Monday, December 10, 2007

Oprah Obama Attendence

Snow Pond, NH -

For some reason, I have a disproportionately large pet peeve about campaign-produced attendance estimates. The Obama camp is claiming 8500 at tonight's show in Manchester.

I'll probably get in trouble for saying this (just like the last time I was at an Obama event in Laconia, or the time before when I was at a Clinton event in Nashua when I spoke truth to power) but I can't honestly believe there were more than 5500 people there. 5600 if you count press. Maybe even 5700.

Still the biggest NH event in history, I'm sure, but the rectangular sections were 20 wide and 14 tall (280) and there were ten of those full. The triangular sections held about 100, and there were maybe ten of those. Then you had the luxury boxes, the ground floor, and the nosebleeds that were sporadically merely dabbled with people.

I used to teach math to 6th graders so I have spent a lot of time with area and perimeter. I also know how to count and estimate pretty well (once again, key components of the curriculum). Please, campaigns, stop overestimating!

According to the VZW Arena website "end stage concerts hold about 10,050." I would liken this to an end stage concert, and the place was somewhere between one half and two thirds full. Not 85%.

I want to reiterate that this has nothing to do with the Obama camp in particular. Clinton does it. They all do it. My word to the wise, whenever you hear a campaign estimate, take two thirds of it and call it Gold.

I'll have a diary up ASAP. The goal is to pull an all-nighter to coordinate with the news cycle. Concord High's 7:45 start time may be the only thing standing in my way. I've got bourbon. I've got water. I've got some Cabot cheese. I've got the hope of snow making its way north from Manchester toward my bedroom window.

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