“That’s what makes Colorado so interesting. You’re not just going into a voting booth and pulling a lever in 5 minutes, you’re going to be there for a couple of hours and you’re going to talk it through.”
March 1st is Super Tuesday, with twelve states, including Colorado, and one territory caucusing or casting primary votes. Corey Hutchins with the Colorado Independent says that anyone who is registered with a major political party will go out on the evening of March 1st to a neighborhood precinct caucus location and then debate the candidates with their neighbors. “That’s what makes Colorado so interesting. You’re not just going into a voting booth and pulling a lever in 5 minutes, you’re going to be there for a couple of hours and you’re going to talk it through.”
Unaffiliated voters had until January 4th to declare party affiliation in order to participate in the caucus. If you missed that deadline, you can’t participate in the caucus but you can still observe. Hutchins says that according to the Secretary of State’s office, many voters changed party affiliation prior to the January 4th deadline. “4,402 people switched from being unaffiliated voters to being Democrats prior to the January 4th deadline. In those numbers I got from the Secretary of State it shows that more Democrats had actually switched their party affiliation to become Republicans in Colorado than the other way around.”
Hutchins says that the nature of the caucus means that there is often a much lower turnout than in general elections. “Usually it is just die hard political junkies who do this. During presidential years we do see an uptick in turnout.”
This year the Colorado GOP canceled its traditional presidential preference poll but registered Republicans will still be selecting candidates for other offices, including the senate race.
March 1st is the first chance for a candidate to get knocked out of the running for presidential contenders, who need to meet a minimum of 15 percent to send enough delegates to represent him or her at the next level. The second step is for locally designated delegates to travel to conventions in all 64 counties where another poll for president takes place.
Then at seven congressional district conventions, parties will take a poll to send delegates for each presidential candidate on to the state and national convention. Then, finally, at the state convention on April 16th in Loveland, the same thing happens: more polling.
Read Corey Hutchins article in the Colorado Independent: “Confused about the Colorado caucuses? Here’s the deal“.