DENVER (CBS4) — Colorado’s next presidential primary will be held on Super Tuesday — March 3. Super Tuesday is the name given to the day when the largest number of US states hold their primaries and the greatest number of delegates are at stake. At least 10 states are staging primaries on Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday is seen as a turning point in most presidential campaigns and narrows the field.
Gov. Jared Polis officially announced the decision on Tuesday. He says the change will lure more presidential contenders to this purple state.
It will be the first presidential primary held here in our state in nearly 20 years. Colorado lawmakers voted to abandon the old system of using caucuses back in 2016. Republicans cancelled their straw poll and elected delegates to cast votes at a state GOP convention instead. Thousands of Democrats who did caucus faced long lines, leaving many complaining that they were unable to vote.
Unaffiliated voters will be able to vote in the presidential primary, but only by picking one party. Ballots will come out in the mail.
Local and state goverments will pay for the costs associated with a state primary. The state will spend approximately $2.7 million to hold primaries in 2020, while counties will spend an estimated $5.3 million.
Colorado’s major party primaries for down-ballot races will continue to be held in June.
Colorado has joined 11 other states looking to ensure that their electoral college votes echo the will of the American majority to elect the next president. Last month, Gov. Polis signed a law that would allot the state’s electoral college votes to whichever candidate won the national popular vote.
“Colorado is one of the only ones that is also a competitive state, a purple state. So we want to make sure we highlight all of our voices in Colorado. We want to reward candidates who are not only coming here early but are working to win over Colorado voters for the November election,” said Polis.
The state’s legislation would only take effect if enough other states sign on to secure the cumulative 270 electors needed to elect a president, and Colorado’s votes raise the current total to 181 electors. Most states have winner-take-all laws in place dictating that their electors go towards whichever candidate takes the state’s popular majority, while Maine and Nebraska opt to proportionally split their electors based on the vote.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Colorado — and won the popular vote, garnering 48.5% of the vote to then-candidate Donald Trump’s 46.4%. However, Trump won the presidential vote with 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232 votes.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)