How Many People Voted In The Wyoming Caucus? With Caucuses It's Not Always So Clear
Well, that's one more state down! The Wyoming caucuses were on Saturday, and they resulted in a double-digit win for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (despite, from his perspective, what has to be a discouraging tiny delegate haul). But of course, even beyond who wins and who loses, there's been another compelling subtext to the Democratic nominating race so far, the question of voter turnout. It's been down compared to the climactic 2008 Democratic race, so you might already be wondering: how many people voted in Wyoming? Some good news for the party, this time, perhaps?
Well, sadly, that's a very tough question to answer with any precision. That's because caucusers in Wyoming aren't directly voting to award delegates to the Democratic candidates. Rather, they vote to elect state convention delegates, and those delegates are the ones who determine the final outcome. As such, there aren't raw vote totals from available — it's why when you look at any of the countless live election results out there, the turnout seems so minuscule at first glance.
Take a look at The New York Times' delegate tracker, for example — they've got Sanders winning Wyoming over Clinton by just 156 votes to her 124, because they're only tallying the results from the state convention delegates, not the general public.
That said, as the AP detailed on Saturday, the forecast was positive according to Aimee Van Cleave, the Democratic Party Executive Director for the state of Wyoming. She told them that she'd heard reports of "really good" turnout at the caucuses, despite the fact that it wouldn't measure up to the numbers during that seismic 2008 race between Clinton and then-Illinois senator Barack Obama.
Not record breaking but on par with previous records. 2008 was our high-water mark and most counties are coming right within 2008 numbers.
It's also worth noting that Sanders won the state, and as has been evidenced throughout the Democratic race (and as he loves reminding his supporters and the political press) he's been at his most potent when turnout has been high. But even a good turnout in Wyoming would likely be dwarfed in terms of total votes by, well, countless other states — for the record, it the lowest population in the whole U.S. at just 586,107, according to the 2010 U.S. census. That's one of the drawbacks to succeeding the most in caucus states: they also tend to be lower in population, and thus yield fewer delegates than the marquee primaries do.