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Are We Inflating Our Crowd Numbers?

Reporters accompanying President Obama and Vice President Biden in Philadelphia today initially estimated their draw in the single-digit thousands. But lo and behold, the White House put the figure at 18,500, alluding some mysterious “overflow” area.

It seems possible the overflow area was somewhere across the river in Camden, NJ. From the pool report:

According to Deputy Managing Director/Director of Operations, Jazelle M. Jones,the crowd count was 18,500. Pool, as well as several other reporters expressed some skepticism at that count, but pool was told that there was an overflow somewhere.

Pool asked an officer and he said that the area right in front of where Obama was speaking, had a maximum capacity of 11,000.  Pool also notes that when caravan arrived, the lots around the area where the main crowd was, were not full. As the police officer said, crowd counts are an art, not a science.

So lets ascribe this one to “artistic license.”

7 Responses to Are We Inflating Our Crowd Numbers?

  1. Thanks for the video, Jan. The actual number of people who were in the crowd didn’t matter in the end because of the “streaker” and the book-thrower who captured the news.
    I found myself watching the people in the background to the Prez’s right and behind him. They were fidgeting, talking to each other and seem to be waving their signs at some signal.

  2. I used to live in Philly and we are not the best versed in how to behave. But when a President has someone in a public crowd throwing a book at him and someone else running around naked to advertise a website, I think the whole town-hall idea has become too dangerous to pursue.

    Unless, of course we count the streak as a “job created” and the book tosser was only trying to recommend some reading and supplying the book to read.

  3. anonna – until I read later about the “naked guy”s motivation, I thought he was there to promote the VoteNaked campaign. I really like your take on the book throwing; makes about as much sense as any other explanation.