2016 Washington Democratic presidential caucuses

The 2016 Washington Democratic presidential caucuses were held on March 26, 2016, in the U.S. state of Washington as one of the Democratic Party's primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

2016 Washington Democratic presidential caucuses

← 2008 March 26, 2016 (2016-03-26) 2020 →
  Bernie Sanders September 2015 cropped.jpg Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Candidate Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton
Home state Vermont New York
Delegate count 74 27
Percentage 72.72% 27.10%

Washington Democratic Presidential Caucuses Election Results by County, 2016.svg
Election results by county.
  Bernie Sanders

On the same day, Democratic caucuses were held in Alaska and Hawaii. While the Republican primary was later held on May 24, 2016.

Sanders overwhelmingly won the March 26 caucus which had about 230,000 participants, winning 72.7% of the state's legislative district delegates to Clinton's 27.1%, giving Sanders a net gain of 47 pledged delegates.[1]

Later, the state also held a non-binding primary vote on May 24, in which Clinton received about 52% of the vote – although this has no actual bearing on the delegate count for the nomination.[2]

Opinion pollingEdit

Poll source Date 1st 2nd 3rd Other
Caucus results March 29, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Gravis Marketing[3]

Margin of error: ± 6%
Sample size: 256

May 18–19, 2015 Hillary Clinton
Elizabeth Warren
Bernie Sanders
Joe Biden 4%, Martin O'Malley 3%, Jim Webb 1%, Unsure 12%
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Lincoln Chafee
Bill De Blasio 2%, Martin O'Malley 2%, Jim Webb 1%, Unsure 12%
Public Policy Polling[4]

Margin of error: ± 5%
Sample size: 391

May 14–17, 2015 Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Martin O'Malley
Jim Webb 2%, Lincoln Chafee 1%, Not sure 12%
2016 Washington State Democratic precinct caucuses, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle, Washington, March 26, 2016. Precinct Committee Officers and other convenors.
2016 Washington State Democratic precinct caucuses, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle, Washington, March 26, 2016.


Washington Democratic caucuses, March 26, 2016
Candidate District delegates Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Bernie Sanders 19,159 72.72% 74 0 74
Hillary Clinton 7,140 27.10% 27 10 37
Uncommitted 46 0.18% 0 7 7
Total 26,345 100% 101 17 118
Source: The Green Papers
Washington Democratic primary, May 24, 2016
Candidate Popular vote Estimated delegates
Count Percentage Pledged Unpledged Total
Hillary Clinton 420,461 52.38% 27 10 37
Bernie Sanders 382,293 47.62% 74 0 74
Total 802,754 100.00% 101 17 118
Source: Washington Secretary of State - Official Primary Results


Sanders scored a landslide victory in the Washington caucus. His victory did not come as a huge surprise, since Seattle as a city had donated the most money per capita to the Bernie Sanders for President Campaign, and Washington state (particularly Seattle) has a history of electing more left-leaning politicians including other self-proclaimed socialists to office.[5] Sanders won all counties in the state on the day of the caucus.

Clinton had lost the Washington caucus eight years earlier to Barack Obama.[6]

At a rally in Wisconsin on March 26, Sanders told supporters "We knew from day one that politically we were going to have a hard time in the Deep South, but we knew things were going to improve when we headed west."[7] Clinton won the Washington Democratic Primary, but lost the caucus. The same was true with Nebraska. She won the Primary and lost the caucus. In both states, despite the primary being non-binding it had significantly higher turnout than the caucuses, fueling criticism that caucuses are undemocratic and a form of voter suppression. For the 2020 nominating process, Washington and Nebraska both replaced their caucuses with binding primaries to allocate the states' delegates.


  1. ^ Washington Democratic Party Official Website
  2. ^ Santos, Melissa (2016-05-24). "Trump, Clinton win Washington's presidential primary". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  3. ^ "Washington State poll: Paul leads GOP field, Murray leads McMorris Rodgers; Right to Work up 45% to 33% – Gravis". Gravismarketing.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  4. ^ "PPP WA" (PDF). publicpolicypolling.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  5. ^ "Western caucuses primed for Sanders". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  6. ^ "Western caucuses primed for Sanders". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  7. ^ Chozick, Amy (2016-03-26). "Bernie Sanders Seizes 3 States, Sweeping Democratic Contests". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-08-07.