COLUMBIA — When Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, rolls into Columbia on Thursday night, he's likely to draw a large audience.
That's putting it lightly. Obama has attracted crowds ranging from 1,000 at a community college in south Florida to 100,000-plus packed into downtown Denver.
WHO: Sen. Barack Obama, Democratic nominee for president
WHEN: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The rally begins at 9:30 p.m.
WHAT: The Change We Need Rally
WHERE: Mel Carnahan Quadrangle at MU located on Rollins Road
Obama's campaign stops in the past few weeks and the size of the crowds:
LONDONDERRY, N.H.: 1,000+
ROANOKE, Va.: 8,000
ST. LOUIS: 100,000
KANSAS CITY: 75,000
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.: 50,000
TAMPA, Fla.: 7,000
ORLANDO, Fla.: 35,000
LAKE WORTH, Fla.: 1,700
MIAMI, Fla.: 30,000
RICHMOND, Va.: 20,000
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.: 35,000
RENO, Nev.: 11,000
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: 45,000
FORT COLLINS, Co.: 45-50,000
DENVER, Co.: 100,000+
CANTON, Ohio: 4,000
PITTSBURGH, Pa.: 15,000
The visit will be the second time this month that Obama has been in Missouri. On Oct. 18, he spoke to a crowd of more than 100,000 people in St. Louis, one of the the largest crowds of his campaign so far. And in Kansas City later that day, he addressed a gathering of about 75,000.
Thursday will be a full day of presidential campaigning across the state. Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin will stop in Cape Girardeau. Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, will speak in Arnold, though no details have been released.
Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who visited Columbia on Oct. 20, are running about even in Missouri, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV poll conducted Oct. 20 to 23. Obama was running at 48 percent and McCain at 47 percent, a difference within the poll's margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The Obama rally on Thursday is free and open to the public. It is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m., but gates will open at 7:30 p.m at the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle at MU, located on Rollins Road. While tickets are not required, space is limited and the campaign is asking that people RSVP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.