AP: Obama Wins Wyo. Caucus
12 Delegates At Stake In Contest
POSTED: 5:14 am MST March 8, 2008
UPDATED: 4:05 pm MST March 8, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama won the Wyoming Democratic
presidential caucus, easily overcoming rival Sen.
Hillary Clinton in a packed turnout, according to
projections by The Associated Press.
Obama led 58 percent, or 4,138 votes, to Clinton's 41
percent, or 2,876 votes, with 21 of 23 counties
Obama generally has outperformed Clinton in caucuses,
which reward organization and voter passion more than
do primaries. The Illinois senator has won 12 caucuses
to Clinton's three.
But Clinton threw some effort into Wyoming, perhaps
hoping for an upset that would yield few delegates but
considerable buzz and momentum. The New York senator
campaigned Friday in Cheyenne and Casper. Former
President Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, also
campaigned this week in the sprawling and lightly
Obama campaigned in Casper and Laramie on Friday, but
spent part of his time dealing with the fallout from
an aide's harsh words about Clinton and suggestions
that Obama wouldn't move as quickly to withdraw U.S.
forces from Iraq if elected. In Casper, Obama said
Clinton had no standing to challenge his position on
the war because she had voted to authorize it in 2002.
Clinton, buoyed by big wins in Ohio and Texas last
Tuesday, said she faced an uphill fight in Wyoming.
Her campaign also holds out little hope for Tuesday's
primary in Mississippi, which has a large black
Both candidates were looking ahead to the bigger prize
-- delegate-rich Pennsylvania on April 22.
In Wyoming, 12 national convention delegates were at
stake. During the first caucuses of the day, it
appeared the state's Democrats were showing up in
record 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 were struggling with how to handle the
overflow crowds. The start of the Converse County
caucus was delayed due to long lines.
In Cheyenne, scores of late arrivers were turned away
when party officials stopped allowing people to get in
line at 11 a.m. EST. A party worker stood at the end
of the line with a sign reading, "End of the line.
Caucus rules require the voter registration process to
be closed at this time."
State party spokesman Bill Luckett said they were
obligated to follow its rules as well as those of the
Democratic National Committee regarding caucus
"Everybody knew the registration began over an hour
before the caucus was called to order. We've done
everything we could to accommodate people in the long
lines," Luckett said.
Later, state party officials said they would accept
provisional ballots from about 20 people who remained
at the caucus site and would seek approval from both
campaigns to count their votes.
In Casper, home of the state party's headquarters,
hundreds were lined up at the site of the Natrona
County caucus. The location was a hotel meeting room
with a capacity of 500. Some 7,700 registered
Democrats live in the county.
"We'll have to put 'em in the grass after a while,"
said Bob Warburton, a local party official.
About 59,000 registered Democrats are eligible to
participate in Wyoming's caucuses.
Only in the last few weeks have the campaigns stepped
up their presence in Wyoming, opening offices and
calling voters and sending mailers.
Not including Wyoming delegates, which have not yet
been allocated, Obama held the lead in delegates,
1,571-1,463. But Clinton has the edge with
superdelegates -- the party officials and elected
leaders -- 242-210. A total of 2,025 delegates is
needed to win the nomination.
Although a win in Wyoming may not persuade many
superdelegates, it will be one more prize for the
candidates as they make their case for the nomination.
Republicans held their caucuses in January, with
former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney winning.