Friday, October 24, 2008

Number Games


When initial reports came in that Sarah Palin's crowd size was 20,000, KY3 News crews involved in our coverage were immediately skeptical.

To be clear, I highly respect Chad Livengood's reporting, and consider him a friend, so this is no dis.

But how does anybody really know? (You can't really ask or rely on campaign officials or partisans, because they automatically overestimate. They can't help it! Not that they lie so much, but it's like asking somebody's Mom about how smart her kid is.)

Let's be clear: We don't know how many people attended the Palin rally, because we didn't count. Nobody did as far as I can tell. But 20,000 -- to us -- seemed like a bit over the top. Where'd the cars park? Can 20,000 really even fit in that parking lot?

We guesstimated around 10 thousand, maybe 12 thousand. But twenty?

Republicans are adamant we're under reporting the big number. But now, in the late hours, it seems to be shrinking.

Initially, they stuck with the 20,000 number.

Then, we were told at least 18 thousand, per the Springfield Fire Marshal.

Anne Compton, a Springfield Republican, just called our station to say it's at least 15,000.

Crowd sizes are commonly inflated by both sides of the aisle in heated campaigns. And now that the number has already shrunk by 5 K, that should raise questions in itself.

Here's one thing we probably can agree on: The crowd was large, energized and extremely fired up to see Sarah Palin.

If you were there today, leave your estimated crowd size in our comment section.


Paul Seale said...

I find it funny that while my extended family sat around the table your report of numbers came up as topic.

Without hesitation everyone came to a conclusion that the report and attempt to under count the numbers was biased.

Keep in mind this includes my in laws who traditionaly lean Democrat.

I find it awfully funny that you make note that a number couldnt be that high while doubting others who say it was. What qualifies your analysis?

I also would note that I heard that a lot of young people were at the rally.

That was not reported as well and should hold significance in the face of Democrat's claim that they own that demographic.

Busplunge said...

Look at the picture of the Obama event in St. Louis. Crowd estimates at that event were 100,000.

Compare the size of the venue at that event to the size of the portioned off parking lot at Bass Pro Shops' (sic).

And considering all the shiny new Prime Trucks and Trailers, I would think a crowd figure of 5 to 7 thousand attended.

I drove north on Campbell about 12:15 and Westlake's lot was no fuller than usual, the lot across the street was no fuller. As I got close to Bass Pro, I could hear someone, I assume it was Palin, on the loud speakers.

I couldn't see in because of all the big trucks. But 20,000 in the space from the entrance south and east to great southern and north to the light and west to the entrance? I would suspect that many people would be violating personal space and have to have their hands in the air.

Turning left on Sunshine, the old Shady Inn and Kmart parking lots were full. Maybe 500 cars?

I did get flipped off twice--I got an Obama bumper sticker on my truck.