Feb 29, 2024 - Politics

Colorado "noncommitted" campaign launches Biden protest ahead of Super Tuesday primary

President Biden speaks at an event in Pueblo in November. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

President Biden speaks at an event in Pueblo in November. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

A coalition of frustrated Democrats in Colorado is organizing a last-minute campaign to vote "noncommitted" instead of President Biden in Tuesday's presidential primary.

Why it matters: The effort hopes to build on momentum from Michigan, where more than 100,000 voted uncommitted in protest of the Biden administration's support for Israel in its war with Gaza.

State of play: The Colorado Palestine Coalition and local chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America announced the "Vote Noncommitted Colorado" campaign late Wednesday after seeing the results in Michigan.

  • In the five days before Super Tuesday, organizers plan to canvas for support via phone calls and text messages, in particular targeting voters who didn't plan to cast a ballot.

What they're saying: "We figured if there's a way to make some waves and let our discontent be known, we might as well," organizer Grace Thorvilson told Axios Denver.

Yes, but: The noncommitted campaign acknowledges it's getting a late start and declined to name a goal for the votes it hopes to reach.

  • The effort also is far less robust than what came together in Michigan, meaning it's not likely to draw as much support.

The big picture: Colorado began voting by mail weeks ago and more than 762,000 already have cast ballots through Wednesday, according to the latest numbers available.

  • This is only the second time a "noncommitted" option has appeared on the Democratic primary and the first since Colorado began mail ballots and an open primary.

Between the lines: It's not clear what drove the decision to add the option, but it comes as polls show declining support for Biden in Colorado. "We aim to provide as many choices as we can to our voters," Colorado Democratic Party Chair Shad Murib told the Colorado Sun.

The intrigue: If "noncommitted" receives 15% support in a congressional district, it will allocate a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that is not promised to Biden.

  • The best chance to reach the mark is Denver's 1st District, which is the state's most liberal.

Fun fact: In 1992, "noncommitted" received 2% support on a Democratic primary ballot won by then Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton with 28%.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the latest number of early voting ballots.

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