The Who2 Blog

The Glenn Beck Rally: 80,000 or 650,000?

ASU Professor Steve Doig was part of a team that used high-def overhead photos to count the crowds at Glenn Beck‘s rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.  Beck himself numbered the crowd at 300,000-650,000, while Michele Bachmann insisted on a full million. 

Doig’s estimate: 80,000. He talks about his methodology here.

Glenn Beck supporters are not happy.

As Doig points out, it’s not the first time his counts have been called biased.  The same thing happened in reverse when Barack Obama was inaugurated:

Because of the wild pre-inauguration predictions of how many would attend in person — up to 5 million! — my reality-based estimate was
ignored by many left-wing commentators and embraced by those on the right … I am amused to see that those who embraced my Obama inauguration
estimate as soberly realistic are now attacking the Beck rally estimate,
produced using exactly the same methods, as deliberately biased.

Fascinating stuff.  Doig was working for, and here’s the CBS News story that resulted.

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