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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Aerial photography Indicates Stewart/Colbert “March for Sanity” was twice the size of Glen Beck’s “Restore Honor”

here. A more detailed description of the methodology is presented here
The results are significant for more than simple bragging rights or partisan propaganda. Ed Kilgore and many other Democratic election analysts have been arguing that structural factors – the typically more conservative-leaning demographic turnout in mid-term elections and the unusual number of Democrats defending seats in basically Republican districts — will explain a large part of the Republican victories, much more than the “enthusiasm gap” that has been detected in the opinion data.
The size of mass demonstrations provides an important source of information about relative levels of “enthusiasm” – one that is independent of opinion polling. If the Republican storyline were correct – that the coming vote will reflect a growing, passionate rejection of the Obama and Democratic agenda by the American people, one would expect to see an increasing arc of conservative mass mobilization as more time passed, more outrage accumulated and the critical elections neared.
Instead, the September 2009 Tea Party march in Washington D.C. – which had at best 90-100,000 participants marked the high point of attendance. This year’s September Tea Party march was only a fraction of that number and Beck’s heavily promoted “Restore Honor” rally was only about the same size. The fact that the March for Sanity was double the size of Beck’s rally suggests that any Republican spin about “All Americans (except a small minority) are rising in rebellion against the Dems” is simply not supported by the data on mass mobilization.

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