Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting claims he attended former President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally at a Commerce racetrack on Saturday night and estimated on Twitter there were 5,000 people attending. Liberal Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Greg Bluestein tweeted it was a “small” crowd.
It was a theme echoed by other national reporters. But let’s fact-check.
This writer was there that evening, looking out from the stage to the assembled masses. During the time Trump was to speak at about 7:45 pm, a local sheriff’s deputy and a Banks County commissioner I interviewed estimated turnout at upward of 16,000 people. (And these two individuals are very familiar with crowd estimations at this venue.) Two hours earlier, before Trump spoke, reporter Joshua Jones of the Athens Banner Herald tweeted there was a “massive crowd” gathering.
Furthermore, a review of video from the television news networks that covered the event make it clear that there was a huge crowd in attendance.
The May 24th Georgia primary elections are very important for Republicans, since party nominees will be chosen to compete in the November general election. And political observers are measuring Trump’s clout with the GOP base.
For Democrats and their media allies, they also view Georgia’s 2022 elections as very important since they aim to flip the governorship to Democrat Stacey Abrams and keep their U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock from being defeated. There are also other competitive down-ballot statewide races.
That’s why crowd attendance numbers are instructive in “political event stories.” Bottom line: Compare the dishonest “estimates” from liberal-leaning media outlets to other media reports that include actual interviews from knowledgeable local officials.