The Crowd Counting Consortium, a project that compiles crowd estimates for political events in the United States, has not yet finalized its own tallies for the Tax March, but event organizers claim that over 25,000 people showed up in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
If that estimate holds, it would exceed the estimated turnout of 15,000 people in Atlanta in 2009, the largest recorded crowd size for a single Tea Party Tax Day rally. But the Washington Tax March crowd estimate is far smaller than the number of people who attended the Women’s March in D.C., which drew an estimated 725,000 people, according to the Crowd Counting Consortium.
Record-setting crowds at the Women’s March, as well as ongoing protests aimed at sending a message to the president like the Tax March, are clear indicators that Trump’s administation continues to drive grassroots activism. The Tax March is also just one of several protests scheduled to take place this month, including rallies in support of science and climate action.
The difference in crowd size between the Women’s March and the Tax March may be a function of the extent to which progressives perceive an immediate threat, and the scope of the event. The Women’s March was a chance to make a generalized statement of defiance to the incoming president. Trump’s tax returns are a more targeted focus.
“The reason the Women’s March was so big was that it was the first opportunity to stand up in resistance to the new administration. It was an explosive moment, like a cork popping out of a bottle,” said Joe Dinkin, a spokesperson for the Working Families Party, one of the groups helping to organize Tax March rallies.
“Today, we're looking at a sprawling movement of resistance to Trump that spans from weekly marches to thousands of town hall meetings, to elections,” Dinkin added. “The Tax March will be only a fraction as big as the Women's March, because the movement is expanding in so many different directions right now, but it will be big and it will prove how wrong Trump is when he says only the media cares about his taxes.”
Trump has indeed said that “the reporters” are “the only ones” who care about his tax returns, but polling indicates that in fact most Americans do want him to release them. The issue is one that both Democrats and Republicans care about, though Democrats seem to care more. In January, Pew Research Center found that 79 percent of Democrats said the president has a responsibility to publicly release his tax returns, compared to 38 percent of Republicans.
Even so, concern over the issue may have diminished over time. A Bloomberg/ Morning Consult poll conducted in April shows that 53 percent of voters believe the president should be required to disclose his tax returns, while 51 percent rank the issue as important. But as Time points out, that’s less than the 62 percent of voters who said that it was important for candidates to release their tax returns in a separate survey prior to the election.