Mar 6, 2024 - Politics

5 takeaways from Colorado's vote on Super Tuesday

Data: Associated Press; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Associated Press; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden and former President Trump won Colorado's presidential primary Tuesday in convincing fashion β€” even if many voters are loath to see a rematch in November.

By the numbers: Biden won 84% of the vote to overcome a last-second campaign to vote "noncommitted" in protest of his support for Israel's assault on Gaza, according to unofficial results through 3am Tuesday.

Trump took the Republican contest with 63% support, easily beating former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 34%.

  • Haley won Denver and a handful of mountain counties, but didn't pull enough support to make the race close.

Here are five takeaways from the results.

1. Colorado follows the nation: Biden won all 15 of the major contests on Super Tuesday, while Trump emerged the victor in at least 14. (Haley won Vermont.)

  • The result led Haley to end her campaign with an announcement coming later Wednesday.

2. "Never" voters: The primary gave voters the opportunity to lodge a protest against the major party candidates β€” neither of whom is popular in Colorado β€” and now the work begins to convince them to return to the fold.

  • Andrew Thompson, a 28-year-old Democrat from Denver who voted "noncommitted," told Axios that he is so frustrated with Biden about the war in Gaza and failure to forgive student debt that "there's absolutely no realm of possibility" he would vote for him at this point.
  • Barret Harper, a 35-year-old Republican from Highlands Ranch, told the Colorado Sun he voted for Haley because he wants a president who believes in American democracy. He said he wouldn't support Trump in November.
Data: Associated Press; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Associated Press; Chart: Axios Visuals

3. "Noncommitted" a non-factor: A campaign led by the Colorado Palestine Coalition and local Democratic Socialists of America to support a "noncommitted delegate" instead of Biden never materialized.

  • Just 7% of voters picked the "noncommitted" or none-of-the-above option, less than the totals in North Carolina and Minnesota, early results show.
  • Even Denver, where organizers hoped to reach 15% and claim a delegate, barely exceeded the state average.

4. Unaffiliated didn't tip the scales: Haley hoped to challenge Trump in Colorado with support from independent voters, and some received text messages promoting her bid hours before polls closed.

5. Delegate counts: The primary vote gets most of the attention, but the real political math is how many delegates to the national party conventions the candidates win.

  • Biden looks poised to win all 87 Colorado delegates to the Democratic National Convention, while Trump will take most of the 37 GOP delegates. But the tallies won't be final until more votes are counted.
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