Saturday, April 14, 2012

Extremely Low Turnout for 2012 AFP Tea Party Madison Rally

Despite the beautiful spring weather, and free bus rides to the event from every major city in Wisconsin, turnout for today's American for Prosperity Tea Party rally was under a thousand, way down from previous years. The picture below shows the crowd at about peak.


The crowd was so small and thin that I was easily able walk right up the middle to within about fifty feet of the stage several times during the event. Compare the Tea Party crowd to this video of one of the anti-Walker protest last year. Gives you an idea just of how pathetic the astroturf Tea Party movement has become.

12 comments:

Scott Foval said...

Hey Russell...did you capture Kleefisch's speech? I was wondering if there is audio / video of her speaking today.

Russell said...

I did record her, although not much else from the rally. Which is unfortunate, because she was pretty boring compared to the rest of the speakers. But if the audio isn't too bad I'll try to get it up.

Man MKE said...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel begs to differ. It's feature display article today claims "several thousand" attended. Obviously, the picture says otherwise. The paper ran a tightly cropped picture so you can't tell from its coverage. Remember that the paper said the recent big anniversary recall rally by our side attracted "thousands" -- underestimating by what was clearly a magnitude of order.

Russell said...

And I see that the WI State Journal now says two thousand, which seems to be an estimate they got from the Capitol Police.

What's interesting is that the Capitol Police have consistently overestimated crowd size by a factor of 1.5 to 2 at previous AFP events (see tinyurl.com/23jo5et).

Combine that with their absurdly low estimates for some "lefty" events, and the only reasonable conclusion is that their crowd numbers have to be taken with a mighty big grain of salt.

I'm not claiming the Capitol Police are deliberately trying to bias their estimates, but I think that their simplistic and somewhat subjective crowd estimation methodology, combined with an understandable desire to avoid political blow-back, have rendered their estimates almost worthless.

It simply comes down to the question of who you're going to believe, the "experts", or your own eyes.

Man MKE said...

I've now posted my own take on this over at Uppity. See:

http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/fuzzy-journalism-2-plot-thickens-journal-sentinel

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Russell said...

Just a (apparently necessary) reminder: Regardless of your position or ideological orientation, I will delete your comments if they are mean-spirited and add nothing to the conversation.

cr8f said...

Who did the signs? Due to correct spelling I doubt it was the protesters in most cases.

George H. said...

Just to clarify: The State Journal estimate was attributed, to DOA spokesperson. It was not, technically, the "State Journal's estimate." I'd say the state's estimate of 2,000 max is about right if that is the total, but your 1,000 at its high point seems likely, too.

Jesse said...

Seems worth noting that the DOA total would have also included the counter protesters. They count the number of people on the property not only the number of people affiliated with the primary rally.

George H. said...

Good point.

Aunt Bee said...

And the DOA spokeperson was Jocelyn Webster, who was recruited to work in the Bush White House by Karl Rove and later worked for Chris Christie. She's what I'll call an impeachable source.

My note to Bill Glauber, Journal Sentinel reporter:
Bill: Your story says there were "thousands" of teapartiers in Madison. From a veteran of many of these rallies who was there today, that's a ludicrous statement. Where did you get that number? Have you ever been to a Capitol rally before? There weren't even a thousand there, believe me. This is journalistic malpractice.

He wrote back quickly:
"Thanks. Looked like maybe 2000 to me. I used the word severl [sic] in the story. Best Bill."