Bernie Sanders may have set a new record for largest campaign rally of the 2016 presidential election cycle at his Seattle rally tonight.
As of this writing, there are still between 8,000 and 10,000 Sanders supporters waiting to get through the Secret Service’s rigorous security process, while 20,000 have already filled most of the lower bowl of Safeco Field. By the time the last Sanders supporter has gone through security, the crowd will easily be one of the largest of the campaign season, possibly surpassing Sanders’ previous 28,000-person record set at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tonight’s crowd might even eclipse Donald Trump’s 30,000-person rally in Mobile, Alabama in 2015.
— Izzy Gardon (@iGardon) March 26, 2016
— Peacenik (@MusicSpacePeace) March 26, 2016
A local news channel walked by the line of Bernie Sanders supporters awaiting entry into Safeco Field, which apparently stretched all the way past CenturyLink Arena — meaning the line was over a quarter-mile long. The starting time for Sanders’ speech was delayed 50 minutes due to the number of people who were waiting to gain entry to the event.:
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) March 25, 2016
The Secret Service’s stringent security rules for top-tier presidential candidates prohibit entry to campaign rallies to anyone with bags. One photo showed a garbage can nearly filled to the brim with discarded purses and bags, thrown away by people who would rather see Bernie Sanders speak than keep their bag:
— ugh (@twicetrinity) March 26, 2016
Unlike Sanders’ previous Seattle rally in Key Arena, which drew approximately 20,000 supporters and no coverage from any of the big three cable news networks (CNN, FOX News, MSNBC), Sanders’ rally at Safeco Field was featured by MSNBC. However, the network couldn’t resist filling the time before Sanders’ remarks with a panel full of detractors casting doubt on Sanders’ chances at winning the nomination.
“Bernie can’t win the nomination,” said Business Insider politics reporter Hunter Walker.
“People are festive at Bernie events because they know they don’t have to worry about him potentially winning,” said another male anchor.
The panel was moderated by frequent MSNBC contributor Joan Walsh, who has spent the entire campaign season writing hit pieces about Bernie Sanders.
However, MSNBC still managed to capture the electrifying atmosphere inside Safeco Field, where Sanders brought the crowd to their feet while delivering his stump speech calling for free college, climate change prevention, universal single-payer healthcare, and criminal justice reform.
— Lewis Kamb (@lewiskamb) March 26, 2016
Washington Democrats will caucus tomorrow, along with voters in Alaska and Hawaii. Senator Sanders is projected to win all three states by wide margins.