Actual photographic count shows that the 2010 Madison Tax Day Tea Party rally was only ONE-THIRD as big as 2009!
Despite the perfect weather, attendance at this year's Madison Tea Party was FAR lower than last year. Based on an actual photographic count, there were only 2,600 people at the event earlier today, compared to 8,000 in 2009. One-third the size of last year! This is a massive drop, and it indicates that both the size and the influence of the the Wisconsin Tea Party are rapidly declining.
Below is a picture showing the actual crowd count from today's Tea Party rally, with a red dot placed on every visible head. Click on it for a much larger image. It was taken at 12:15 PM, about 45 minutes into the rally, when the crowd was at its peak. There are 1,972 people visible in the picture, but the actual attendance was higher because some folks are obscured by other people or objects in front of them, and the picture cuts off the edge of the crowd, particularly on the left side. Perhaps somewhat generously I estimate that I missed one person for every two or three I counted, meaning that the actual crowd size was 2,600 to 3,000. I have similar pictures taken from other high vantage points around the event, and they are all consistent with this estimate. Public claims by Americans for Prosperity and other event sponsors that attendance was 12,000 are simply ludicrous, if not outright lies.
Much more to come from the Madison Tea Party, including some great pictures and audio. Stay tuned!