How Big Was Obama’s Crowd in Wisconsin? MSM says 18,000, actual was 5,000 (photos and analysis)

UPDATE: Brilliant work in the wee hours of the night by our commenter cliftonchr.

Partisan hacks in the national media openly advocating for Obama say 18,000 attended President Obama’s rally today in Wisconsin with no evidence whatsoever.  Local press who are pleased to see the President but who also do their job and report on the actual event say 5,000. Thankfully we have battlegroundwatch.com commenter “cliftonchr” breaking down the conundrum.

After fishing around the internet cliftonchr dug up first a crowd shot (from the Democrat Underground) of Obama’s actually rally at the BMO Theater whose maximum attendance is 5000. And although there are reports of some empty seats in the nether regions (no overflow crowds like the Romney rallies in Cincinnati) we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt about rounding up to 5000. No problem there.

But compare that with the second photo which is a generic crowd shot of the Marcus Amphitheater next door which holds 23,000 even though the national media reports 18,000 (acknowledging the empty seats in the back?). These are two dramatically different crowd sizes yet the national media does not report of the factual crowd size and fabricates an enormous number which never occurred.

What Barack Obama’s crowd actually looked like What 18,000 people looks like

So Barack Obama who did fill the 23,000 seat amphitheater in 2008 (September 1, 2008 to be exact) before achieving his Democrat advantage in the state of D +6 at the voting booth could not even fill the 5,000 seat theater next door for his first visit to the state in 220 days during peak election fervor yet the media are polling this state as if he will achieve an even bigger turnout advantage in November? They’re not journalists, they’re partisan advocates.

Here were cliftonchr’s original links:

So recently I’ve started looking for pics and attendance stats for both sides at rallys, I think this is your real indicator for enthusiasm. Since Obama was having one in Milwaukee at the Summerfest festival grounds (Hank Aaron presenting him) and hadn’t been there in 220 days, I thought I’d watch for stories and pics on it. You would think it would be a big draw (Milwaukee pop is 600k), he won the state by 14 in 08′, Dem enthusiasm is supposed to be way up according to recent polls and he hasn’t visited in 2/3 of a year.

First couple articles I’ve seen said he had a crowd of 18,000 (I almost spit out my drink) and one said thousands, but I didn’t see any pics and thought man 18,000 people, pics would be popping up everywhere. Wow that would be pretty impressive.

[quote]Obama, speaking to an energized throng of 18,000 people in an at-times-rainy outdoor amphitheater[/quote] wow, the ampitheater capacity is 23k by the way. No pics to suggest this is true.
Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/09/22/4210936/obama-argues-against-romneys-top.html#storylink=cpy

[quote]As he addressed the crowd estimated at 18,000 people at the Henry Maier Festival Park, the rain came down and the wind picked up.[/quote]
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/22/obama-makes-pitch-to-wisconsin-in-the-rain/ again no pics suggesting this

[quote]There were no drums or guitars on the main stage, but the thousands of Democrats who packed the Summerfest music festival grounds Saturday greeted President Barack Obama like a rock star.[/quote] Now it’s a 73 acre complex so they didn’t pack it, lol
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20120922/GPG0101/309220394/Obama-draws-cheers-Milwaukee-campaign-stop

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20120922/APC010402/309220419/Obama-cheered-during-rally-Summerfest-grounds-story-photos-?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cp Some of the pics in the gallery of this link aren’t even at that rally although the captions say they are.

Turns out he was actually at the Harris BMO pavillion at the Summerfest music festival grounds, which holds 5,000, it did rain at one point halfway through the speech but it’s covered so no one got wet unless they stepped out in it.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/obama-to-speak-at-bmo-harris-pavilion-on-summerfest-grounds-mq6u1rp-170344706.html

This video has a part that looks like they took it right before it started and there were empty seats, there are 2500 seats and 2500 can fit on benches, it hardly looked overflowing, so i bet thousands is correct and give him the benefit of the doubt and say 5000
http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/170816806.html

This video draws back and it doesn’t even look like a very big crowd
http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/President-Obama-Criticizes-Romneys-Tax-Cut-Plan-in-Milwaukee-170855991.html

[quote]Obama energized his supporters who filled the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion, along with thousands more who sat in bleachers and stood on the pavement beyond the protection of the roof, even as wind and rain lashed down in the latter moments of the near 30-minute speech.[/quote] strangely absent pics to back up the overflowing crowd…..
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/obama-fires-up-supporters-raises-money-here-qn6uq79-170861621.html

I looked at numerous articles and was really looking for pics to back up the size of the crowd, I posted the ones I found that made the crowd look the biggest, can’t really tell if there is 5000 or not, either way D+6 (2008 turnout) would have packed that ampitheater at 23k. Unless big crowds start showing up I do not think there will be a D+anything turnout, right now there isn’t.

It also seemed like the local media articles didn’t stray from thousands or 5000, but some of the national articles said 18,000.

Here’s a link to a pic of the pavillion with a great angle so you can see how big it really is, most of the press pics (in the articles) I saw are tight angles and you can’t see how big the crowd is. I think the place was probably only half full or they would have used an angle like this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wrokic/7460411590/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Note: I changed the title and moved the lead sentence since multiple people got confused until they got deeper into the story.

10 Comments

  1. Posted September 23, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Update: I found a pic at the Democratic underground that shows he packed the Pavillion, not the ampitheater though like some are suggesting. You can safely say he had 5k at his rally, but there isn’t anything to suggest it’s much more than that.

    Note: 2008 he did fill the ampitheater with a reported 23,000 (that’s what D+6> enthusiasm looks like)

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/101760553

    The Wisconsin reporter is saying Obama had 15,000 at the ampitheater, lol,you can see it’s not hardly the same as the pavillion above from Obama’s rally today. Flat out lies in the press, amazing.

    MILWAUKEE – “For the 15,000 people who turned out to Milwaukee’s Marcus Amphitheater to hear President Obama’s campaign speech, it must have felt like stepping into a time machine – back to late September 2008.

    Four years later, Obama offered the same kind of high-arching rhetoric, painting a similar picture of how the nation could escape a dismal economy. But this time, the Democratic candidate is the incumbent, and many of the shortcomings and failures that plague the nation happened on Obama’s watch.

    Those 15,000 faithful, many of whom lined up for as long as 12 hours to greet the president’s first appearance in the Battleground Badger State in more than seven months, welcomed him with the kind of admiration found somewhere between encountering the Beatles and the Second Coming.”

    http://wisconsinreporter.com/obama-returns-to-wisconsin-in-wayback-machine

    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=marcus+amphitheater&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1280&bih=599&tbm=isch&tbnid=_63oFYkzakL1yM:&imgrefurl=http://www.marcusamphitheater.net/marcus-amphitheater-seating-chart/&docid=s5lEunpLPcyxpM&imgurl=http://www.marcusamphitheater.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/marcus-amphitheater-seating-chart-lawn-view.jpg&w=513&h=385&ei=fZNeUPXmHOOEygGLuIC4Cg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=224&vpy=73&dur=125&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=138&ty=127&sig=105143717769641996505&page=1&tbnh=112&tbnw=146&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:98

  2. Milt
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” -Ronald Reagan So stop drinking that “Hopium laced Kool-Aid” you’ve been conned!

  3. Lynne
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Your picture on the right looks to be more like 30,000, rather than 18,000. It looks like a good half of a 60,000-seat stadium if the people in the pit were in seats.

    • Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Lynne the pic on the right is of a concert taking place at the ampitheater, the summerfest website says the capacity is 23,000, so now you can see what 23,000 looks like and then on the left you can see what the media is claiming is 18,000, not hardly, the pavillion holds 5k.

  4. SJML
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    He talked about getting rained on. This looks covered and an overflow crowd out side was getting wet? Than he could see the sunshine at the very end of the speech???

  5. GIVEMEFREEDOM
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    The REAL proof of smaller crowds is a smaller cadre of security forces. Less people = less security.

  6. Carson
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Breitbart article claims to have uncovered a conspiratorial “lie” in regard to the crowd size since the Milwaukee Theater can only hold 5k and it was claimed that the crowd was around 18k. But the claim of 18k was not referring to the event inside Milwaukee Theater. Breitbart either intentionally or stupidly conflated the two separate events. Then foolishly proceeded to proclaim they exposed a “lie” when the mistake was Breitbart’s. Not sure if the crowd for the Obama speech in the outdoor setting amounted to 18k, but it’s definitely more than 5k. There are videos that show massive lines for the event.

    And the point of the articles citing a large crowd stands; there was much enthusiasm in Milwaukee for Obama both in enthusiasm level and turnout.

    All of the comments above attempting to deny this look pretty silly. Particularly since this all had it’s genesis in an error on the part of a RW website that now has egg on it’s face.

    • Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I guess you haven’t read all the facts. Obama spoke in the Harris BMO pavillion that only seats 5k, they were caught grossly inflating their numbers. Where are the pictures showing the crowd outside the pavillion that’s 2.6 times bigger than the crowd in the pavillion? Lol, there isn’t. And yeah they claim the line was 1.5 miles. Big deal, if you had a double file line over 1.5 miles with 5 feet of space in between each set of people it’s only like 3200 people. Busted.

  7. Mandrake
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Actually, it’s been confirmed that recall loser — and part-time Mayor of Milwaukee — Tom Barrett was the source for the wrongly reported 18,000 number.

    See http://washingtonexaminer.com/democratic-mayor-tom-barrett-was-source-for-inflated-obama-crowd-numbers-in-wisconsin/article/2508900

  8. richard schwalb
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    The capacity of the BMO Harris Pavillion is NOT 5,000 it is 10,000 – 5,000 seats and room for at least 5.000 in an area designed for standing behind the seating bowl. See the official web site http://www.summerfest.com/about/bmo-harris-pavilion. I was there Saturday (working as a volunteer usher near the front during most of the event) and I know this new facility having been there several times during this year’s Summerfest music festival. The seating bowl and designated standing area were very full and just about at capacity, with several hundred to 1000 or more also standing in a space directly in front of the stage, crowded together very closely. In addition, thousands more stood behind the regular standing area and behind the beer kiosks that were used to distribute bottles of water Saturday. Total attendance had to be over 11,000, and probably at least 14,000 to 15,000. Definitely MUCH more than 5000!

22 Trackbacks

  1. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  2. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  3. […] 18,000! I’ve heard of double-vision, but triple-vision?The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  4. By Obama Packing Them In | Martin County GOP on September 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  5. By BizzyBlog on September 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    […] is some of Pollack’s narrative: The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  6. […] is some of Pollak’s narrative: The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  7. […] Battleground Watch – So Barack Obama who did fill the 23,000 seat amphitheater in 2008 (September 1, 2008 to be exact) before achieving his Democrat advantage in the state of D +6 at the voting booth could not even fill the 5,000 seat theater next door for his first visit to the state in 220 days during peak election fervor yet the media are polling this state as if he will achieve an even bigger turnout advantage in November? They’re not journalists, they’re partisan advocates… Full Story […]

  8. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  9. […] call the fire marshall: The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  10. By Monday’s Moorings « Witch's Will on September 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

    […] some of Pollak’s  narrative: The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including  the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed  […]

  11. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch . Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  12. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  13. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  14. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  15. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  16. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  17. […] Here’s a photo of the Wisconsin event via Battleground Watch. […]

  18. By The Morning Links (9/25/12) | Lady Liberty 1885 on September 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

    […] How Big Was Obama’s Crowd in Wisconsin? MSM says 18,000, actual was 5,000 (photos and analysis) […]

  19. […] contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed […]

  20. […] Typically you’ll see rounded numbers for crowds of 3000 or 5000 or 7000 for Romney, Ryan and Obama.  Biden’s turnout is so bad, they can give you the “estimate” down to an exact […]

  21. […] *This post here shows some of the inherent difficulties entailed in trying to assess crowd size from a distance.  One reason why I’m not going with the 5,000 number; it seems reasonable that there was a spillover crowd. But if there had been 18K the photo record would have backed that up. […]

  22. […] September 22 that Obama drew a crowd of 18,000 people in Wisconsin. The blog battlegroundwatch.com calls shenanigans, and has photos to prove […]

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