January 29, 2008

Colorado Caucus Gains Importance; **Update: Super Tuesday

**Updated and bumped to the top through Super Tuesday--scroll for caucus info**

<---Please take a moment to vote in SP's GOP poll, located to the left in the sidebar. Democrat caucus info/Republican caucus info

9NEWS has a short primer on caucus procedures for Democrats and Republicans

With the Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday Caucus/Primary Electionpalooza (or whatever the MSM is calling it) only 26 days away (thanks Ben for the reminder!), Colorado's relatively obscure caucus should garner not only record turnout with both parties lacking a clear frontrunner, but also increased attention from the candidates:
Colorado is bracing for possible record turnouts in the Feb. 5 presidential caucuses, as state voters get swept up in the country's election fever.

Massive turnouts at the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary indicate that voters want to play a pivotal role in the country's most open presidential seat in more than 50 years. And Colorado voters — on both sides of the aisle — are no different.
. . .
GOP and Democratic Party officials say they are expecting much higher participation at the caucuses than they have had in years. State GOP head Dick Wadhams said the intensity of the race was certain to bring out new attendees.

State Democrats have told their county precincts "to prepare for record turnout," said spokesman Matt Sugar, who noted that his party is involved in numerous caucus trainings.
. . .
Unlike Iowa and New Hampshire, Colorado does not have so-called open caucuses. Only those who registered as a Democrat or Republican by the first week in December can attend the caucuses. Unaffiliateds — the state's second-largest registered group — cannot show up and vote.

The state currently boasts just over 1 million Republicans, 994,575 unaffiliateds and 875,650 Democrats. Unaffiliateds have increased by about 50,000 since March, while Democrats went up about 25,000 and Republicans 12,000.

Colorado is one of more than 20 states taking part in what's known as Super Tuesday. The front-loaded nomination schedule has accelerated the process, which may potentially result in both parties producing a nominee by dawn on Feb. 6.

The country would then have a two-candidate race for nine months — a historical first.
Having a closed caucus will prevent unaffiliateds from skewing either party's selection--giving a clearer picture of what rank-and-file Colorado Democrats and Republicans view as their ideal candidate, while leaving pollsters and bloggers to speculate on just how the 2nd largest voting bloc in Colorado will break come November.

Ben DeGrow has a good roundup of Colorado caucus information
, including Jefferson and Douglas County GOP caucus gathering information and links. More from Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams.

Denver County GOP caucuses are arranged geographically, centered in the 9 State House districts that comprise the county:

District 1 - Kennedy High School
District 2 - Colorado Automobile Dealers Association offices
District 3 - Harvard Gulch Recreation Center, 550 East Iliff (Logan & Iliff)
District 4 - Lake Middle School
District 5 - Tivoli Auditorium, Auraria Campus
District 6 - Location 1: Windsor Gardens, 595 S. Clinton Street (Clinton & Alameda)
Location 2: Central Christian Church, 3690 Cherry Creek Drive South (Garfield & Cherry Creek Drive South)
District 7 - location TBD
District 8 - Park Hill Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Boulevard
District 9 - Hamilton Middle School, 8600 Dartmouth
DemNotes captures the excitement felt on the other side. Not every Democrat, however, knows which lever they will pull in the upcoming election:
Cory Madden, a student at the University of Denver, said part of his class is engaged in a youth voting project to get people involved in the presidential race.

He hasn't registered yet but plans to as a Democrat. However, he doesn't know which Democrat will get his vote.

"[Dude--ed.] I'm just not getting a huge political vibe yet," said Madden, 19, who is originally from Ohio.

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