Obama Draws General Election Sized Crowd

Simply put, the size of the crowd in attendance at an Obama rally in Portland, Oregon was astonishing.

75,000 became the final, confirmed estimate, and this for a rally during the primaries.  That number is something one might expect to see for a rally held during the heat of a general election race, definitely not for a primary.

It is the largest crowd that Obama has drawn thus far, which itself is a feat considering that he has managed to draw the big numbers time and again.  For a bit of perspective, the largest rally I can think of off the top of my head came in 2004, I believe in New Jersey (though I could be wrong).  If memory serves, John Kerry had managed to pull 150,000 people, which is great, but also understandable when you take into account that President Clinton and Bruce Springsteen were also on stage.

But one shouldn’t consider the size of the crowd in a vaccum; there are quite a few electoral observations that one can make.

For one, Oregon is definitely, without a doubt, Obama country.  We’ve known this for some time, but still, 75,000.  Another thing is that this may be another signifier that the race for the White House is in a transition.

While I know that I reported this as a “primary” rally, such a description might be a little unfair.  Yes we are still in a primary race, nothing has ended yet, but it’s not as though this were the very beginning of the primaries.  Indeed, it’s at least reasonable to assume that a portion of that crowd may very well be signifying a coalescing around the likely nominee, as well as telegraphing a shift from the primary election to the general election.

But I think the most significant aspect to this crowd is what will be a vital point in Obama’s electoral strategy; the energy of his voters.  As has been prognosticated in his caucus performance; Obama has been building up an awe-inspiring grassroots organization with an unusually high number of high energy level supporters as its background.

This 75,000 count crowd would be a symptom of such organization.

Joe Gandelman reminds us that Obama is likely to suffer a big loss in Kentucky, and that it’s not over until it’s over, while the Jed Report points out some interesting math that puts the enormity of the crowd in perspective.

(h/t Memeorandum)

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