The "mainstream media" is reporting "tens of thousands."
The ever-so-slightly-off-mainstream-but-not-wild-eyed conservative media reports that "[r]ally leaders estimated the crowd at about 75,000, but others said it was larger than that. Organizers had expected between 25,000 and 50,000."
The flying monkeys say two million, and even claim to know a guy who knows a guy whose sister heard from a friend that someone had read somewhere that various cops said 1.2 to 1.5 million.
That's a bigger spread between "mainstream" and "grassroots" counts than usual, and complicated by the Washington Times citing alleged "rally leaders" as coming out for the low end.
Not being familiar with the layout and capacity of the area, I can't put together a decent estimate from the video and pictures I've seen.
- Based on the aerial photo Malkin credits to Westwood One, I'd say "tens of thousands" is probably lowballing it.
- If I had cared to put out a pre-event estimate of what would constituted "success," that estimate would have been toward the low end of what the MSM is reporting. Even 10,000 would have been significant. Turning out 50,000 people for a conservative event in the District of Columbia is, if not unheard of, at the very least a rare thing. And my gut feeling is that we're looking at more in the range of at least 200-300k, possibly more.
- There's no way to write all of it off to "astro-turf." The number of chartered buses was allegedly 450. Even assuming that every bus was carrying, say, 50 riders, that's only 22,500 people. Most of the signs I've seen in photos and video are homemade. The closest thing to a "core message" is anti-ObamaCare, but even that doesn't seem to dominate. 9/12 appears to have really been a largely grassroots phenomenon.
Good on them for finding their voices. Here's hoping that they don't get completely co-opted by the GOP.