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Did the Media Inflate Numbers at Obama Rally? 18,000 Sat in 5,000 Chairs – Really?

18,000 in 5,000 seat venue reported at Obama Rally
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Apparently fire codes for building occupancy do not apply in Wisconsin.

A recent Obama rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the BMO Harris Pavillion, was supposedly attended by an estimated 18,000 fans of the president. The only problem? The pavillion only holds 5,000 people. 

Local media filmed part of the event and reported the crowd included thousands outside the arena. The story nationally was reported by Politico as including “thousands” who gathered in a nearby park by Lake Michigan, but failed to say where the venue was located.

The discrepancies were uncovered by a reporter from Patch.com who filmed inside the Harris Pavillion and showed numerous empty seats. Hmmm…

This is the latest example of the president having trouble drawing the crowds he and his campaign wish to see on the campaign trail. The DNC claimed it was because of weather, but during the National Convention in North Carolina, the final rally where Obama accepted the nomination was moved from the 74,000 seat Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, which holds about 20,000.

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