The Colorado GOP convention was an odd one. Most states use primaries or caucuses to decide how their delegations to national party conventions will vote. But not Colorado. The state Republican Party decided last August to do away with the traditional statewide vote on March 1 (Democrats kept their caucuses; Bernie Sanders won with about 59 percent of the vote). Why? Because state GOP leaders were tired of their pledged delegates not having any influence at the Republican National Convention (the past two Colorado winners, Rick Santorum in 2012 and Mitt Romney in 2008, failed to go on to win the nomination).
This year, there could be multiple candidates in contention at the national convention — especially if Donald Trump doesn’t get the 1,237 pledged delegates necessary to win the nomination outright. So, Colorado Republicans thought, leaving some of their delegates free to pick the nominee of their choice would give them a bigger influence in Cleveland.
But the way it played out over the weekend across the state wasn’t exactly organized.
Some delegates were chosen at the state level; others at the county level. It was essentially a free-for-all. County delegate candidates were given literally just a few seconds to make their pitches; some held up signs, while others worked the room for support. A few showed up decked out in their most over-the-top patriotic outfits. Some of the delegate selection process took place in disorganized groups outdoors, because other precincts went over time.