I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen not just garden-variety liberals but major news outlets circulating these side-by-side shots on social media today, or ones of the grandstands empty at various points on the parade route. The charitable explanation is that the crowd-size comparison is a security blanket for them in a moment of fear. They’re depressed and terrified at their near-term electoral prospects so they’re reminding themselves that they still have — or had — the numbers to win. The less charitable explanation is that it’s pure spite at Trump’s expense, knowing that he’s probably going to claim that he had the biggest crowds of all time no matter what the evidence says. When your opponent is on a seemingly unstoppable roll, you’ll seize on anything to take him down a peg.
To give Obama his due, it’s no surprise that his 2008 crowd was easily the largest ever. He received the most votes of any presidential candidate in history that year, a record that still stands.