Society

Trump Draws A Smaller Inauguration Crowd Than Obama (Photos)

| by Robert Fowler

President Donald Trump had predicted that his inauguration would draw a record-breaking crowd. While estimates of audience attendance of the inauguration ceremony have yet to be produced, aerial images of Trump’s swearing-in ceremony indicate that he drew a smaller crowd than former President Barack Obama during his 2009 inauguration.

On Jan. 9, Trump expressed confidence that his inauguration would have an impressive turnout.

"We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars," Trump told The New York Times.

On Jan. 20, Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S. at the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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The National Park Service does not release estimates of crowd sizes for any event, but aerial photographs of Trump’s swearing-in ceremony features a noticeably smaller crowd when compared to Obama’s inauguration eight years ago, CNN reports.

Here is an image of the National Mall during Obama’s inauguration in 2009:

Now here is the image of the National Mall during Trump’s inauguration:

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Weather conditions differed between Trump’s swearing-in ceremony and Obama’s own inauguration eight years ago. As Trump gave his inauguration address, Washington D.C. had a temperature near 50 degrees with intermittent rain. When Obama was sworn in, the weather was clear but with a temperature in the range of 20 degrees.

Metro ridership to the nation’s capital was also down during Trump’s inauguration when compared to previous presidential inaugurations, with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority estimating that only 193,000 subway trips had been taken as of 11 a.m. on Jan. 20.

In comparison, the WMATA had clocked 513,000 Metro trips during the same time frame of Obama’s inauguration in 2009. During Obama’s 2013 inauguration, the number was 317,000. When former President George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001, WMATA estimated 197,000 Metro trips by 11 a.m. that day.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, social media users noticed that the president’s new Twitter account, @POTUS, used a background photo taken from Obama’s 2009 inauguration. 

The banner had to have been installed by the Trump team because the previous cover image, up when Obama still possessed the Twitter handle the previous night, had a different photograph, according to Slate.

After the discrepancy gained attention on social media, the Trump @POTUS account changed its background image to a photograph of the president looking outside a window from the White House.

While aerial images indicate that Obama drew larger crowds during his inaugurations, new polling finds that the former president also leaves office more popular than his successor.

On Jan. 19, a survey conducted by Fox News found that 60 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Obama while 39 percent viewed him unfavorably. In comparison, 42 percent of respondents viewed Trump favorably while 55 percent viewed him unfavorably.

Sources: CNN, The New York Times, Slate, Fox News, POTUS/Twitter / Photo Credit: Erik Drost/Flickr

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