Some numbers first. I've gone through the division of elections list of registered voters, updated March 4, 2016. I've gone through each district and collected the
total of registered Anchorage Democrats: 32,485 (The vast majority of registered voters have not identified a political party.)
As I got near West High I was glad I'd gone by bike because people were parking and walking up to a half a mile away. There was a huge line when I arrived about 10am and I was told the auditorium, (largest auditorium in the state and seats 2000) where they were having presentations, was already full.
[Photo: the line stretches out the same in the other direction. The target was the auditorium entrance which is the highest point in the building ahead]
So, the auditorium already had about 6% of the Anchorage registered voters.
It turned out I had to go to a table for my precinct which was on the other end of a very crowded hallway. There were no open paths to go in either directions. Every now and the there was an opening and a trickle of people went one way - usually the opposite direction from where I needed to go.
A couple of shots of the crowd I was in.
I'd guess there were at least another couple of thousand, (which would add up to at least 12% of the Anchorage Democrats) if not more just in the hallways trying to get to their desk to sign in and get a district card. It turned out my desk was next to another entrance and it seemed to make more sense to go out and walk around the building rather than try to fight my way back through the throng.
It turned out there were still lots of folks trying to get into the building from this entrance.
And they couldn't get in because the fire marshall was there and they weren't letting people into the building. (This made Loussac Libray look like a wilderness area.]
How many still outside or already into caucus rooms? Conservatively, I'd say maybe another 1000 which would get the totals up to about 18% of registered Democrats. But that number is misleading because a lot of people were registering to become Democrats on the spot. Is that a high number for caucusing? I checked Iowa caucus number for Democrats - the report I saw didn't yet have the total number but said there were 240,000 who caucused in 2008. I check the Iowa Democratic registration for January 2008 and it was just over 600,000. So that's about 40%. But that's a big caucus state that gets lots of attention because it caucuses first in the country. Alaskans aren't really used to caucusing. The last caucus was 2008 for Obama and I'm trying to compare the turnout in my head to then. It was at a different location, on a weeknight. The building was packed, but not quite as bad as today. But I think things were spread out differently so you didn't have the registration desks in the hallway blocking the halls.
As I walked around the building I passed the fire vehicle. There was also a big truck.
Eventually, I made it to the rooms designated for my district. One for Clinton and one for Sanders. But they'd already liberated a second, and then a third, for Sanders. The picture above is the original Sanders room.
As I said, my district voted 238 to 80 for Sanders over Clinton.
On the way out I stopped at the desk that was collecting all the totals. My district was one of the first
to turn in their numbers. But the reports from other districts in the rural areas were in and I was told the numbers were roughly the same proportion for Sanders.
Right now Google has posted this:
"Alaska caucus Last updated Mar 26, 2016 at 2:01 PM AKT REPUBLICANDEMOCRATIC Mar 26 16 delegates 38% reporting
Sanders (won) 9 78.7% 181
Clinton 0 21.3%
49 Source: AP "