Thursday, March 7, 2019

Colorado Democrats Signal Super Tuesday Presidential Primary in Draft Delegate Selection Plan

The public release late last week of the Colorado Democratic Party draft delegate selection plan contained at least some indication that the newly reestablished presidential primary in the Centennial state will fall on Super Tuesday.

Indeed, that is the earliest date on which the Colorado governor in consultation with the secretary of state can set the date. But the pair have until September 1, 2019 under the new law to set the date for a Tuesday between the first and third Tuesdays of the March. That gives them a bit of discretion in choosing the most advantageous spot on the calendar for the Colorado primary. And that window is going to be jam-packed with contests. As of now, the first Tuesday in March -- Super Tuesday -- is the most delegate-rich date on the calendar, followed by the second Tuesday in March (if Washington finalizes a move to that date), and that is followed by the third most delegate-rich date on the third Tuesday in March.

That is the range in which Colorado can settle. And there are a number of different paths that can be taken. Again, the state Democratic Party and the secretary of state are assuming a March 3 date for the primary. That would not only be the earliest date allowed by the national parties for states other than the carve-out states to hold primaries and caucuses, but would be the earliest under Colorado law that the date could be set. But that is a date devoid of regional partners (unless one considers the behemoth contest further west in California). Utah, too, could end up on Super Tuesday. Other western partners -- Idaho and likely Washington -- would coincide with a Colorado primary a week later and neighbor Arizona has its primary on the third week in March.

Regardless, the governor and secretary of state have until September 1 to make that decision. All we have from Colorado Democrats and the secretary are assumptions -- signals -- that the primary in the Centennial state will fall on that date. However, the date remains an unknown and Colorado something of a wildcard on the 2020 presidential primary calendar.

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