This morning Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin attended a raucous rally at Van Dyke Park in Fairfax, VA. Attendance, as at their other recent campaign stops, was massive and enthusiastic. Former Rep. Tom Davis, and Former Sen. Fred Thompson introduced them.
The rally was moved from a local high school which only had capacity for 6,500. In the park there were easily 15,000 people crammed into the natural amphitheater setting and police were estimating the the crowd could have approached 25,000***. I didn't have a good vantage point to get a picture of the entire crowd (I would have needed to be in a helicopter or overhead crane for such a shot), but these side by side photos capture much (but not all) of the crowd.
You can view the rest of the photos on our Flickr photo page. Here's my favorite...
For a more detailed report on the rally, check out Byron York's article at National Review Online.
*** Well at least that's the estimate I got. Elizabeth Bumiller of The New York Times got a "15,000 to 16,000" estimate from fire department officials. I'd say that's about right. Regardless, it was noted that it may be the biggest crowd yet for McCain.
Update: In case you're wondering, in 2004 John Kerry won Fairfax County 53% to 45% but lost Virginia overwhelmingly. Democrats Jim Webb, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine won their statewide races by clobbering their Republican opponents in Fairfax (and Arlington and Richmond) and by keeping it close in the rest of the state. To win Virginia Obama needs to win over 60% of the vote in Fairfax. This showing of support for McCain in the spot Obama needs badly to compete for Virginia is a real good sign for McCain taking Virginia.
Update 2: The estimates seem to have centered around 23,000 (everyone had to have tickets to get in) thus we witnessed one of the largest political rallies in Virginia history today, bigger even that Barack Obama's biggest crowd in Virginia during the Democratic primaries.