Home » Donald Trump had the Biggest In-Person Inaugural Crowd Ever
Donald Trump had the Biggest In-Person Inaugural Crowd Ever
Researched by Thomas DeMichelePublished - January 27, 2017 Last Updated - March 7, 2017
Did Trump Have a Bigger Crowd at His Inauguration Than Obama Had at His?
Trump may have had the largest inaugural crowd in 2017 if you count all sources online, on TV, and in-person, but his in-person turnout was provably smaller than Obama’s.
Since the general claim going around is that Trump did or didn’t have the biggest in-person crowd, we will fact-check that and not the less verifiable, but far more reasonable assertion, that he had the biggest total turnout via all sources, including online and TV, combined.
Opinions aside, the fact is, Trump’s in-person crowd was average for a Republican (if not a little above average according to current estimates cited below).
This shows that Trump is fairly popular, for a Republican (see data below, this is a literal statement, not a judgment call).
Despite the impressive and respectable numbers, this was not “…the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe” as Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed.
Instead, this is, as Spicer later corrected himself, [here paraphrasing his interview with Hannity], “maybe true if you combine in-person and around the globe, both online, on TV, and on the streets”… but this is a “belief,” not a fact. The fact is, regarding all viewership… we still don’t know for sure (well we know in-person, and TV was an overall lower turnout, despite Fox’s very impressive ratings, but for online we don’t know).
Thus, with all the above in mind, the idea that “Trump’s in-person crowd is bigger than Obama’s in-person crowd size period” is an “alternative fact.”
Trump’s crowd size was impressive, but to say it was bigger than Obama’s crowd size is a falsehood as you can tell from the video below which shows live time-lapse aerial footage or the image below comparing the front and back. As you can see they both look impressive from the front, but from the back, Obama’s clearly looks bigger. Looks don’t prove anything alone, but the general data seems to back up that our eyes are not lying to us.
NOTE: Please note the comparison image is used for educational purposes only, citations are on the image. You may think the 12 pm one is capturing the crowd at a low-point (I did), but the time-lapse footage shows that this is as big as the crowd got. You could claim people weren’t supposed to walk on the white coverings but there are thousands of people freely doing so. You can say people are in the streets, or somewhere else, but we have seen no evidence. Feel free to comment with any further images below; we are earnestly just concerned about the truth here.
Trump’s Crowd Size Compared to Obama’s. For educational purposes only. As you can see both look very impressive from the front, and that isn’t your eyes lying, they were both impressive. As you can see from the back, Obama’s was bigger. See aerial video below for more proof.
The above is true essentially any way we look at it in spite of all Spicer’s initial quips about metro numbers, estimates of data, no one having official numbers, aerial images, grass coverings, the weather, or anything else (all of which are debunked here and elsewhere).
Trump’s crowd was not bigger than Obama’s; it wasn’t “the biggest” in-person, and it wasn’t the biggest on TV according to estimates below. We’ll have to wait to see if it will be the biggest worldwide all sources considered, but we can, for now, say, it just was what it was. The facts are the facts.
TIP: The crowd looks way bigger from the front where Trump was standing. It is reasonable to believe he believed his crowd was the biggest. However, as new data comes to light, we can confirm that this was not the case. There is only one truth. The mandate isn’t to get the truth right every time; it is to make an earnest attempt to report it.
Watch a timelapse of the National Mall on Inauguration Day. This time-lapse video proves Spicer wrong in real time. Many in the media were nervous about something that is provably false being presented as true, but to be fair to Trump’s team, charges of fake news aren’t always fully unfounded. Still, if the answer is “we need more honesty and integrity” Trump’s PR team is hardly setting the right precedent. We aren’t saying Spicer lied purposefully; we take his word he didn’t. But the door was opened for the conversation, and thus we have it.
Here’s a breakdown of ridership of the most recent inaugurations (source):
With all that said, Trump’s inauguration also saw lower numbers than Obama’s in television ratings—30.6 million viewers tuned in on Friday, about 18% fewer than the 38 million who watched in 2009.
So, we know when Sean revised his statement to say TV, internet, and live, that at this point for the statement to be true internet must account for all the differences and the exceed the numbers.
Anyway, if majorities won the Republican ticket, then we wouldn’t need the winner-take-all system. The women’s march, the crowd, all this, it stands only to remind Trump of one thing, “We are a diverse nation of many, and the Republicans are substantial, but not a majority. If the country is run in a way that doesn’t respect all parties, if it becomes a far-right activist government, smaller and smaller crowds for pro-Trump and larger-and-larger crowds standing in solidarity with women, LGBT, and other non-political minorities is to be expected.”
This story got overblown, and the media did not help by sensationalizing those awkward aerial photos and Trump and his PR team did not help by doubling down on provable falsehoods in return.
Trump didn’t have the biggest in-person crowd, or most TV viewership… we can’t prove whether more people watched online or not, but we can generally debunk the claim. The sad thing is that this took away from reports of the women’s march and took away from the fact that, for a Republican, Trump had a pretty good in-person turnout.
Now, if his PR team will stop scaring the 1984 into everyone, maybe he can win over some of the 60 million plus Democrats who didn’t vote for him. Trust is earned by ensuring good policy and speaking frankly to the people. That is what is going to result in bigger crowds. Only so many people will come out for hope and change no matter who runs, the rest only come out for results.
Author: Thomas DeMichele
Thomas DeMichele is the content creator behind ObamaCareFacts.com, FactMyth.com, CryptocurrencyFacts.com, and other DogMediaSolutions.com and Massive Dog properties. He also contributes to MakerDAO and other cryptocurrency-based projects. Tom's focus in all...