Colorado will not vote for a Republican candidate for president at its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that may diminish the state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era. The GOP executive committee voted Friday to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins the caucus vote. The move makes Colorado the only state so far to forfeit a role in the early nomination process, according to political experts, but other caucus states are still considering how to adapt to the new rule.
“It takes Colorado completely off the map” in the primary season, said Ryan Call, a former state GOP chairman.
Republicans will still hold precinct caucus meetings in early 2016 to begin the process of selecting delegates for the national convention — but the 37 delegates are not pledged to any specific candidate.
The Democratic Party will still hold a presidential straw poll on March 1 — a Super Tuesday vote in a key swing state that is attracting attention from top-tier candidates.