Overflow Crowds in Colorado Caucuses

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Denver (AP) Huge crowds overwhelmed many caucuses in Colorado Tuesday and several locations reported more than 1,000 people.

Both parties are reporting heavy turnout at metro-area caucuses, causing delays as people try to sign in so they can hear the rules.

About 1,000 people packed the East High School gym for Democratic caucuses representing 14 precincts.

Aurora Community College reported more than 1,000 voters showed up. And about 500 turned up at Hill Middle School in East Denver.

In Mesa County, Republicans reported a record number of people showed up to vote. Republicans say nearly 3,000 people attended Tuesday night's caucus. It was the same story with the Democratic party. They reported a ten-fold increase in the number of people participating in Tuesday's caucus over the 2006 caucus.

Pollster Floyd Ciruli said this is the first time in decades that Colorado voters have had a part in deciding the nominees because it moved the caucuses from March to February 5th so candidates would pay attention.

At stake in Colorado are 43 Republican and 55 Democratic delegates selected through the caucuses. The caucuses were nonbinding and Colorado voters won't select the delegates until the major parties have their conventions in May.

However Tuesday night's straw polls are considered crucial because the final delegates will be selected through that process, and it gives political momentum to the winners.

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