Did Warren’s NYC Rally Really Rival Trump’s in New Mexico?
The Washington Post wrote that Democrats finally have matched Trump’s crowd sizes by pointing to Elizabeth Warren’s Manhattan rally Monday night.
Then finally this week, the Democrats — who have long tried to ignore Trump’s bigger-is-better ethos — offered a tangible response of their own in the form of Elizabeth Warren’s Monday evening rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park, where the Massachusetts senator showed that she, too, could match the spectacle of Trump, right down to the large cheering throngs.
“Yeah, the lines keep getting longer,” Warren told reporters in New York Tuesday, when asked about the four-hour wait for photos with her that capped her Monday rally, which was attended by more than 20,000 people. “That’s a good thing!”
The Hill went a step further by suggesting Warren had even eclipsed Trump by comparing her rally in Manhattan to Trump’s rally near Alburquerque, New Mexico.
Warren’s campaign estimated that 20,000 people filled Washington Square Park on Monday night to hear the candidate give a speech about how she would root out corruption in Washington if she’s elected president.
Trump held a reelection rally in Rio Rancho, N.M., the same night in an arena with a maximum capacity of 7,000 people. The campaign said that several thousand more lined up outside the stadium to hear the president, who has boasted about his crowd sizes as a measure of voter support for his administration.
The Trump rally was held at the Santa Ana Star Center, which actually has a capacity of 7,500 for such events, not 7,000. According to Heavy, “The venue was packed and thousands more had to stay outside in the overflow crowd to watch the rally on a large screen.” The city was expecting 12,000-15,000 supporters to show up. According to a live blog by reporters on-site from the Farmington Daily Times, a New Mexico newspaper, the capacity of the arena was increased to 9,000 for the rally, and “Some officials on-site estimate the crowd size around 15,000.”
A quick search on social media will bring up several anti-Trumpers boasting that Elizabeth Warren’s crowd size at her Manhattan rally was larger than Trump’s.
President Trump questioned whether Elizabeth Warren actually got 20,000 people, and it appears his doubts are legitimate. The 20,000 figure did not come from any official estimate, but from the Warren campaign. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation could not verify that estimate. “NYC Parks permitted the event for an audience of 8-10k. We believe the park’s capacity is 10k. We can’t corroborate the campaign’s count,” said assistant commissioner Crystal Howard.
Given this information, it is actually possible that Trump’s New Mexico rally was better attended than Elizabeth Warren’s. But, let’s just say for the moment that Elizabeth Warren got 20,000 (her campaign's estimate) and Donald Trump got 12,000 (the low estimate the city of Rio Rancho was expecting).
Many anti-Trumpers grossly undercounted the Trump rally size by referring only to the venue’s capacity and making no mention of the overflow crowd, or the venue’s expanded capacity for the evening, but it’s clear they saw these two rallies as comparable events to compare support. So, let’s examine that.
The population of New York City, where Warren held her rally, is 8.4 million (2018 estimate).
The population of the entire state of New Mexico is 2.01 million.
If we assume Warren’s crowd estimate of 20,000 is correct, her rally size was 0.23 percent of the local population. Trump’s rally, however, if we take the low estimate of 12,000, was 0.59 percent of the entire state. But, that method of calculation is actually really unfair to Trump. New Mexico has a land area of 121,357 square miles, while New York City has a land area of 303 square miles. Even if we took the five largest cities by population, and assumed they were all within a two-hour drive of the rally, the population density would be significantly less than New York City, which makes Trump’s rally numbers far more significant than Elizabeth Warren’s.
If the media and the left want to pretend that Warren's crowd size in deep-blue New York City is comparable to Trump's rally in a blue state with less population, then hey, go for it. Enthusiasm for Warren in the Democratic primary may be surging, but if you compare overall enthusiasm for her compared to Trump... it isn't even close. Trump crushed Warren by a wide margin.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis