February 9th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Turnout surges among Washington State Democrats

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

Filed under: Washington
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Hillary has earned her place in history. Obama has not earned his place in history. He's riding a wave – big deal. He does not deserve the nomination and shouldn't get it.

    February 10, 2008 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  2. Troy

    Turnout surges thanks to a new face with fresh ideas...pack it in Hillary the Bush/Clinton reign is over!

    Obama 08!!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  3. My

    Whether he deserves it or not should be left to the voters not other politicians. Whoever gets the nomination will have my support in November. I just want to say that the one who is elected was the one the people chose not one that other politicians snuck in. The question is who decides who runs the country other politicians or me! Giving a politician the ability to have such a large input is not a good idea to me.

    How do you measure this deserving a place in history. Is it because she has been in politics longer? Is it because he has a been a community activist longer? They are both attorney's who have been in politics for a very long time. She has been in politics for a long time and he has been fighting them for a long time. The wave he is riding on is one that has been stiring in this country for a while. People are tired of the same old politicians saying the same old thing and doing nothing... They are both GREAT people who HAVE made history. And we should not allow others to take away our part as the people in deciding who will be our first Woman President :o) OR who will be our first African American President :o),

    February 11, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |