By Raetta Holdman

The following article is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories from the year in Colorado. This article focuses on politics.

DENVER (CBS4) – Campaign 2016 was unlike any other seen in American history. A businessman took on a Washington insider, both disliked by much of the electorate at large.

Republican Donald Trump won the electoral college and the presidency but Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

As a swing state, Colorado again made an impact in the presidential race.

Caucus vs. Primary

Both Republicans and Democrats used caucuses to pick presidential delegates. For Republicans, the party had decided against a presidential straw poll, meaning those who attended the caucuses were not able to influence the party’s presidential nominee. The caucuses for the Democrats were packed to the gills, leaving many unable to vote.

The scene at a caucus in Loveland in March 2016 (credit: CBS)

The scene at a caucus in Loveland in March 2016 (credit: CBS)

And independent voters could not cast any vote in either place. Organizers turned anger into action, petitioning to get two measures on the ballot to return to presidential primaries and to allow independents to vote in all primaries on the November ballot. Both passed.

Not Staying Silent

With Donald Trump the clear by-the-numbers presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention, Colorado Republican delegates found themselves the national symbol of the anti-Trump movement.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The state’s delegation left the convention after losing the fight for a state-by-state roll call to change the convention rules. They were booed the next evening.

Here Come The Candidates

At a similarly raucous caucus for Democrats, Colorado delegates favored Bernie Sanders.

Still, Colorado’s status as a purple state meant lots of campaign visits — especially from the Trump campaign.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses a rally at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colorado on November 5, 2016. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses a rally at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colorado on Nov. 5, 2016. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

He visited the state more than a dozen times in the final three months of the election and sent his children on several campaign events. The Clinton campaign visited less frequently but had a huge get-out-the-vote operation.

clinton-wins-in-colorado

Democrat Clinton won the Colorado vote 47 percent to 45 percent, likely because of suburban women and Latinos.

After The Election

Donald Trump’s win surprised many and sparked demonstrations around the nation. That included here in Colorado. In Denver, protesters marched through downtown, even getting on I-25, forcing police to stop traffic.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Students at several high schools also walked out, citing concerns about the president-elect’s policies, especially those concerning immigration.

Raetta Holdman is a veteran newscast producer. She’s been with CBS4 for more than 25 years, coordinating events — large and small — from the control room. Contact her by clicking here.

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