Here’s an odd bit of info: the Colorado state caucus for the Republican party was March 1. You wouldn’t know it from the news headlines, which just yesterday, April 9, declared Ted Cruz the winner of the caucus with 34 (or 37, depending on how you look at it) delegates.
To this day, if you Google “Colorado caucuses” or “Colorado primary”, it states under the Republican side: “The Colorado Republican caucus was on Mar 1. Results aren’t available for this caucus.”
Caucuses are, to the eyes of many, a fairly “rigged” type of democracy. However, the Colorado caucuses seem to take it to a whole new level.
One might think the caucuses were just yesterday. “Ted Cruz completed his sweep of Colorado’s 34 delegates on Saturday while rival Donald Trump angled for favor a half-continent away in New York’s all-important April 19 primary,” writes the Chicago Tribune. They neglect to write that many of these delegates were just voted in at a Republican Convention on April 9th.
However, that convention isn’t THE Republican Convention. The national Republican Convention will be from July 18 – 21 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Colorado state Republican Convention, where they choose delegates to attend the national convention, is what just took place on April 9. So, it seems like a primary for a primary, or, more accurately, a caucus for a caucus.
Writes the New York Times:
Before this week, registered voters selected local delegates, who tend to be more conservative party loyalists, ones Mr. Trump has had trouble winning over. Those delegates, in turn, have been voting this week on delegates to the national convention, most of whom are pledging their support to one candidate or another.
So, registered voters in Colorado select local delegates who then voted for state delegates who will then go to the national convention. This seems like voting, “twice removed.”
The website Bustle writes that while most states hold state-wide elections, Colorado Republicans canceled the state’s straw polling last year that was supposed to take place on March 1.
Although Colorado Republicans canceled the state-wide polling, local districts still held voting on March 1 to decide on the 37 delegates who would attend the state’s GOP convention on April 9. Those delegates remained unattached to a presidential candidate until this weekend.
Cruz netted 13 delegates at Colorado’s recent state Republican convention on Saturday, write sources. He had had already reportedly “locked up” the support of 21 Colorado delegates by Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune.
More than 3,000 local delegates at Colorado’s Republican state convention picked those 13 state delegates.
Sources write that Cruz has a total of 34 delegates for the state of Colorado (the 21 plus 13).
There is a total of 37 delegates up for grabs in Colorado. What about the other 3?
The New York Times writes:
The remaining three delegates are party leaders who are automatically appointed.
Also, notice that Colorado’s “straw poll” was cancelled for March 1, and an “unofficial straw poll” was held.
The Washington Times writes that the results of the “unofficial straw poll” on March 1 were gathered from caucus attendees in about 20 precincts who reported their counts to a Facebook page, Colorado Republican Caucus Results 2016. “Fewer than 500 votes were reported out of an estimated 60,000 caucus-goers,” writes The Washington Times.
Back at the recent state convention on April 9, Cruz supporters sported bright orange T-shirts at the conference with a list of his delegates printed on the back, claimed sources.
Trump’s organizers distributed a list with incorrect information for four of his delegate candidates. Trump’s campaign contended the errors were due to changes to the ballot by the state GOP and did not rule out challenging the results.
Suspicions among Trump supporters reportedly increased after the results were announced Saturday night, writes The Chicago Tribune. The official Colorado Republican Party account tweeted: “We did it! #NeverTrump.” Colorado GOP spokesman Kyle Kohli said the tweet was unauthorized and it was swiftly deleted. The party was investigating who wrote the tweet.
Trump supporters were frustrated by Colorado’s arcane process, which involved a series of caucuses at different locations before the convention, writes the Associated Press. “It doesn’t seem like a real fair system,” said George Rosel, 60, an engineer and Trump supporter who came to the convention from the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch. “It seems kind of rigged.”
Of the 34 delegates Cruz won, only 30 are technically pledged to his campaign; four are party officials who are unpledged but have promised to support Cruz, and the campaign placed them on its slate.
In other news, NBC News recently ask Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort whether threatening delegates is fair game in the search for the 1237 required to secure the republican nomination.
Manafort responded, “It’s not my style, and it’s not Donald Trump’s style … But it is Ted Cruz’s style.” He then called the Cruz campaign’s methods “Gestapo tactics, scorched-earth tactics.”
“We’re going to be filing several protests because reality is, you know, they are not playing by the rules,” Manafort said.