Unless you’re a diehard political party member in Colorado, chances are low you’ve participated in the state’s early voting process. Frankly, to many, it’s baffling. And if you’re an unaffiliated voter who wants to get involved, act fast. You have until January 4 to join a party so you can help determine which candidate gets the nomination. Then what? Get ready for Super Tuesday. What you think might be a quick trip to a polling place is nothing of the sort in Colorado. Instead, it’s a night of discussion among your neighborhood party members where you’ll find yourself pitching for your favorite candidate, hearing from others about theirs, and maybe even having to fend off the aroma of home baked cookies luring you to another candidate’s side.
This year, since the Colorado GOP canceled its traditional presidential preference poll, Super Tuesday will be a little less super for Republicans here when it comes to the presidential race. But Democrats who are feeling the Bern, crave Clinton or are mobbing for O’Malley have a long road ahead before their candidates win or lose, and this article is geared more toward them.
So if you’re ready to get involved, here’s what you need to know. Will the 2016 presidential race in Colorado be a primary like New Hampshire, or a caucus like Iowa? Well, it’s kind of a hybrid, and in Colorado it has four steps.
The first happens this year on March 1, Super Tuesday, when nearly a dozen other states hold early nominating contests. Colorado has a round of precinct-level caucuses in neighborhoods around the state. This is the first chance for a candidate to get knocked out of the running. Presidential contenders need to meet a minimum of 15 percent to send enough delegates to represent him or her at the next level. And it could happen right in the living room of one of your neighbors.