UPDATE: Both the J-S and the JT overestimated the crowds at both events. Jim Walczak, executive director of the Racine Civic Centre, wrote to tell us 1,430 people were let into Memorial Hall for Obama's visit. An additional 60 media were let in, for a grand total well below the J-S's reported number of 3,500.
As for the Brat Stop, Pete counted about 750 people. I counted about 300 in the balcony, but couldn't see how many people were on the floor. Pete tells me there were about 150 people sitting and standing on the floor in front of and behind Hillary, and a couple hundred more packed through the place. So there's pretty much no way the crowd got up to 1,500, and even 1,000 seems like a push. Also, the Obama rally was bigger than Hillary's stop, so if there were 1,500 at Obama, I'd say 750 sounds about right for Hillary.
ORIGINAL POST: The J-S is reporting that 3,500 people were let into Obama's event in Racine last week. That's three times the number I originally reported, in part because organizers said the crowd would be limited to 1,200.
The JT estimated 1,500 people attended Hillary's stop in Kenosha, which, again, feels about right compared to Obama (about half the crowd). There's no sourcing on the estimate, and the head of the Kenosha County Democrats estimated the crowd at 1,000.
I'm not sure how much we can read into the numbers. It's probably not fair to say Obama received three times the local support as Hillary. But we can say the crowds were vastly different. Obama's was diverse; Hillary's was 99 percent white. Hillary's was middle-aged on up; Obama's was young. Both were enthusiastic, but Hillary's venue led to a more raucous feeling, while Obama's venue felt more official/presidential.
Then there was the strange lack of security at Hillary's event. Media photographers didn't even have their equipment scanned, a common practice at these types of event. In this way, Obama felt like the establishment candidate, while Hillary felt like the upstart challenger.
This is all building toward Tuesday's primary. Wisconsin is important nationally, because Obama is looking for his ninth straight win, while Hillary is looking for momentum heading into the big states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Whoever wins Wisconsin may well win the nomination.