– From 1912 to 1988, and since 2004, Colorado used the current system for delegate selection, with no preference vote binding.
– Even in 1992, 1996, and 2004 delegates were bound by vote, but were free to vote conscience on second ballot.
– In 2012, Santorum won the non-binding straw poll but Romney received more delegates at conventions.
– A 2012 rules change at the RNC required any state that held a straw poll to bind their delegates, Colorado chose not to hold the straw poll, to enhance grass-roots participation.
If you’ve been on the internet this morning, you’ve seen the scathing headlines: “Republicans cancel presidential election in CO…” and “Fury as Colorado has no Primary or Caucus,” among others. The problem is that this is not exactly true. Colorado only briefly flirted with a binding primary, but even then the delegates were selected by a caucus-convention system. From 1912 – 1988, and 2004 to the present the delegates were not bound by a preferential vote. This year was no different.
In Colorado, a caucus is held to elect delegates to county assemblies and the county assemblies elect delegates to state and district assemblies where the delegates to the RNC are chosen. That is how it has worked over the past four presidential cycles, and it is nothing new for this year.
Donald Trump, and his media allies, have suggested that Colorado fundamentally changed their caucus system in the summer of 2015 to benefit Ted Cruz. In fact, the caucus system was not fundamentally changed. What was changed was that a meaningless straw poll was not conducted — one that wouldn’t bind the delegates anyway.
…. On March 1, thousands of Coloradans met at precinct caucuses. They elected delegates to the county assemblies. Those county assemblies sent delegates to state and district assemblies (conventions). There the delegates were selected. Exactly as they had been in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Here’s how the chairman of the Colorado GOP explained it to Conservative Review, “The four step caucus process used this year was identical to the process employed in 2012 with the exception of the non-binding straw poll being eliminated,” said Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House. “The process was open to all Colorado Republicans and all campaigns had ample opportunity to encourage their supporters to attend caucus, county assemblies, Congressional Assemblies, and the State Convention.”
Donald Trump’s real fight is with the people way back in 2002 that fought to get rid of the binding primary, not Ted Cruz.
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