February 04, 2008

Super Tuesday Colorado Caucus Party Registration Numbers

**Update 3 (2-5-08, 4:55pm)--welcome Google users--here are the latest Super Tuesday Colorado caucus results and roundups (from most recent to older posts):

Super Tuesday Colorado Caucus Results

Super Tuesday Predictions And Blog Roundup: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney

Colorado Caucus Open Thread; Update: Endorsing Mitt Romney

Colorado Caucus: Unaffiliated Vote Growing

Colorado Caucus: Colorado Conservative Bloggers Pick GOP Favorites For Super Tuesday

Colorado Caucus: Record Turnout Expected

Colorado Caucus: Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News Issue Caucus Policies For Journalists

Colorado Caucus: Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul Answer Your Questions

Mitt Romney Visits Colorado In Advance Of Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday Colorado Caucus Party Registration Numbers

Colorado Buried In Avalanche Of Political Visits: Obama, Hillary, Romney, And Even Bush

Colorado Caucus Gains Importance; **Update: Super Tuesday

**Update 2 (2-5-08, 10:45am)--for the latest news/analysis/blognostications on Colorado's caucus
**Update--Colorado caucus info for both Democrats and Republicans

From the Secretary of State's Elections Center, a look at the party registration numbers, by month, from January 2004 to January 2008 (latest numbers as of January 25, 2008):

(Click to enlarge)

What stands out most prominently is the ascent in the number of those choosing to register as "unaffiliated". Both Republicans and Democrats have experienced shifts typical of election cycles, reflecting the rising interest and subsequent voter roll corrections and disenrollment following the 2004 and 2006 elections. It is the rapid increase in the ranks of "unaffiliated" voters between 2004 and 2006, followed by an even sharper rise through 2007 that could place non-partisan registrants into place as the largest single voting bloc in the state. There are 2,890,852 voters in Colorado as of January 25, 2008:
1,011,152 Republicans
880,761 Democrats
998,939 Unaffiliated
Colorado has a closed party caucus system, with only registered party members (as of last December) eligible to participate in their party's caucus Tuesday night, February 5. Given the sheer interest in the races on both sides and the inclusion of the state on "Super Tuesday", look for record turnout from both sides. Without the "unaffiliateds" influencing either vote, we should receive a clearer picture not only of who Coloradans would like to see as their party's respective candidate, but overall turnout may also be a surrogate for each party's interest level.

The most recent polling data on Colorado's likely GOP caucus attendees show voters here leaning toward Mitt Romney over John McCain 43-24 (Denver Post/Mason-Dixon):
Romney dominated the Nevada caucuses and has done well throughout the West, where Mormons are neighbors instead of a distant question mark, said Brad Coker of the polling firm Mason-Dixon. Coker's firm called 800 registered Colorado voters Jan. 21-23 and narrowed the responses down to those most likely to go to their party's caucuses.

The poll doesn't reflect the candidate preferences of independent voters, a key swing group on the rise in Colorado, and that's an important caveat in an election season featuring wide swerves in affinity.

Likely Republican caucus-goers tipped to Romney over Arizona Sen. McCain by 43 percent to 24 percent, with former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee at 17 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul had 5 percent, while former New York Mayor Giuliani, a former front-runner who has been concentrating on Florida, was at 4 percent.

But those preferences veil big differences in the way Republicans see their party's field. They tend to vote based on the issues important to them, helping to explain the difficulty voters nationwide are having rallying behind one candidate. Republicans in Colorado clearly see Romney as best on immigration, McCain best on terrorism, and Huckabee best on values.
Using the category of "likely" caucus-goers raises the margin of error to a disappointing 9%, however, and the intervening McCain victory in Florida and subsequent major endorsements since this poll was taken might give him momentum going into next week.

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