Sarah Palin Doesn’t Draw Tens of Thousands
I’ve heard several times that we shouldn’t count out Gov. Sarah Palin as a national political force because she brings out “tens of thousands” of people to her rallies. Yes, we shouldn’t rule her out but not because of her crowd-drawing ability. She simply doesn’t draw the huge crowds I keep hearing about.
Last night at a social event here in Washington, a national political reporter said that Palin had attracted huge crowds in the tens of thousands during the campaign. Other reporters nodded in agreement.
I spent a few days traveling with Palin last week. In a half-dozen stops, she never attracted a crowd in the tens-of thousands-category. At one rally in Florida, she didn’t even come close to filling the venue’s 5,333-person capacity. The crowds were boisterous, even raucous, but amounted to never more than a few thousand to 10,000 — max.
A recent Kimberly Strassel column in the Wall Street Journal similarly claimed a huge crowd at a Palin rally in Cape Girardeau, Mo., last week:
Wending my way through the traffic and crowds around the Palin event in this small river city on Thursday morning, I began to wonder if the whole state hadn’t shown up. Walking the cold half-hour from the nearest parking space, I passed mobs of disappointed voters who had already been turned away for lack of space. Inside the city’s Show Me Center, thousands of roaring, stomping, sign-waving Palin fans were practically hanging from the rafters. It felt like, well . . . an Obama rally.
I just checked the crowd count with the local paper. There were 7,000 people in attendance. Another 1,800 had been turned away at the door.
Could Palin one day attract these kinds of crowds? Who knows. But for now, she doesn’t.