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October 30th, 2010

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08:53 pm - Hopeful Sign
Here's a useful comparison about the Rally to Restore Sanity: The Rally to Restore Sanity has come to a close, and crowd estimates are beginning to trickle in. It is clear that a huge number of people attended the event (see photos from the rally here), but the calculations vary among sources.

According to CBS News, 215,000 people showed up for the rally on Saturday. By comparison, CBS estimated that 87,000 -- just 40% of the Sanity Rally estimation -- attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in August.
I hope this does something to help turn back the tide of Republican/Tea-Bagger vileness and idiocy that looks to be heading our way.

As a sidenote, here's an article on how the rest of the world's news media views the tea-baggers - it pleases me that much of the world sees them as either pathetic or dangerous crazy people rather than anything like a legitimate political movement, which is sadly how they are treated here. Of course, an even more accurate view is of impressively (and often deliberately) ignorant people who are effectively the pawns of Rupert Murdoch and a few other wealthy extremists.
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
Excellent! I’d been waiting for someone to compare the numbers— good to see the proportion.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
I'm in the anti camp on this. These are several hundred people who decided that rather than participating in GOTV activities on the critical final weekend, they would instead go and participate in a meaningless media event (the Beck rally was also a meaningless media event, but it wasn't scheduled to interfere with political engagement). That Colbert and Stewart scheduled this for the critical GOTV weekend is a poke in the eye of the side they claim to support.

The Dems could well retain the house next Tuesday, but it is going to depend entirely on getting out the vote. 200,000 extra canvassers would have been a big help in a few dozen close house races.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
It seems to me that a major media event might well do more to get out the vote than the amount of work 200,000 canvassers could do. I don't know, but we shall see. Getting people to vote is all about hope & enthusiasm, and I'm not convinced that the rally won't do more than someone calling on the phone or going door to door (I admire people who do both, but I think the first is inherently annoying, and the second can only reach a tiny number of people).
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:48 am (UTC)
It's possible. I always suspect that Stewart and Colbert support more of an feeling of jaded inactivity than actual political engagement, but I may well be wrong.

Door knocking reaches more people than you'd guess, but I'm not sure it isn't mostly just annoying (well, occasionally I encounter someone who I think I actually influenced, and the best estimate is that 1 in 12 contacts results in a vote). The good thing is that I think almost no one changes their vote out of spite at an irritating phone call or door knocker, so even if I politely irritate people, it probably doesn't cancel out the rare person who votes because I talked to them. :)

Do you guys have plans for election night?
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can't get behind this. That's 200,000 people who might have canvased but probably wouldn't, but left invigorated and talking about politics. It's a false dichotomy to view these two activities in conflict. And having canvassed I didn't find most people terribly receptive, but they might have watched the rally and thought about the issues at play.
[User Picture]
Date:November 1st, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
Research shows that every 15 people spoken to converts into one vote. The point isn't to change people's minds, the point is to make people feel like voting is important and that someone cares if they vote.

On the other hand, I'm told that someone claims it has produced a surge in voting by ex-pats (although I'm hard pressed to see how, since if you don't have a ballot at this point, I can't see how you'd get one).

If this had been held back in late September or early October, I'd be all in favor of it. Those 200,000 people would have left invigorated to vote, and invigorated to tell other people to vote. On the critical GOTV weekend, pulling 200,000 politically interested people out of state is not a winner.

Maybe it was worth it as a media event. I didn't watch it. Was the idea of going out and voting given a serious emphasis?

Personally, I'm just bitter that the huge One America Votes rally at the start of October was completely ignored by the press. 200,000 people turned out to be a counter rally to Beck's nonsense, and to get signed up to do campaign work, but it takes a news comedian doing it before the press will pay attention.
[User Picture]
Date:November 2nd, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
Hi, You might find this article on GOTV techniques interesting. Our exchange led me to it, so I thought I'd share.

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