Did the Liberal 'One Nation' Rally Draw a Larger Crowd Than Glenn Beck's Event?

The AP sides with Beck

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Progressives flocked to DC this weekend in a rally billed as the liberal counterweight to Glenn Beck's Tea Party-fueled "Restoring Honor" rally. Saturday's "One Nation Working Together" event boasted "More than 400 organizations — ranging from labor unions to faith, environmental and gay rights groups." Per usual the rally's attendance numbers are being disputed by the left and right. While a number of progressive bloggers claim the "One Nation" rally drew a larger crowd than Beck's August event, the Associated Press and others are challenging that claim:

  • We Beat the Beck Rally! cheers liberal blogger Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars: "Enthusiasm gap, schmenthusiasm gap. Without the benefit of months and months of advertising and promotion on Fox News Channel (in fact, I'm only aware of Ed Schultz on MSNBC doing any kind of TV promotion), the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington DC has gathered more supporters than Glenn Beck's much ballyhooed rally, which I will lovingly refer to as 'Whitestock'. Preliminary satellite estimates put the crowd size at 175,000 to 200,000 at about noon EST."
  • Not a Chance, writes John Avlon at The Daily Beast: "For all the chanting about how 'the people, united, will never be divided,' this turnout was small, and suffering from an enthusiasm gap compared to the conservative populists who crowded the mall a month ago for Glenn Beck’s 'Restoring Honor' Rally."
  • Beck's Rally Was Probably Bigger, reports Philip Elliott at The Associated Press: "Organizers claimed they had as many participants as Beck's rally. But Saturday's crowds were less dense and didn't reach as far to the edges as they did during Beck's rally. The National Park Service stopped providing official crowd estimates in the 1990s."
Organizers of today’s "One Nation Together Rally" are claiming that, based on a "satellite image," there are definitively more people on the Washington Mall today than there were on the 29th of August. Congratulations, liberals! Except 'Restoring Honor' was on the 28th.

It was bound to happen that the organizers of this rally, the goal of which was decidedly to undermine the strength in numbers of the Tea Party, would claim to have brought together a larger number of people than Glenn Beck’s crew. Given the lack of evidence on this count, it’s certainly remotely possible, but claiming that it’s absolutely true based on one satellite image that no one was yet seen is a little, shall we say, premature. That said, it is a near certainty that there are more people congregated on the Mall today than there were on August 29th, given that there was no event scheduled to occur in the Mall on that date.
  • The Actual Numbers Are Elusive, writes Mark Memmott at NPR. Organizers for the "One Nation" rally say their crowd size was 175,000 people. Meanwhile Beck estimated his rally at 500,000. "Bear in mind that CBS News paid for some analysis of the crowd size at Beck's rally and was told that about 87,000 folks came," writes Memmott.
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