Nate Silver, as always, has something useful and informative to say about the Occupy movement. After looking through hundreds of local media reports for global protests this past Saturday, he's concluded that there were somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 protesters in the United States. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle had the largest protests. For a city-by-city breakdown of attendance last weekend, look at this graphic. Meanwhile, several European cities kicked our Yankee asses with hundreds of thousands of protesters each.
Silver floats the idea that it's mainly nonpartisan liberals out there:
I suspect that more than anything, however, it reflects the politics of the protesters. Specifically, they tend to be more liberal than they are Democratic partisans. Take liberalism, subtract the Democratic Party, and the remainder might look something like Occupy Wall Street...
So perhaps the protesters are more ideologically minded than they are interested in partisan politics. In fact, they may be relatively disengaged from “politics as usual.” In a somewhat informal New York magazine survey of 100 protesters in Manhattan, only 39 percent reported having voted in the 2010 midterm elections.
All of this could create headaches for the Democratic Party — and for the protesters — if it tries to co-opt the Occupy movement.