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Gays' D.C. Rally Leads to Debate Over Turnout

THE gay-rights march in Washington is over, but the debate over how many attended is not.

US Park Police, the government's official crowd estimator, put the count at 300,000. March organizers said the number was more than three times larger - 1.1 million. The organizers' estimate would rival the great civil rights and anti-war demonstrations. The Park Service's figure places the event in the middle of the pack for Washington events, well below last year's National Organization for Women's rally, which drew 500,000.

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Crowd counting is far from an exact science. The Park Police, often accused by demonstration organizers of undercounting crowds, uses aerial photographs and follows crowd-estimation guidelines established in the Federal Register. March organizers use other measures, such as subway ridership figures. Clinton feels heat

No doubt about it, President Clinton has had a rough few weeks. The latest blow came Sunday night in a national TV broadcast by Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who said the president's economic package does not adequately address deficit reduction. "You have to have a realistic feeling of how long it takes to get these things done," President Clinton said in Boston Sunday afternoon. "That's why you get a four-year term, not a three-month term."

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