(9:15 PM UPDATE: Statewide and countywide results continuing to show up here)
10:11 AM: We’re at West Seattle High School, one of two sites in the 34th Legislative District where Republicans are gathering to participate in their party’s statewide precinct caucuses this morning. 34th Republicans chair Jim Clingan had told us they expected the WSHS Commons to be packed; the tables here, each for a specific precinct, are indeed full, maybe 300 people by our count. Craig Keller, who is leading this meeting, is just starting to speak, to explain the rules; he’s been presiding over sign-ins. The gathering is scheduled to continue till noon.
11:22 AM UPDATE: We stayed at WSHS until all the individual tables were about to get down to business. Keller (above) explained to participants that they had two things to accomplish: Elect delegates to the next level of caucusing (one or two delegates per precinct, depending on each precinct’s “Republican voting strength” in the 2008 election), and participate in the presidential “straw poll.” (Participants would have to pledge that they were Republicans – since we don’t have formal party registration in this state – and that they weren’t participating in any other party’s caucuses.) Results were not to be announced at individual caucus locations; they were to be reported to county and then state headquarters, which is expected to announce them tonight. After WSHS, we headed south to White Center to check out the caucusing location that also included precincts from south West Seattle:
This one was run by Jim Clingan, who told us they’d counted about 200 people. One thing of note: We looked at both locations for evidence of presidential-candidate preference, and the only candidate whose logo we noticed was Ron Paul: Somebody wearing a Ron Paul hoodie at WSHS: a stack of Ron Paul signs outside the doors at Evergreen.
4:16 PM UPDATE: The Paul campaigning – he was the only Republican presidential candidate to come to Seattle – seems to be showing in the early results; he’s a close second to Romney. You can watch statewide results updates on this State GOP website.
9:15 PM UPDATE: Statewide, it’s Romney 37 percent, Paul 26 percent, Santorum 25 percent, with 90 percent of the vote counted. King County is listed as 75 percent counted, also with Romney in first place, Paul in second.