Some rough number-crunching from a digital content strategist shows that Madison's "turnout rate" for the protest was one of the nation's highest.

Madison's anti-Trump rally on Saturday was big, no question. In fact, if you take into account the city's size, you might say it was one of the biggest in the nation.

An infographic and blog post from from the digital strategy company Reverbal Communications and the design company iCandy says that of the 10 largest Women's Marches on Saturday, Madison had the second-highest ratio of protesters to city population.

Police estimate that up to 100,000 people participated in the Women's March on Madison. As a percentage of Madison's population, pegged by the Census Bureau to be about 243,000, the rally clocked in at 41 percent. The only city with a higher "turnout ratio" was Washington D.C. There, police estimated about 500,000 people marched, or about 76 percent of the city's population, although many of those protesters traveled from elsewhere.

Trailing Madison was St. Paul, at about 31 percent, and Los Angeles, at about 19 percent.

Josh Klemons, the digital strategist who runs Reverbal, stressed that his analysis represents a "rough concept," and that crowd estimates from the various marches are still being updated. He said he decided to look into the numbers when he saw someone in his network boasting about turnout in Austin, Texas, which estimates peg at 50,000. The Census Bureau estimates that city has a population of 850,000.

Klemons found the comparison striking.

"Not to say anything negative about Austin," said Klemons. "There's just something crazy that our March was like, 40 percent of our city."

It bears noting that Klemons' analysis took estimates from an article in The Hill, which pegged Madison's attendance at 100,000. Using a lower estimate of 75,000, the city's percentage would drop to about 31 percent, more or less a tie with St. Paul.

Klemons' analysis also used the same article to come up with the list of the 10 biggest protests. A cursory review of "sister marches" around the country would indicate that the list is accurate.

Using the 100,000 figure for attendance, Reverbal's analysis pegs Madison's march as the seventh-largest in the country. Los Angeles had the largest march, with an estimated crowd of 750,000, followed by Washington, D.C.

A number of smaller marches would outstrip Madison's "turnout rate": In Montpelier, Vermont, an estimated 15,000 people marched, about 190 percent of that municipality's population.


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Erik Lorenzsonn is the Capital Times' tech and culture reporter. He joined the team in 2016, after having served as an online editor for Wisconsin Public Radio and having written for publications like The Progressive Magazine and The Poughkeepsie Journal.