The Bird’s The Word: Bernie Sanders Blowout In Washington, Alaska

Bernie Sanders is taking Washington by storm as the Saturday caucuses around the state release preliminary results. In some precincts, Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, is getting fewer than 15 percent of caucus goers’ support. If the trend continues throughout the state, that would make Clinton non-viable. If Bernie Sanders also gets at least 85.1 percent, he will receive all delegates.

In Bellingham, Sanders won all nine delegates. The final count total gave Sanders 216 votes versus Hillary’s 23, rendering her nonviable in that precinct.

At Seattle’s 36th District Precinct #1709, Bernie Sanders got 66 votes while his opponent only received eight.

In Pierce County, Washington, Sanders won handily with 61 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent. CNN reports that with 7 percent of precincts concluded, Sanders has more than 75 percent of the vote. The media outlet still puts Clinton ahead in terms of total pledged delegates, but as happened in 2008, that could change.

Even in 2008, when Barack Obama was up against Clinton for the nomination, Hillary told CNN that pledged delegates could “exercise independent judgment” to vote for the better candidate. In other words, she was saying despite their pledges, delegates could ultimately support the other candidate.

With a total of 142 delegates at stake on Saturday, Sanders is getting a good start with preliminary Washington wins.

As Washington continues to release the results of its caucus, a Sanders win seems more and more likely. The Guardian offers live results, with Sanders 73.6 percent to Hillary’s 26.1 percent. Those results will continue to change throughout the day until final results are tallied.

Alaska has begun reporting the results of its caucuses, as well, with six out of 40 precincts reporting. Currently, Bernie Sanders is leading with nearly 82 percent of the vote, while Clinton has a mere 18.4 percent. And it isn’t all Democrats who are feeling the Bern. In Alaska, a voter tweeted a conversation he heard from a life-long Republican voting for Bernie Sanders.

“I never thought I’d be voting Democrat in my life.”

In both Washington and Alaska, turnout has been so high in some precincts that caucuses moved outdoors to accommodate everyone. On Twitter, one user posted photos of the outdoor caucus. That precinct ultimately gave Sanders six delegates and two to Clinton.

Despite the huge support for Sanders, Twitter users reported watching Democratic National Committee vice chairwoman Donna Brazile downplay the significance of the presumed Washington victory on CNN television.

Sanders has been making waves all over the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys massive support. On Friday, during his rally at Portland, Oregon, a small bird made an appearance and perched itself on his “A Future to Believe In” placard, causing the enormous crowd to go wild. Portland is known for the show Portlandia, and its “Put a Bird On It” episode.

Whether the bird was a sparrow or a finch is still being debated around social media, and it could become this year’s version of the white and gold dress. Or was it blue and black?

As of 5:21 p.m. EDT, the Associated Press took to Twitter and declared Sanders the winner of the Alaska caucuses with only 40 percent of precincts reporting. CNN also declared Sanders the projected winner of Washington and Alaska.

The state of Hawai’i is also favored for Bernie Sanders, and with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s endorsement, he could see an increase in support. Gabbard is a Hindu and also a military combat veteran, making her support for Sanders all the more meaningful. Hawai’i will hold its Presidential Preference Polls starting at 1 p.m. local time, 7 p.m. EDT.

[Photo: Natalie Behring/Getty]