Saturday, March 08, 2008

Obama can still make Cheyenne

Barack Obama has won an overwhelming victory in the Wyoming Democratic Caucus today, carrying a whopping 61% of the vote in that State. What was fascinating about this result is that in heavily-Republican Wyoming, turnout for the vote was huge:

From the first caucuses of the day, it became clear the state's Democrats were showing up in large numbers. In 2004, a mere 675 people statewide took part in the caucuses.

In Sweetwater County, more than 500 people crowded into a high school auditorium and another 500 were lined up to get inside.

"I'm worried about where we're going to put them all. But I guess everybody's got the same problem," said Joyce Corcoran, a local party official. "So far we're OK. But man, they keep coming."

Party officials struggled with how to handle the overflow crowds. The start of the Converse County caucus was delayed due to long lines.

Democrats do have reasons to be enthusiastic about their primary and caucus turnout numbers this election cycle. However, they should keep one thing in mind about history-there were similar large turnout numbers in Democratic primaries nationally in 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988. In all four of those years that saw massive Democratic primary season turnout, the Democratic ticket selected from that process went down to humbling, and in two cases humiliating November defeats.

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