At Denver Democratic caucuses, smaller crowd feels more unity than two years ago

On the night of the event, ordinary people got to make their marks on the primary election. In small groups, they raised their hands and argued briefly for their candidates in a low-key and slightly byzantine affair.

“Do you know your precinct?” staffers asked as people filed into the school’s front hall.

“I forget every time!” one woman exclaimed.

For some, it was an introduction to the party’s process.

“I have never been to a caucus,” said Elizabeth Whitehead, who lives not far from gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy. Whitehead’s neighbors had helped organize babysitters so parents could attend, she said.

Others were a bit more familiar.

“Back then, we did it at homes and churches,” said Dick Young, a former chair of the Democratic Party in Denver. “If we averaged 20 to 30 people in a precinct, we were happy.”

There were perhaps a couple hundred people in attendance on Tuesday — almost enough to fill the school’s auditorium, but sleepy in comparison to the crowd that packed in for the showdown between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016.

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