SEATTLE (CNN) - The Washington State Democratic Party is estimating turnout in the state this year was double what they saw in 2004.
One legislative district in N. Seattle saw a 150 percent increase in turnout over 2004, from 7,529 to 18,220. A district official told CNN that "this is the bluest part of America. If you want to know what blue looks like, we're it."
At one caucus Saturday, there was a festive feel. The vote took place in an elementary school filled with more than a thousand caucus-goers, some of whom brought their children to watch. On one side of the gym, teenagers sold muffins and brownies. An announcer on the public address system welcomed people, saying "this is democracy in action".
The caucus site organizer welcomed everyone by calling on them to end "the tragic and immoral war" and saying "we're all angry over the damage George Bush and Dick Cheney have done to our country." She asked those who were attending a caucus for the first time to raise their hands – that category included more than half the room.
The state party attributes high turnout to the Democratic desire to take back the White House, and sense that their voices can actually make a difference in this tight race.
Voters seemed to be locked in to their final choices – in the several caucuses we attended, we did not observe anyone switch sides. If they came in for Clinton or Obama, they stuck with their pick.
–CNN’s Jessica Yellin and Carey Bodenheimer