrogance is. The collective wisdom of the American people will have spoken and BOTH parties will find plenty to be unhappy about.

Posted by: docdhs | November 1, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If this column is supposed to make the crowd for Jon Stewart seem almost as big as Beck's it fails. The aerial evidence says otherwise.

Btw, did the unions pay to bus people into the Beck rally as they did for Stewart? Just asking...

Posted by: SherlockHolmes | November 1, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Numbers don't matter. Who had more fun? Liberals, no doubt about it.

Liberals have a sense of humor. Beck/Palin. Not so much. Wednesday morning, I plan on laughing regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: arancia12 | November 1, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It was bigger turn out and some on the right hated that. They wanted it to be a complete failure.

Remember the Normal Distribution and Bell Shaped curve. 67% of US are in the middle a little right and a little left. The 2.5% percent crazies on both ends make all the noise and get the attention. This was one of the first rallies that gave voice to the moderate Americans who would like to talk rather than just yell at each other.

Didn't the compassionate conservatives Beck and Palin make some personal profit on their rally? I believe Stewart and Colbert donated their profits to restore the mall.

Beck is already making 32 million a year off his hate speech and selling survival food, but still needs the extra bucks from the rally.

Posted by: rayboyusmc44 | November 1, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

No worries, election results will tell the tale.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 1, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't care much as to the crowd sizes. I found the Beck worship service to be silly and Stewart's rally to be fun. Neither is going to change the fabric of society. Rightwingers, please limit your comments to your usual, foaming at the mouth, bumper sticker utterings. Do not EVER try to be clever or funny. It is not in your genes and makes you sound peculiar at best.

Posted by: craigjjs | November 1, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't care much as to the crowd sizes. I found the Beck worship service to be silly and Stewart's rally to be fun. Neither is going to change the fabric of society. Rightwingers, please limit your comments to your usual, foaming at the mouth, bumper sticker utterings. Do not EVER try to be clever or funny. It is not in your genes and makes you sound peculiar at best.

Posted by: craigjjs | November 1, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

How on earth did my post get double posted, once under a screen name I have never heard of. That is just weird. Anyway, I am craigjjs...full stop.

Posted by: craigjjs | November 1, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The tale will be told in tomorrows election as to who has the biggest crowd. I saw photos from a plane and the biggest crowd belong to Beck by far. It is astonishing how one could say otherwise.
Also, it seems that Jon and crew had to provide big name entertainers and free food to get the crowd he got.

Posted by: nychap44 | November 1, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I note with interest that the comments pooh-poohing the crowd size like state82 who found parking so easily are not at all specific about time and place while those describing Metro hassles and driving nightmares are specific as to both. This alone leads me to believe the latter group and doubt the former.

Posted by: kguy1 | November 1, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Crowd was really very small. I easily found parking in the area twice during the day.

Posted by: state82 | October 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

state82 - You failed to mention where you were when you "found parking in the area twice during the day". Might you have been in Beaver Creek, MN - because I was there yesterday, and yes - I found parking pretty easy to come by there, too...

However, my friends in DC found that parking anywhere near either event - PRICELESS. And impossible.

Posted by: borntorun45 | October 31, 2010 1:15 PM

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::

My guess is that they were parked in the Democrat Office of Ethics - always empty there...

Posted by: jahoby | November 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Folks, the proof is all there in the photos and people can shoot from the hip and claim "no one was there" or "Beck's rally was larger" but the actual photos and facts don't prove it out.

Aerial photos for both rallies were taken from the top of the Washington Monument and so provide the same persepctive.

Beck's Rally- The photo shows a packed crowd along the banks of the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Mem to the WWII memorial, a distance (per google earth) of 1950 feet. There was also heavy crowd density in the park to the left (West Potomac Park), an area 200' wide by 600 feet long, and similar crowd density to the right of the reflecting pool. There was much lighter crowds, in behind the WWII memorial, closer to the Washington Monument, and in both parks to the left and right of the reflecting pool beyond the 600' mark, but was extremely lite.

The huge space in the middle is obviously occupied by water, and not people.

Stewarts Rally.
The photo shows the crowd was packed from the stage at 3rd st to the Smithsonian Castle, a distance (per google earth) of 2,523 feet. The dense crowd stretched the entire width of the mall and filled the streets to both sides, Jefferson and Madison streets a distance of 735', a total space of 42.5 acreas. There were much lighter crowds outside this primary dense area, just like there were with the Beck crowd but it is much easier to quantify dense crowds and we will discount both for this comparison


So, the Stewart crowd (dense part) stretched ~600 feet longer and occupied a space the same width, yet didn't have a 200' wide pool by ~2000 foot long pool in the middle where people didn't stand. Stewarts crowd, just from the photo was atleast 4 times the size of Becks.

Oh, and the metro ridership numbers are also pretty telling. Beck's rally didn't make the all time record list for daily ridership.

Posted by: Nosh1 | November 1, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The CBS crowd count of 87,000 for the Beck rally is completely belied by aerial photos. I wouldn't trust this "independent" organization to count how many eggs are in a full carton. Points #1, #2, and #3 apply equally to the Beck rally. Metro was crammed. Many people waited hours at the end-of-the-lines just to get into the station. Probably many of them gave up and went home. What's your point?

Posted by: biancaneve | November 1, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

This is directly from the Washington Metro Website:

"Metro set a new record for highest Saturday Metrorail ridership on Saturday, October 30. Officials estimate 825,437 Metrorail trips were taken, with many people traveling to the National Mall for the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear."

Average Saturday Metrorail ridership is typically about 350,000. Yesterday’s record ridership surpassed the 1991 Desert Storm rally, which was held on June 8, 1991 and held the top spot for 19 years."

So, not only did the Metro place MORE trains than a typical Saturday but the overwhelming evidence is that attendance for the rally was huge. No one was expecting this size crowd.

To the far right (ie "wrong") I say, "Get over it. You are certainly more vocal but you are still in the minority." And after getting us into this financial mess with two wars, a mortgage scandal, non-existent regulations for business or banking and a MAJOR tax break for the richest 1% of the country ALL-OF-WHICH you did while your Bush was burning in the Whitehouse ... You now claim to be the victims of a radical Left-wing media???? There hasn't been a "liberal press" since the early 80's.

And in case you have forgotten, this rally was for the establishment of reasonable communication between people of differing views. A democratic view-point that the more radical "shouters" cannot (or will not) understand.

Posted by: NY-dhb | November 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

NOW if the other 300,000 attendees of the Team Sanity rally will just make sure to be at the polls when they open tomorrow....

Posted by: practica1 | November 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I heard how terrible Metro was and the parking lots at the end of the blue line were packed so we did not make it, but we watched it on TV.

Posted by: loved1 | November 1, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Did anyone else see the black-shirted security detachment with the black Humvee guarding the FoxNews installation? Empty launcher thingy on the roof.

Creepy.

Posted by: practica1 | November 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think in the face of Obama's whipping tomorrow, we really should let the liberals have the bigger crowd estimate.

Anything to make them smile a little before the doom.

Posted by: fishcrow | November 1, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Well, I guess the election is over. Since there was such a Big Crowd of all Democrats who are all voting I guess they win. Unless, of course, all of those 1.9 million folks who were in DC to protest the Health Care Bill, yeah, those folks who were ignored by Obama, come to the polls tomorrow and remind Obama that not listening to the voice of the people is not the way to go. He says he WON and forget what the people of this country want. After all, he said, they don't know what's good for them. And all of those members of Congress who voted for a bill they never read weren't listening either. But I guess according to this article the Dems are going to fool us again. We'll see, tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 2nd. Remember in November.

Posted by: mlbduffy | November 1, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It's curious how the original post equates people who tried to attend the rally but couldn't with actual attendance. That's like saying I attended school today because I "tried" to make it to school but couldn't because my car broke down.

A more persuasive argument on attendance would be to take the 825k Metro estimate and subtract the 350k average ridership on a Saturday. Take the remaining 475k ridership and divide by 2 to account for roundtrips and voila, you get about 237k people. And since this doesn't account for people who walked to the rally, it'd be pretty safe to say it's an underestimate.

Posted by: anonymousperson | November 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of liars. These rallys weren't even in the same location and guess which location is larger? The left's stupid attempts to downplay Glenn Beck's triumphant conservative rally really bugs you hacks in the media doesn't it, along with the stupid leftist followers. I mean living out of context must be exhausting.

Posted by: candyzky | November 1, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see the black-shirted security detachment with the black Humvee guarding the FoxNews installation? Empty launcher thingy on the roof. Creepy. Posted by: practica1

---

They are the fascist fox-trotters.

Posted by: johng1 | November 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the same thing happened at at the Beck Rally. I waited 4 trains at Braddock Road until I found a spot that I could squeeze in. People traveling in pairs and families were SOL.

Why not try taking a less slanted approach? The whole point of the rally was to work together and to overcome polarizing politics yet all you do in your article is try to bash conservatives.

Oh, and BTW, Metro is run by democrats...

Sad.

Posted by: IwanaGofishing | November 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

As I read through the comments, I really see a cross-section of US. The liberals/moderates speak of frustration in getting to the Mall and pleasant people while right wingers are in denial, add insult and generally have nothing positive to add. This is exactly what Stewart/Colbert wanted to highlight. These are the choices in mentality and governance we have.

When you vote on Tuesday, remember what you've read: there is fear and fact-free versus rebuilding and sanity.

Posted by: BobfromLI | November 1, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the same thing happened at at the Beck Rally. I waited 4 trains at Braddock Road until I found a spot that I could squeeze in. People traveling in pairs and families were SOL. Posted by: IwanaGofishing

-----------

That is because the average teabagger takes up 4 times the space of a non-teabagger. Hoverounds wheelchairs also add to less efficient teabagging flesh density.

Posted by: johng1 | November 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Crowd size aside.. you couldn't help noticing that this weekend's rally was a REAL cross section of America.

Posted by: bozhogg | November 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Why can't you idiots who attended the rally pick up your damn trash. Is this how you want your tax dollars spent. It just makes me sick.

At Becks rally, the mall was clean when it was over and there were no negative signs. I went to both and could really tell the difference....Beck's rally was by far the best.

Posted by: jesimon | November 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I would prefer the Stewart crowd far outnumbered the Beck crowd, and I'm sure it did. But why aren't ariel photos available to confirm this? We can zero in on someone's newspaper headline from Moscow, miles up, but we can't produce photos of events in D.C.? That's BS.

Posted by: psst_limbaugh_keep-ranting_satan | November 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Here's another photo from the rally (I did not take this, just forwarding)
http://tinyurl.com/3x33e95

Posted by: avocat | November 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Estimates can be amazing animals. We all know how Republicans estimate the size of their events. They held a campaign event in Virginia Beach in 2008 and estimated the crowd at double the capacity of the facility. When the camera scanned the event, fully half of the area was empty.

I was impressed with the apparent crowd size at the sanity rally Saturday. I was also impressed with the civility of those in attendance. No way-out posters. I was amused by some of the posters that I did see, like the one that said that they were too poor to make a poster.

I watched on CSPAN Saturday afternoon and the replay that evening. Jon Stewart had some of the most appropriate words that I have heard uttered by any media type in many years.

One of the Repuiblican call-ins to CSPAN after the rally said that we could thank the Beck rally for getting this all started. Actually, there have been rallies on the Mall for many years. Perhaps someone will share when the first rally occurred there.

The rally Saturday reminded me of a cold day concert on the Mall just before the inauguration of President Obama. The warmth, friendliness, and politeness of the crowd speaks volumes about what is good about America. The Beck rally speaks volumes about intolerance, rudeness, and hate. Yes, we have a choice at the polls on Tuesday. Which America we choose is up to us. We may disagree about certain policies and so forth. However, it does seem that we are also voting for the manner or path that we choose to get there.

There has been a lot said about pre-World War II Germany lately. If we are not careful, we'll have the same thing happening here. Too many right-wingers have no clue about real history as attested to by the fact that they listen to and believe people like Beck.

Posted by: EarlC | November 1, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Leave it to the Post to turn it into a horserace. Well done WP, it's what we've come to expect from your pathetic, low journalistic standards.

Posted by: rbe1 | November 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for making those points on a respected and public forum. I have been saying the same to all my friends. I tried to go to the rally personally, and experienced all the three items you mentioned above. I never did actually make it onto the mall. In fact, as I was walking down to the mall from Chinatown, I saw a steady stream of people heading AWAY from the rally, presumably because they couldn't take the crowd combined with the fact that you coulnd't see or hear anything from the back or the outskirts. My estimate was that there were at least as many people trying to get to the rally as there were at the rally. Truly a massive event.

Posted by: Matte | November 1, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This may have been the best evet I have ever attended- the people around me were caring, literate, considerate, funny and all seem to want the same thing- that the government should take our taxes, use them EFFICIENTLY, as in a for profit business, keep us safe, maintain our infrastructure,maintain our borders for legal immigration and be the guard dog against those who would subborn or use the system in a way that hurts others. We were all agreed that we were tired on listening to diatribes about who is a better Christian, and who has the corner on the correct reading of the Bible. We are tired of listening to people who just want to make us afraid of each other. The signs were so clever and amazing. It was a great day! I think that some of the comments here are by those who did not attend, and who will never "attend".

Posted by: poppysue85 | November 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh My God - this rally far surpassed the Beck rally because it is true, most peole want sanity and no fear.

This is what the TRUE AMERICANS in this country want.

Stop the critizing on both sides and lets remember one thing:

This country belongs to everyone and when a President is overwhelmingly voted in and a fringe group wants to take the country back - they are saying our votes don't matter, only their concepts matter and this is what the news people are pushing down our throats every day.

STOP IT: and stop it now before you start a civil war and we all lose.

Turn off your TV's and start thinking.

Posted by: lndlouis | November 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I've taken more time to go back and read some of the posts. The Beck people do not get it. They really live in their own lala land. I am no a Jon Stewart or Steve Colbert follower. However, I appreciate what they did.

Yes, we are divided in many ways. I discovered one key way yesterday in Bible study class. Some of us sit at home and will watch TV and enjoy some of what we see. Others will watch TV with a gun by their side worrying about whether or not they will experience a home invasion. For me, I do not anticipate the worst minute by minute. I do have a reality about what to expect when I choose to go here or there.

When one gets a steady diet of Beck, the NRA, and so forth, it is amazing that this person ever leaves his/her fortress to enter the real world.

Posted by: EarlC | November 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Fishcrow, the doom will come if Republicans gain control. You know, don't you, that this whole economic mess started with GWB? Remember, deficits don't matter if the Republicans are in charge. Remember the tax cut? That increased the deficit! Remember the War in Iraq, you know, the one after the War in Afghanistan that was supposed to get Bin Laden (remember him????)

Medicare Part D? A boon for private insurance companies....Humana's profits DOUBLED the year after Part D was enacted. And, Big Pharma didn't do too badly either.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | November 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh My God - this rally far surpassed the Beck rally because it is true, most peole want sanity and no fear.

This is what the TRUE AMERICANS in this country want.

Stop the critizing on both sides and lets remember one thing:

This country belongs to everyone and when a President is overwhelmingly voted in and a fringe group wants to take the country back - they are saying our votes don't matter, only their concepts matter and this is what the news people are pushing down our throats every day.

STOP IT: and stop it now before you start a civil war and we all lose.

Turn off your TV's and start thinking.

Posted by: lndlouis | November 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I bicycled from VA with my son to attend the rally. The 14th street bridge was more crowded with pedestrians and cyclists then was normal for a Saturday morning. We had to park our bikes near the Smithsonian and had trouble trying to get through the crowds into the Mall.

I've attended many outdoor events with huge crowds, including the Paul Simon concerts in Central Park that were estimated to have attracted over 250,000. By my guess I would say that 200,000 for Saturday's rally is a very conservative estimate.

BTW - I also biked over to the Lincoln Memorial to take a look at the Beck rally in August. There were nowhere near as many people and I would guess that crowd at less then 100k. Keep in mind that the space between the Lincoln and WWII Memorials is limited because most of it is taken up by the reflecting pool. The expanse between the Smithsonians on the Mall is much larger it was absolutely packed Saturday.

Posted by: dldbug | November 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

At 66, I decided I wouldn't try to get through the traffic, etc. to get to the rally – even though even for someone my age, it sounded like a hoot – so watched on C-SPAN. Thank you, C-SPAN!! Now if the folks who went and wanted to will take the time to vote and do so calmly and with consideration…

Posted by: jujones1 | November 1, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Where are the overheads that were taken by AirPhotos?

Stating the firm's estimates are "wildly off" absent visual evidence is nothing less than propaganda.

Finding a parking space, eh? Where, Calvert & Connecticut or Constitution & 14th?

Posted by: rmlwj1 | November 1, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I was there in my Recreation Room using my computer to stream live the whole 3+ hour show and never left for a potty break.

It was great and somehow though different reminded me of the 60's and 70's of my era. There were great parts with Yusaf and Karem, capsule from Chile, and of course Stewart's phenomenal ending.

That should be on video on every front page of every paper, now you go!

Posted by: jrubin998 | November 1, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Dont be fooled by the "Tea party wave" it does not exist.

CBS using an aerial estimate says 215,000, plus or minus 10%, attended the Stewart/Colbert rally. They used the same method for a rally by conservative commentator Glenn Beck back in August, and estimated the crowd at ONLY 78,000 to 96,000.

So anyone else get the feeling the "Tea party wave" is just spin, to cause Democratic Party voters to think their vote won't make any difference?

Dont be fooled by the "Tea party wave"; vote tommorow for your Democratic Party candidate.

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I left my house at about 11am to head to the rally. Tried to wait for a bus, but they were full and didn't stop, so I walked to the U St Metro, and there was a line coming out of the metro station. Finally found a cab and arrived around 11:45. The worst part of the day was that I couldn't hear anything, even though I could see the jumbotrons. I moved closer and still couldn't hear. They really needed many more speakers spread out on the mall. At 2pm I went home to try and watch it on TV, since I couldn't hear anything.

All in all it was a fun event, with insane amounts of people attending. I only wish the organizers had planned better to have more loudspeakers and to have WMATA run more trains and buses.

Posted by: miknugget | November 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If you visit Metro's website:http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4717

you will notice a vastly overlooked notice that Metro ridership on Saturday set a new record: nearly 500,000 above normal.

I have been in larger rallies, but this was certainly respectable and I think 215,000 underestimates.

Posted by: l_ekin | November 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I were volunteers with an early shift beginning at 6am. We were in the District at 5:30 and none of the parking lots were open so we ended up parking at 16th and I and walking the distance. The crowds were among the most polite I've seen. We were handing out Rally Towels and about 99% of the people said "thank you"! How amazing is THAT? That said, it was wonderful to see SO MANY PEOPLE come together for a common cause, sanity not hatred. That was the clear message: Work together instead of against each other. I am proud to have been a part of the event and grateful for the opportunity.

Posted by: cajohnsonalex | November 1, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This blog could have been easily written without "WTF" and "FUBAR" in the text.

Posted by: sbaker1 | November 1, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

My god, this is the best the WaPo could do for coverage of this event? A story on a backwater blog buried somewhere in the WaPo website? What was the print version? A small caption on page 65 of the Metro section? Talk about sour grapes...

The short-shrift given by mainstream media to this event is not surprising considering that was the point of Jon Stewart's rally: their endless and exhausting portrayal of a world in perpetual conflict adds nothing of value except headache and "maybe eczema" as JS put it; and it makes solving our real problems that much harder. The event reflects badly on the media therefore they provide lousy coverage; I saw an editorial by Applebaum which clearly revealed her bitterness at not being invited to the party and more pointedly showing her irrelevance as a journalist; another story which said the rally "lacked purpose" - again more bitterness and sour grapes from the MSM. Well the chickens have come home to roost and they will have to figure out a new way to entertain us (since that is all they do); we are fed up of the garbage they have been feeding us.

Posted by: FCperson | November 1, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I found it to be more like a 1970's Concert, alot of people were there to see Ozzie, remembering the days of Black Sabbath, people were having fun, not worrying about our corrupt politicians.

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | November 1, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

They were there to burnish their halos. What a teaming mass of humanitarians! How many homeless did you give money to on your way to the group think fest?

Posted by: stinkingtuna | November 1, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm not really a fan of Beck's, but if this rally was 200-250K, then Beck's was a million. Beck's rally was probably the largest since the so-called "Million Man March".

But at the end of the day, as long as the participants got what they wanted out of it, who cares?

Posted by: Skeptic1 | November 1, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I've ridden trains in India and rush-hour Tokyo. You kids haven't seen a crowded train.

Posted by: Client_9 | November 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thump41 | November 1, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Let the clowns have their day. God Bless
America, that's what makes this country great. The Dems and their cohorts are just beating a dead horse, because "We the People" have been abused and dis-respected** and we will remember on election day. We will not be dis-suaded** or deterred. We waited a long time too** be heard here in the "land of the free- and the home of the brave". The Democrats have not heard us, but they will hear us on election day, at the polls! We will vote the Democrats out, and do so in record numbers. We will have eyes watching to make sure that this election is not stollen** by them.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!
_________

I can't help but smile when reading posts like the one above with all the spelling errors. Thank you for proving our point for us.

Posted by: ebelsa | November 1, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thump41 | November 1, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Let the clowns have their day. God Bless
America, that's what makes this country great. The Dems and their cohorts are just beating a dead horse, because "We the People" have been abused and dis-respected** and we will remember on election day. We will not be dis-suaded** or deterred. We waited a long time too** be heard here in the "land of the free- and the home of the brave". The Democrats have not heard us, but they will hear us on election day, at the polls! We will vote the Democrats out, and do so in record numbers. We will have eyes watching to make sure that this election is not stollen** by them.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!
_________

I can't help but smile when reading posts like the one above with all the spelling errors. Thank you for proving our point for us.

Posted by: ebelsa | November 1, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

We waited in line in w falls church for 45 minutes to get a ticket(at 9:30 am).......were offered $40 to buy one for someone trying to move up in line....no one took him up on it.....missed the first train through because of overcrowding....squeezed into the next one and we were squished all the way to the rally........ couldn't get close to it! heard it, but didn't see it!!

Posted by: mj2141 | November 1, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse


The crowd illustrated perfectly, the sickness of the loony Left.

It will be Yusuf Islam's DUTY to kill any homosexual person as a Muslim. Those who smoke 'pot' will feel the blade of Islam. SAD. Yet, the goofy crowds gather, applauding HIM, and any other Moslem lunatic.

These Citizens (those who WERE Americans) are mindless goofs and eff-ups in any language.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Racebube was three. He saw sad black people who were guilted to attend the ralley. Sad for the black peoples forsed to go. Beck, on the other hand, was open and welcomed black people. One million strong shoed up!

Posted by: racebube | November 1, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

aTeaGALA is korrecked!

Posted by: racebube | November 1, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This dribble is so typical of the Washington Post and is the reason I non longer subscribe! On the front page this link looks like a crowd estimate but in fact is propaganda for BlueVirginia - a leftist group. The Post is so biased that it canot pass for a real newspaper. I hope the WP goes bankrupt!

Posted by: jbailey230 | November 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yusef Islam, really?...enough said.

Posted by: civilrightist | November 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

There's no way to scientifically estimate any of this. But I was with 4 people who gave up trying to get on the metro and went home.

Posted by: anonymice | November 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: candyzky | November 1, 2010 10:13 AM "The left's stupid attempts to downplay Glenn Beck's triumphant conservative rally really bugs you hacks"
--------

My god, stop! All of you nodding your heads to this ridiculousness: you are embarrassing yourselves.

Posted by: franktank | November 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: wthaljr. "Travel in D.C. on Saturday was difficult at best... However, we always found ourselves surrounded by decent human beings and the mood was always reasonable and upbeat"

I, too, was proud to be an American on the Mall and felt privileged to share that space with so many. My son and I went to add to the count of people who support civility and comity in political discourse.

Like so many others, I'm sick of the strident and rude fear-, panic-, and anger-mongering that is so common in the 24-hr news media. I know it's how they keep their ratings up, but I was delighted for the opportunity to "refudiate" them and show support for the Better Way to approach problem solving.

Regarding the Metro adventure getting back to Greenbelt station, it was treacherous and scary to the max. At Union Station, we tried hopping a Red Line train that was promptly taken out of service at the very next stop! So we had to go back into Union Station and decided to just go for the Green Line. Getting from the Red Line to the Green Line took over 1/2 hour of shuffling slowly as tightly packed as red corpuscles getting through a capillary bed. What a scary deal. As someone noted, without the group being patient, sane, reasonable, and polite, I would have totally freaked out. And I am amazed and thankful that no one was hurt during that transfer.

Thanks to all who were there...it was a peak experience for me.

Posted by: maryannevanoosterhout | November 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This ain't rocket science. Crowds on the Mall are actually easier to assess because the space is fairly regular and areas like the Reflecting Pool are easy to eliminate.

The solid crowd went from 3rd to 12th (that is, west to the Smithsonian) and wall-to-wall between the buildings lining the Mall. They also filled the two open "wings" alongside the Mall between 7th - 9th. I make that roughly 2.75M sq ft. Take a very liberal estimate of 9 sf per person in that crowd (it was probably considerably tighter) and do the math: roughly 300,000 just in that section.

So of course with the outliers, and the crowds surging south from Metro stations, it could easily approach 400K. Again, these are lowball numbers.

I've been doing this since the 70s. I've been in every significant antiwar, teaparty, Beck, inauguration crowd here for the past ten years. The Beck crowd was less than half this size. It ain't rocket science.

Posted by: laboo | November 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, we decided it would be a good idea to drive to the rally from Takoma Park. We came down N.Cap. and parked at a meter at 3rd and D. We left at 11:30, and it took maybe 30 mins. Of course, we ended up camping outside the Natural History Museum with all the other families with little kids. We occasionally listened to the rally on the C-SPAN radio app. We ran into friends and had a great time. I would have liked to have heard what was going on, though. I watched part of it on TV later. Oh, and we left right when it ended and got home in 45 mins. Driving was awesome.

Posted by: atb2 | November 1, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I live in Florida and oh How I WISH I ccould Have been there!! My daughter and son in law were there and stood 5 hours and were about 1/8 back from the stage. I watched the whole telecast and saw a very diverse croud of people who probably representated the demographics of our Country....Unlike watching the Beck rally where I saw mostly white people, practically my age. Late 60's. At least those angry folks had a venue also. As for me, I want to belong to the group that gathered on the Mall on Saturday. May God Bless the USA and please keep our president safe and in our prayers.

Posted by: phylb123 | November 1, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I went to Viet Nam protests and Beach Boy Jul 4 concerts that were officially rated at 500,000 poeple. Saturday's Rally was as big as those. I've never seen Shady Grove station so overloaded with people @ 10:30 on a Sat. The parking lot was totally full and there was a tremendous line of people just trying to get into the station. It wasn't that crowded for Obama's inauguration. I got on at Twinbrook. From there, almost nobody got off and nobody could get on either.

Metro incompetently planned for this one and owes us an explanation & apology for treating it like a routine weekend. There were way too many short trains running too infrequently.

Posted by: 1observer | November 1, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

A successful rally.

The point was made - that there are many more moderates in this country than right wing nuts.

Thank you, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

And viva Chilé!

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | November 1, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Although I didn't go to the rally -- my wife thought it would be too packed -- the stories of the lines coming out of the Metro stations as far out as Vienna reminds me of the time we tried to, and abandoned, a trip to see the cherry blossoms. That would have been in 2006 or 2007, and neither of those show up in WMATA's top 5.

On a side note, we went to a wedding reception at the Capitol Hill Club on 9/12/2009 (that's a Republican club house, BTW). Although we missed the wedding because our babysitter was late, we had no problems making to the reception at the Capital Hill club via the Vienna metro. I know that some claimed that there were a million attendees that day, but based on our ease of ingress and egress, there was no way there were that many people, not even close, and the numbers were definitely less than on a nice spring day when the cherry blossoms are out.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/protest-crowd-size-estimate-falsely-attributed-abc-news/story?id=8558055

Posted by: steve1231 | November 1, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

A great event and certainly there were more people at this event than at Beck's.

www.swagfunk.com

Posted by: player2099 | November 1, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Talk about myopia. Keeping Drinking the cool-aid Tony in durham. That rally was moderate if Obama is a Conservative. Stop Kidding yourself, your a liberal, maybe not a left wing nut case but that rally was something that Nancy Pelosi would love. Glen beck is on the right and Steward is on the left. Simple as that. THERE WERE NO MODERATES AT THAT RALLY unless it was to simply have fun because Jon Steward is a funny comedian.

Posted by: niceday971 | November 1, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Metro reported that ridership was up by about 475K on Saturday compared with a normal Saturday, which does suggest that a 215K attendance estimate is low. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103103825.html)

Posted by: DCnative15 | November 1, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"That is because the average teabagger takes up 4 times the space of a non-teabagger. Hoverounds wheelchairs also add to less efficient teabagging flesh density."

Posted by: johng1

And of course you're speaking from first hand experience and not making generalizations or assumptions. This small insight to the inner workings of your mind is disturbing: "I don't like tea-partiers. Therefore I will assume they're all disabled and I'll change their name to insinuate that they all participate in the sexual activity of dipping their testicles into other's mouths."

Way to go!

Posted by: IwanaGofishing | November 1, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The metro ticket statistics pretty well show that at least 400,000 arrived via metro alone. So much for anything intelligent from CBS.

Posted by: VenusPlusX | November 1, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

FUBAR, washington post? really?

Posted by: joew22 | November 1, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Metro reported it as the highest saturday ridership that it has ever had. The day of beck's rally was not even listed in their top 5 heaviest saturday ridership days ... the metro said that 825,437 people took the metro on saturday. Subtracting the 350M trips that the metro typically has on a saturday and dividing by 2 (assuming each person was round trip), I figure that 237,718 people took the metro to the rally!! And that's just the metro!! It doesn't include people who took amtrak, drove, or got there a day or so before.

http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4717

Posted by: chuckieathadley | November 1, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The Metro reported it as the highest saturday ridership that it has ever had. The day of beck's rally was not even listed in their top 5 heaviest saturday ridership days ... the metro said that 825,437 people took the metro on saturday. Subtracting the 350M trips that the metro typically has on a saturday and dividing by 2 (assuming each person was round trip), I figure that 237,718 people took the metro to the rally!! And that's just the metro!! It doesn't include people who took amtrak, drove, or got there a day or so before.

http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4717

Posted by: chuckieathadley | November 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

VenusPlusX: Remember that those stats need to be divided by 2 (people coming AND going).


niceday971: Keep stoking the fear! Us vs. them!

Posted by: steve1231 | November 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

To anyone who attended the rally who is still trying to argue the "my rally was bigger than your rally" part of this debate in this forum, I have one very simple question: did you even bother listening to the actual content of Stewart's message at the rally? Enough with the name calling and derogatory retorts already. If you disagree, please merely state so, offer your supporting evidence, and move on. Thanks.

Posted by: klaw009x | November 1, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

So this blog post informs us that the estimate of the crowd that WAS on the Mall is "wildly low" because it measured only people who WERE on the Mall, not people who for one reason or another were NOT on the Mall but rather in front of their TV's or wishing they were on the Mall or dreaming about the Mall. With that kind of clear-headed thinking, Blue Virginia may well be the newest addition to the Obama Administration.

Posted by: Rob_ | November 1, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Metro board of directors tried to prevent people from attending the rally by not putting extra trains in service. Demand accountability. It is tyranny and can not stand.

Posted by: mjoy | November 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It's wonderfully hilarious that the Repugnuts and tea bag people on here are defensive about a rally to restore sanity!

Posted by: 1observer | November 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

There is a qualitative difference between comments that are judgmental, pejorative or character assassination - and fact. If you filter out the angry comments and look for substantial information perhaps 80% of this blog would disappear.

While both rallies were very large it seems from the evidence that the Stewart rally was larger. Of course the "winner" in this wants to believe his is larger to demonstrate that his movement represents a larger population. The notion of "restoring sanity" cannot be a bad thing, even though it is an obvious swipe at the insanity. However, and this is where my subjectivity kicks in, there is a hell of a lot of inflammatory commenting going on in general. But when it comes to the notion of freedom, I come down on the side of the Stewart rally which generally holds more liberal positions. For ex: taking away a woman's right to choose is an imposition on one's freedom to believe differently when it comes to the controversial issue when sentient life begins- the point is it's a personal judgement and should not be imposed by any religion, just as the first impoundments suggests. I also think that we need to put new guarantees into law to protect democracy. The Supreme Court decision giving corporations the right to anonymously contribute unlimited funds to a campaign unfairly dominates the public message representing mostly corporate positions on major issues and candidates. This inundation of one-sided "miseducation" has the power to sway opinion because the alternate view is not as available. The corporate money represents the interests of a very small number of people and is very anti-democracy. In addition they are using their media message domination to inflame fear (major rally theme) by skapegoating people that have very little to do with the current problems everyone is facing. Ex: For those who want to blame illegal immigration fact check this: Actual illegal immigration has been coming down in number every year since 2004. Why? There are less jobs here! and more antagonism against them. Hence, less motive to come. It's a red herring. Besides, Rand Paul and the teapartiers are actually pro-outsourcing which directly sends jobs that we could have in the US, overseas. BTW, spending CORRECTLY, even if it causes the country to go into more debt for a little while, is the only way to improve the economy. Corporations that benefit from tax cuts do not create jobs because they have more money. They create jobs when there is DEMAND. but demand comes from the bottom up. Get the money into the hands of middle and lower income people and the money they spend will create the demand for new jobs. VOTE DEMOCRATIC... They may not be great but they're a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Posted by: FutureAtavist | November 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

There is a qualitative difference between comments that are judgmental, pejorative or character assassination - and fact. If you filter out the angry comments and look for substantial information perhaps 80% of this blog would disappear.

While both rallies were very large it seems from the evidence that the Stewart rally was larger. Of course the "winner" in this wants to believe his is larger to demonstrate that his movement represents a larger population. The notion of "restoring sanity" cannot be a bad thing, even though it is an obvious swipe at the insanity. However, and this is where my subjectivity kicks in, there is a hell of a lot of inflammatory commenting going on in general. But when it comes to the notion of freedom, I come down on the side of the Stewart rally which generally holds more liberal positions. For ex: taking away a woman's right to choose is an imposition on one's freedom to believe differently when it comes to the controversial issue when sentient life begins- the point is it's a personal judgement and should not be imposed by any religion, just as the first impoundments suggests. I also think that we need to put new guarantees into law to protect democracy. The Supreme Court decision giving corporations the right to anonymously contribute unlimited funds to a campaign unfairly dominates the public message representing mostly corporate positions on major issues and candidates. This inundation of one-sided "miseducation" has the power to sway opinion because the alternate view is not as available. The corporate money represents the interests of a very small number of people and is very anti-democracy. In addition they are using their media message domination to inflame fear (major rally theme) by skapegoating people that have very little to do with the current problems everyone is facing. Ex: For those who want to blame illegal immigration fact check this: Actual illegal immigration has been coming down in number every year since 2004. Why? There are less jobs here! and more antagonism against them. Hence, less motive to come. It's a red herring. Besides, Rand Paul and the teapartiers are actually pro-outsourcing which directly sends jobs that we could have in the US, overseas. BTW, spending CORRECTLY, even if it causes the country to go into more debt for a little while, is the only way to improve the economy. Corporations that benefit from tax cuts do not create jobs because they have more money. They create jobs when there is DEMAND. but demand comes from the bottom up. Get the money into the hands of middle and lower income people and the money they spend will create the demand for new jobs. VOTE DEMOCRATIC... They may not be great but they're a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Posted by: FutureAtavist | November 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

practica1 says:

"Anything to make them smile a little before the doom"

Yep doom is coming allright, by way of the GOP. Funny how your simple mind cant remember which party crushed this country.......

Posted by: rharring | November 1, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

There is a qualitative difference between comments that are judgmental, pejorative or character assassination - and fact. If you filter out the angry comments and look for substantial information perhaps 80% of this blog would disappear.

While both rallies were very large it seems from the evidence that the Stewart rally was larger. Of course the "winner" in this wants to believe his is larger to demonstrate that his movement represents a larger population. The notion of "restoring sanity" cannot be a bad thing, even though it is an obvious swipe at the insanity. However, and this is where my subjectivity kicks in, there is a hell of a lot of inflammatory commenting going on in general. But when it comes to the notion of freedom, I come down on the side of the Stewart rally which generally holds more liberal positions. For ex: taking away a woman's right to choose is an imposition on one's freedom to believe differently when it comes to the controversial issue when sentient life begins- the point is it's a personal judgement and should not be imposed by any religion, just as the first impoundments suggests.

We need to put new guarantees into law to protect democracy. The Supreme Court decision giving corporations the right to anonymously contribute unlimited funds to a campaign unfairly dominates the public message representing corporate only positions on major issues and candidates. This inundation of one-sided "miseducation" does sway opinion because the alternate view is simply not as available. Corporate money represents the interests of a very small number of people and is absolutely anti-democracy.

In addition they are using their media message domination to inflame fear (major rally theme) - skapegoating people that have very little to do with the current problems everyone is facing. Ex - Fact check this: Actual illegal immigration has been coming down in number every year since 2004. Why? There are less jobs here! and more antagonism against them. Hence, less motive to come and in actuality a very small effect on the economy. But it plays on people’s fears and gives them faces to blame. It's a red herring. Besides, Rand Paul and the teapartiers & the Chamger of Commerce are actually pro-outsourcing which directly sends GOOD U.S. jobs overseas. Also – spending into debt is not always bad - Spending wisely, even if it causes the country to go into more debt for a little while, is probably the only way to improve the economy. Corporations that benefit from tax cuts do not create jobs because they have more money. They create jobs when there is DEMAND. but demand comes from the bottom up. Get the money into the hands of middle and lower income people and their spending will create the demand for new jobs. SO VOTE DEMOCRATIC... They may not be great but they're a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Posted by: FutureAtavist | November 1, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the multiple postings - my browser crashed and I think posted it 3 times! : - (

Posted by: FutureAtavist | November 1, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

NOW, Stewart/Colbert Attendees -----
PLEASE VOTE TODAY !!!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE VOTE TODAY, AND SAVE US FROM "A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH"!

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest and now. Beck had 2 million attendees and Stewart had, what, maybe 20,000?

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | November 1, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest and now. Beck had 2 million attendees and Stewart had, what, maybe 20,000?

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | November 1, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

To the person who said there were parking spaces in front of the Smithsonian Castle, that's because the police put barriers up blocking entrance to the street.

Anyway, no one in their right mind would look there for parking (unless they arrived at 4am). I biked in with friends and we knew it was bad when we began seeing people in Rally shirts walking away from the Rally site - it was just too crowded to get close enough to hear.

Posted by: donlibes | November 1, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Attendance may have been twice or three times or more what the cameras caught at any moment, because so many people, like me, got there but gave up and left when we couldn't see or hear due to the overwhelming crowd size and density, only to be replaced by others arriving as we were leaving; in fact, others had been leaving when I arrived around 12:30, so who knows how many times the crowd replaced itself with a similar total number made up of different individuals?
Whether I was counted or not, I think it's illogical to include those who never arrived, given that ... they weren't there. Maybe you could come up with a different category to encompass them, like "those who attended or tried to"-- but then think of all the other rallies where people who weren't there will want to be counted as part of the total.
What I want to know is, where can I see video of the part I missed because I was there?

Posted by: tequejedi | November 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Using the aerial photos and map dimensions subtracting scaled stages, booths and other police and rally stages and tents that allowed for over 400,000 assuming 4 square feet per attendee making the rally a minimum of 400,000.

I love the Glenn Beck ralliers saying wait till Tuesday.

The problem is since 59,000,000 people born in America voted for Bush so we know for sure there are 59,000,000 mentally challenged individuals that would vote for the devil and did, so why not a witch or the lying far right that have no solution and don’t know what socialism is.

The Glen Beck rally would have had more attendance but unfortunately, most T-Party people and far right who are not filthy rich cannot read maps and cannot spell Washington nor know what the Constitution says or means, let alone knowing it was penned 100% by Liberals!

America has been dumbed down for decades and it shows, in our low ranking in education, in healthcare, in more deaths of infants due to lack of healthcare than all other “wealthy” nations and the fact that the Healthcare Bill is good for everyone except GREEDY HMO’s.

If the T-Partiers had been listening in school or just read current events and owned a dictionary, this lunacy of O’Donnell’s and Palin would never have seen that light of day.

Now we are the laughing stock of the world, showing once again why we had to defeat conservatives to form America, and we have to do it again and again because fear and ignorance are the symbols of the conservatives next to greed and racism.

The rally Saturday proved to me, that the T-Party is what we endure when education at home and the schools fails a group of people who are so uniformed and bigoted, that they cannot even read and understand the Constitution or a newspaper.

America was built upon liberal freedoms and laws, and all the republicans want to do is let poor people die and go without, as they sell our jobs overseas and allow WALL STREET to gamble our future away.

40,000 Americans die every year without healthcare, and the new law can cut that in half and the republicans want to rescind it and murder 20,000 Americans again and allow the other 20,000 to die, mostly women and the young but, like their first Presidential candidate, murder and cannibalism were a trademark of the first Republican and the tradition was brought back with Reagan and placing hundreds of thousands of Vietnam vets on the streets, homeless and without care.

Conservatives want to end taxes, when it was there party that brought forth the idea to spread tax burdens to people from corporations…..oops, I forgot, corporations are people. Does that mean when a corporation kills a person, everyone in the corporation goes to jail or worse? How about stockholders and the boards?

Side Bar: Great to see the masses proclaiming sanity in an America ripe with fear, hate and ignorance of conservatives.

Posted by: nacirema | November 1, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about the disability that you share with half the US population 33rdStreet. Good luck with all that thinking maybe you should ask someone in the other half for a hand.

Posted by: fish4 | November 1, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

tequejedi, www.c-span.org has the whole three-hour-plus rally video on its web site. Comedy Central's site has clips.

Back in my hotel room the night after the rally, I saw the report by the DC Fox affiliate on their local news show. They committed actual journalism, looking at Metro ridership to come up with a crowd estimate of over 200,000 people; their correspondent also seemed to think the rally was fun.

I didn't understand Metro's thinking at all. Here back in San Francisco, for events much less overcrowded than that, they'll start running Muni and BART trains express to the stops where everyone's going. Nobody's getting on at the intervening stops anyway when the trains are absolutely clogged, and this way they can at least turn them around and reload them faster. (Some trains still make all stops for the poor bastards trying to get home or to work.)

Posted by: asympt | November 1, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes the Mall was jammed, the streets were jammed and the Metro was jammed. But I did not hear a foul word all day. Everyone was pleasant. This was the he nicest crowd of folks all packed together.

Thanks to the gate operator at Beltsville Station whom had the courtsey to unlock the departing gates when things started to back up.

Posted by: billwitt3 | November 1, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well I would say the fact that Metro broke it's 19 year old record for Saturday ridership during the "Rally to Restore Sanity" is a pretty good indicator that a ton of people were there.

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/10/31/metro-breaks-19-year-old-saturday-record-for-ridership/

Posted by: wvumurray | November 1, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Well I would say the fact that Metro broke it's 19 year old record for Saturday ridership during the "Rally to Restore Sanity" is a pretty good indicator that a ton of people were there.

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/10/31/metro-breaks-19-year-old-saturday-record-for-ridership/

Posted by: wvumurray | November 1, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Well I would say the fact that Metro broke it's 19 year old record for Saturday ridership during the "Rally to Restore Sanity" is a pretty good indicator that a ton of people were there.

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/10/31/metro-breaks-19-year-old-saturday-record-for-ridership/

Posted by: wvumurray | November 1, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse


It's important for the Deem-n-RATS to know that attending the Rally was same as VOTING for them.

So, you guys, will not have to show up at any poll tomorrow because WAPO counted you already. Thanks.
xxxxxxxx

Interesting the ADORATION of Yusuf Islam on stage.

When ISLAM ascends to the majority pop. in the U.S. (and Obungler just authorized allowing 80,000 more of these sick maniacs to immigrate and live next to YOU) it will be Yusuf's DUTY as a 'good Muslim' to enforce the fatwas to convert or KILL the Infidel (the Rally crown). That includes ALL HOMOS, even if they convert to Islam, *ESPECIALLY* if they convert. It includes those millions of Americans who use illegal DRUGS, like WEED, but, also, ALCOHOL. Whiskey is a CUT-YOUR-THROAT offense in Islam.

Stuart and Colbert and the LEMMINGS in their audience APPLAUDED Y.I. like the Jews cooperated with the NAZI German state but were LED TO THEIR SLAUGHTER instead.

LOL

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse


It's important for the Deem-n-RATS to know that attending the Rally was same as VOTING for them.

So, you guys, will not have to show up at any poll tomorrow because WAPO counted you already. Thanks.
xxxxxxxx

Interesting the ADORATION of Yusuf Islam on stage.

When ISLAM ascends to the majority pop. in the U.S. (and Obungler just authorized allowing 80,000 more of these sick maniacs to immigrate and live next to YOU) it will be Yusuf's DUTY as a 'good Muslim' to enforce the fatwas to convert or KILL the Infidel (the Rally crown). That includes ALL HOMOS, even if they convert to Islam, *ESPECIALLY* if they convert. It includes those millions of Americans who use illegal DRUGS, like WEED, but, also, ALCOHOL. Whiskey is a CUT-YOUR-THROAT offense in Islam.

Stuart and Colbert and the LEMMINGS in their audience APPLAUDED Y.I. like the Jews cooperated with the NAZI German state but were LED TO THEIR SLAUGHTER instead.

LOL

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse


LOL

Look at all the WOMEN who applauded Yusuf Islam at the Stuart/Colbert Rally.

Why would Oprah EVER applaud MASSA?

It's ALL OVER for WOMEN if ISLAM takes over in America. Forget all about that 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby.' thing in the U.S. if Sharia Law usurps traditional Western Juris.

Islam is MAJOR into MALE CONTROL of EVERYTHING, you female IDIOTS.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

To mjoy, who posted on 10/31/10 at 9:24 PM:

You are right, heads should roll at Metro. They blew it big time by sticking to a normal schedule. Even when they saw the lines get outrageously longer and longer, they still stuck to a normal schedule. That was inexcusable.

But mjoy, what does John Catoe have to do with this event? He hasn't worked at Metro since April. I must say that I am disappointed that Richard Sarles (I assume that's who you meant) hasn't given an explanation or statement about the horrible service. But what can he say? Metro just plain blew it.

Posted by: mssnatchquatch | November 1, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Beck had a larger crowd. I mean, I counted at least 10 million while walking by. And that isn't counting the 600,000 that came in from Alaska. Of course, that did empty the state but no one noticed.

Posted by: Freethotlib | November 1, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

My sign from the rally because I don't like crowds.

AMERICA

"I hate the way I love you"

Posted by: ohwell | November 1, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I think both estimates are off for each rally.

What was interesting about the Sanity rally crowd is that it was incredibly dense from the stage to to at least 7th Street. And, the crowd was dense under the trees along both sides of the Mall, including Jefferson and Madison Drives. Attendees also filled the steps of the West Building of the Gallery of Art. Every nook and cranny was packed with little breathing room.

A LITTLE MATH
The average person occupies about 2.5 square feet in a tightly packed space, like an elbow-to-elbow packed nightclub. Lets be a little more conservative in this calculation and figure that each person averaged 4 square feet of space on the Mall - and the rally itself consumed about 1.64 million square feet.

1.64 million square feet divided by 4 square feet = approximately 410,000 sane people.

CBS's estimate may be correct AT THE TIME that that aerial reference shot was taken, but the image was probably not taken at the peak of the attendance.

I think it is safe to say there were more than 300,000 in attendance.

Posted by: sloppyawn | November 1, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the metro was crowded for the beck/palin rally too; people were trying to get away.

Posted by: raw915 | November 1, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the metro was crowded for the beck/palin rally too; people trying to get away.

Posted by: raw915 | November 1, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

borntorun45:
Hell yes, they want universal healthcare, but that ranks below two other more important factors. Reduce cost, raise quality. Niether of which was met with the massively expensive health bill that was passed. Oh BTW, reducing cost, does not mean subsidising. Subsidising still means a net loss. If someone paid $5,000 in healthcare costs and $10,000 in taxes, will now pay $4,000 in healthcare costs and $13,000 in taxes, do the math, that is not a benefit. Be hey, he isn't "raising" taxes. He is only taxing something that wasn't taxed before, the employer paid portion of your health insurance. A provision that was not based on plan coverage, but rather on what your employer pays. A provision that most effects teachers, cops, and employees of small businesses, so don't even try to say that he is only taxing the rich.

Posted by: akmzrazor | November 2, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The rally was a perfect example of the Democrat party…..it was led by two comedians, Ozzie Osborne…a drugged out rocker and a Muslim convert, Cat Stevens.

Posted by: priveye | October 31, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

-----------I take two comedians, Ozzie Osborne, and drugged our rocker/muslim convert Cat Stevens...in exchange for no Glenn Beck.

Posted by: kban495 | November 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is it that difficult to believe that a rally held in an area of 90% Liberals/Democrats would have a better turn out than a Republican/Conservative rally where people had to travel from all over the country to get there?

Posted by: adamamdg | November 2, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Blue Virginia

Blue Virginia is the leading progressive, political "community blog" in Virginia. The blog's main goals are to cover Virginia politics from a progressive perspective, to promote progressive candidates, and to advocate for progressive values. Blue Virginia is the successor blog to Raising Kaine and Blue Commonwealth.
Visit Site

Other Blogs in the Political Blog Network

Alabama

Doc's Political Parlor

California

Calbuzz

Calitics

Colorado

Colorado Pols

Iowa

The Iowa Republican

Massachusetts

Blue Mass Group

Missouri

Fired Up! Missouri

New Jersey

Save Jersey

Ohio

Buckeye State Blog

Third Base Politics

Pennsylvania

pa2010.com

Politics PA

South Carolina

FITSNews

Virginia

Bearing Drift

Blue Virginia