comScore Rally to Restore Sanity Crowd Estimate | Rally To Restore Sanity Attendance

How Many People Attended Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally For Sanity’?

Not sure if you’ve heard, but yesterday Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert put together a rather significant event at the National Mall. And now that the “Rally to Restore Sanity” is done, the breathless game of guesstimating the crowd size — and comparisons to the crowd size of previous rallies to restore stuff has begun. Yes, the question people are asking is, who’s is bigger? Glenn Beck‘s or Jon Stewart’s?

Estimates for the crowd size have varied. During the rally, the hosts of Myth Busters (who warmed up the crowd) estimated the crowd at 150,000. CTV estimated the crowd to be over 250,000. CBS News hired a company called AirPhotosLive.com and arrived at 215,000, though their estimates of Glenn Beck’s crowd size of 87,000 was derided by many at being very low. Writing for CBS News’ “Political Hotsheet,” Brian Montopoli reports:

An estimated 215,000 people attended a rally organized by Comedy Central talk show hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.

The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance at the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which took place on the Mall in Washington. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 10 percent.

CBS News also commissioned AirPhotosLive.com to do a crowd estimate of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in August. That rally was estimated to have attracted 87,000 people. Amid criticism from conservatives that the estimate was low, CBS News detailed the methodology behind it here.

In the days that followed Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” there was some discrepancies in many of the estimates of the crowd. Mediaite’s Glynnis MacNicol (who actually attended the Beck rally) wrote at the time:

Thus far, the big question following yesterday’s event appears to be how many people attended. Answer from the ground: a lot. Interestingly CBS is estimating the crowd at 87,000. NBC quoted the National Parks service which put it at 300,000. Based solely on my perspective from the ground and the fact I was in Washington for the Inauguration I would err on the side of NBC and the National Parks. But the discrepancy begs the question: how do you lose 200,000 people?

NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reported yesterday that, having attended both, she thought that the Stewart rally was slightly larger than the Beck rally. The accepted rough estimate that emerged for the attendance at the Beck rally was roughly 200,000 (give or take.) And I suspect that the accepted rough estimate for attendance at the Jon Stewart rally will likely be the same.

I suggest that we just call it a tie?

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