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Colorado Republican Convention put delegate election in hands of party insiders - with video

Article date: 
April 11, 2016
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National News
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Donald Trump blasts Colorado GOP results as "totally unfair", Denver Post, April 16, 2016:

...Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump blasted the state party's process for selecting national delegates and called into question the results.

"The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!" Trump posted on Twitter on Sunday evening.

Moments earlier, he posted a tweet that asked: "How is it possible that the people of the great State of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican Primary? Great anger — totally unfair!"

The Cruz campaign ran the table in Colorado, capturing all 34 delegates at a series of seven congressional district meetings this month and the state party convention Saturday in Colorado Springs.

Colorado GOP leaders canceled the party's presidential straw poll in August to avoid binding its delegates to a candidate who may not survive until the Republican National Convention in July.

Instead, Republicans selected national delegates through the caucus process, a move that put the election of national delegates in the hands of party insiders and activists — leaving roughly 90 percent of the more than 1 million Republican voters on the sidelines.

The decision sparked significant controversy at the time and removed Colorado from the Republican primary map in the early stages of the campaign. But Cruz supporters worked quietly behind the scenes to build an organization to get like-minded Republicans to the March 1 precinct caucuses and capitalized on the Trump campaign's failure to adapt to the system...

 

What really happened to the Republican voters in Colorado, April LaJune, April 11, 2016.

 

Scenes from a Political Revolution, Colorado Style, National Review, April 10, 2016:

Pollster Pat Caddell has worked for candidates going as far back as George McGovern’s presidential campaign in 1972. In all this time, during which his politics have evolved into “raging centrism,” he has never seen Americans so bent on upending the establishment...Caddell’s February polling found that

  • 70 percent of voters agree that the federal government today no longer has the consent of the people.
  • 79 percent want to support more candidates who are ordinary citizens rather than professional politicians and lawyers.
  • A majority would join a third party if it had a chance to win.
  • 77 percent prefer candidates who “take on the political elites and special interests” to those who conform to a fixed ideology

Caddell’s revolutionary moment could be seen up close and personal this weekend at the state convention of the Colorado Republican party in Colorado Springs. What happened was stunning. Ted Cruz, considered a fringe candidate by the media until four months ago, swept 34 of the 37 delegate slots for the Cleveland convention. Donald Trump placed second, and there was scant support for any establishment figure...

What happened in Colorado is just a snapshot of the roiling political waters that campaign 2016 has become. Other signs of voter unrest are Donald Trump’s dramatic success as an outsider and Bernie Sanders’s astonishing staying power against the Clinton machine...

Political elites in both parties might not like the voter unrest happening at the ground level, but if they think this rebellion will fade away without elites’ having to make real changes in their behavior, they will merely set the stage for an even bigger revolution from below in the future.

 

Colorado GOP blundered on 2016 presidential caucus - Republicans made big mistake in abandoning presidential tally, by The Denver Post Editorial Board, February 27, 2016:

The Colorado Republican Party's decision last summer to jettison a presidential poll at its caucus on Tuesday looks worse with every passing day.

Except for the actual delegates to July's national convention, Colorado Republicans who want to have a say in the future of their party have mostly been stripped of a role in the most interesting and surprising nominating struggle in decades...

GOP leaders have never provided a satisfactory reason for forgoing a presidential preference poll, although party chairman Steve House suggested on radio at one point that too many Republicans would otherwise flock to their local caucus.

Imagine that: party officials fearing that an interesting race might propel thousands of additional citizens to participate. But of course that might dilute the influence of elites and insiders. You can see why that could upset the faint-hearted...

It's bad enough the two parties in Colorado don't have presidential primaries in which many more voters would participate. The caucuses already limit participation to a narrow slice of the electorate. But the fact that the Republican leadership then took matters a step further and deprived even that narrow slice of voters a voice in one of the most competitive, consequential political nominations in memory - and perhaps in history - is mindboggling...

 

Colorado Republicans cancel presidential vote at 2016 caucus - Move makes Colorado only state to date to opt out of early nomination process, Denver Post, August 25, 2015, updated April 10, 2016:

...The GOP executive committee has voted to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll after the national party changed its rules to require a state's delegates to support the candidate who wins the caucus vote.

The move makes Colorado the only state so far to forfeit a role in the early nomination process, according to political experts, but other caucus states are still considering how to adapt to the new rule.

"It takes Colorado completely off the map" in the primary season, said Ryan Call, a former state GOP chairman...

The Colorado system often favors anti-establishment candidates who draw a dedicated following among activists — as evidenced by Rick Santorum's victory in 2012 caucus. So the party's move may hurt GOP contenders such as Donald Trump...

 

Video: Colorado CRUZ GOPe BACKFIRE ! ! !, April 10, 2016:

From the video description: Ted Cruz's self serving effort helping to destroy the GOPe by bypassing the voter to take delegates. This fellow in the video was a Republican Party State Delegate in Colorado. He was removed from his position because he voted for Trump. Not having a Primary, no Caucus, no public vote, and Cruz gets all the delegates. That is disenfranchising the voters... and you don't think there will be a price to pay!

"Republican Party, take note. I think you’re gonna see a whole lot more of these," he says as he burns his Republican Party registration.

"I’ve been in the Republican Party all my life, but I will never be a Republican ever again... You’ve had it. You’re done. You’re toast. Because I quit the party. I’m voting for Trump, and to hell with the Republican Party."

 

April 12, 2016: update and clarification regarding the above video:

Did Larry Lindsey not understand full caucus-assembly process?, by Todd Shepherd, Complete Colorado, April 11, 2016:

Larry Lindsey has become an overnight sensation in Colorado, thanks to “selfie” videos of his experience with the Colorado Republican state convention, and links from the Drudge Report.

Specifically, Mr. Lindsey has accused the state GOP of barring him from the state convention because he was a Trump supporter.

However, Complete Colorado has searched the Facebook archives of Mr. Lindsey, and his post on Super Tuesday — the original caucus date at the precinct level of March 1 — raises new questions of whether Mr. Lindsey fully understood the entire process of electing delegates to the national GOP convention, at least via the process in place in Colorado...


 

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