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Tea Party March 16 Protest Turnout: Democrats MOCK Smaller-Than-Expected Crowd

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Despite the Tea Party movement's high hopes for Tuesday's Capitol Hill rally to kill health care reform -- an event that featured appearances by numerous GOP lawmakers -- it appears the crowd was not as large as expected.

Tea Party organizers told CNN that somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 people gathered today in Washington D.C.

But the Democratic National Committee estimates placed the number of attendees at a mere 300, an amount that they later mocked and used as evidence that "the air is out of the tea party balloon," as DNC spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said, according to the Hill.

"Today's dismal showing on Capitol Hill coupled with the turnout we're seeing at health reform rallies across the country where supporters are outnumbering opponents by three to one and four to one clearly demonstrates that the momentum is squarely on the side of those who support reform," Hoffine continued.

"I've been to birthday parties that drew more people," the communications director for the Democratic National Committee, Brad Woodhouse, told Politico in an email.

But Rob Jordan, vice president of federal and state campaigns at FreedomWorks -- one of the organizers of Tuesday's events -- fired back:

"For those who are dismissing, I would say the only date that matters is Nov. 2nd," Jordan said, "you can count on people showing up for that day."

Tea Party leaders also cited the last-minute organizing of Tuesday's even as a reason for the smaller-than-expected turnout.

"I'd be elated with 500, a thousand people, 1,500," a Tea Party organizer told The Atlantic's Chris Good. "With such short notice, it's hard to get a lot of people."

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