Sep 13 2009

Comparing Tea Party 9/12/09 To Obama Inauguration Crowds

Updates Below

I have been doing some research analyzing photos and crowd data to try and ascertain the crowd size of the 9/12/09 Tea Party protests (which I blogged on here). It seems the best, most recent reference point is President Obama’s inauguration, which was estimated at 1.8-2.0 million people. If you look at the pictures from last January’s Inauguration it looks at first glance like the Obama crowds dwarfed the Tea Party crowds.

The Tea Party Crowds did not extend back the Washington Monument (there were other events on the Mall yesterday). On the flip side, the inauguration is a controlled, seated event. It has a uniform density of people sitting in chairs spread out on the mall. Here is a map showing the areas and capacity of people for inaugurations using an aerial view of the Mall:

(H/T Moderate Middle) What is clear in the inauguration model is that people are restricted in their movements and are assigned locations with specific capacity numbers. Now look at the Tea Party Pics, especially around the reflecting pool which shows a capacity of 240,000 in the inauguration model.

These two great shots (from someone willing and able to climb a light pole) show how there is no consistent density as with the laid out seating of an inauguration. Moreover, if you look at the inauguration model, the crowd does not spill out into the streets on the side, up the hill on the sides, etc. It also doesn’t go under the trees on each side of the Mall. The Tea Party crowds were thick through all these areas.

In my opinion the crowd was over 1 million. Maybe well over 1 million. But it is hard to compare a crowd in evenly spaced seats in a much more restricted lay out to a crowd of varying density spilling out into every crevice and corner in front of the Capitol. Given the high density and greater extent of taking over the open ground I think it is very possible the unadvertised Tea Party without any big name draws competed well with the largest inauguration crowd in recent memory.

It easily surpassed the inauguration crowds of all the other Presidents in recent memory. And that is saying something.

Update: Hopefully this answers Allah Pundit’s queries.

Update: Another good picture showing how the crowds are much more compact than during inaugurations:

Note how far people expanded left and right into the trees up to the Capitol building itself. I walked this part of the crowd and it was packed.

Update: This is a great collection of photos, and notice how dense the crowd is out into the distance of each and every one. It was a huge crowd. It was a respectful crowd. It was an intense crowd. The media and liberals can only down play this by denying the gathering storm is coming.

21 responses so far

21 Responses to “Comparing Tea Party 9/12/09 To Obama Inauguration Crowds”

  1. Frogg1 says:

    You know how I know this protest was huge??? The very fact that so many are trying to compare it to / or prove it wasn’t as big as …..the Obama Inauguration crowd.

    Either way… was huge! And, anyone who thinks this doesn’t mean something has another think coming.

  2. […] Strata Sphere: Comparing Tea Party 9/12/09 To Obama Inauguration Crowds […]

  3. lurker9876 says:

    For a tea party or protest, it was huge.

    The ticketed area is misleading. The area for the inauguration was ticketed but not ticketed for yesterday’s tea party so I would suspect that there would be more than 240,00 in the ticketed area.

    I thought that the size for Obama’s inauguration was 1 million?

    I read several comments saying that there were people spanning out all the way past the steps of the Washington Monument. Guess it depends on the time of the tea party as numbers can change from one hour to the next.

  4. AJStrata says:


    I would wager the Tea Party easily crammed 4 times as many people into and around the ticketed area. The crowds went way outside the inauguration areas, and people were on top of walls, on top of statues, places they would never be on inauguration. But there were people back in the other areas as well.

  5. Terrye says:

    It was huge…and the people were well behaved and civilized too. God bless em.

  6. kathie says:

    Worth a read from AMERICAN THINKER

    Ron Miller: Barack and Me
    The American Thinker ^ | September 13, 2009 | Ron Miller
    Posted on 09/13/2009 1:02:59 PM PDT by EveningStar

    I’ve been a committed conservative and, with the exception of one year where I listed myself as an independent, a registered Republican since 1978. What makes that rather unremarkable statement more intriguing is that I’m an American who happens to be black.

  7. kittymyers says:

    Looking at the aerial shots, it’s hard to believe there weren’t at least 1 million there.

  8. WWS says:

    If you want a good measure of just how far around the bend Charles at LGF has gone, his blog today is filled with nothing but posts about how everyone at the gathering in D.C. was either a racist or a Ron Paul supporter, or probably both.

    LGF is now indistinguisahable from Daily Kos or DU.

  9. AJStrata says:


    Yeah, I hate to see someone so beaten down they turn on their so called allies.

    But remember, it took his allies beating to push him to this, If not for their stupidity LGF would still be a conservative site.

    Think about that and let it settle in. It would be like someone pissed off the Brits or Canadians so bad they decided to join al Qaeda. We don’t agree with everything they do, but if we said our way or Eff You they would go with Eff You.

    Zealots can over do it like that. Just like the liberals are chasing out the Blue Dogs.

    The days of the fringes is over.

  10. lurker9876 says:


    I would wager the Tea Party easily crammed 4 times as many people into and around the ticketed area. The crowds went way outside the inauguration areas, and people were on top of walls, on top of statues, places they would never be on inauguration. But there were people back in the other areas as well.[/blockquote]


    Now the question is…how will this impact the direction of health care reform?

    Nil? Or..if so, how much? And what kind of an impact?

    Seeing that Obama will be on 60 minutes with the “conservatives’ coarsening of the health care debate”, I doubt that Obama got the message. Obama seems to think that we’re spreading lots of misinformation about Obamacare that he had not even bothered to read at all.

  11. AJStrata says:


    It will shatter the democrat support. The far left want to go full ahead, damn the consequences. But the centrists see the danger signs. If they are to survive the backlash they will need to claim they stopped the liberal madness dead in its tracks.

    Right now it is better to oppose Obama and Obamacare, if the 2010 election is your concern. Right now there are rumors the public option is dead.

    Snowe said so, Collins said so, the NY Times said so.

    That is the result of this outstanding show of opposition.

  12. lurker9876 says:

    Thanks, AJ. Good to know. Still I wish that they would pass health care insurance reform. Problem is that even without the public option, their health care insurance reform is still bad.

    I don’t know where Dan Riehl got this image but he claims that this is the 9/12 image.

    [url=””]Scroll to the bottom to watch the 9/12 image[/url]

  13. lurker9876 says:

    Thanks, AJ! Even if they yank out the public option, Obamacare is still bad.

    Here is – I don’t know where Dan got this photo.

    And compare this to – aerial photo of Obama’s inauguration.

    And the 1995 Million Man March:

  14. […] previous posts on the 9/12/09 Tea Party are here and here, but I wanted to note some early indications I see that the Tea Party protests have seriously […]

  15. lurker9876 says:

    Ok, scratch that image from Dan Riehl’s site. That image is from the Promise Keeper event. Charlie Martin said that a lot of people were on the sides, capital grounds and Pennsylvania Avenue so that would be difficult to count.

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Randall Carter and Shell. Shell said: RT @LadyImpactOhio: Comparing tea party crowds to O's inauguration @abcnews @nbcnews @msnbc_breaking @cnn_top @cbstweet […]

  17. BarbaraS says:

    I don’t want the dems to pass any kind of health care reform. I don’t trust them not to sneak something in that would open the way to the public option. After all, who would have thought the Endangered Species Act would cause so many problems? Who would have thought the commerce clause would give so much power to the feds and take away so muchpower from the states? Congress and the federal government has encroached on the rights of states from decades now and it much be stopped.