Bernie Sanders wins Colorado’s Super Tuesday presidential primary | VailDaily.com
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Bernie Sanders wins Colorado’s Super Tuesday presidential primary

Eagle County voters are feeling the Bern on Super Tuesday

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., accompanied by his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders and other family members, speaks during a primary night election rally in Essex Junction, Vt., Tuesday.
Matt Rourke | The Associated Press

EAGLE — Eagle County voters joined electors from throughout Colorado and 13 other states to make their presidential preferences known on Super Tuesday.

As of Thursday, March 5, with just over 13,000 ballots of an estimated 16,000 ballots counted. Eagle County Democrats were mirroring Dems from across the state as a whole by selecting Bernie Sanders as their preferred presidential candidate with 2,942 votes — 33% of the total. Joe Biden pulled in the second-highest total among county voters with 2,416 votes, or 27%, with Michael Bloomberg claiming 25% with 2,261 votes.

Colorado feeling the Bern

Sanders has won Colorado’s Democratic presidential primary, according to a projection from The Associated Press. The state has 67 delegates at stake.

It was Colorado’s first presidential primary in 20 years, and Sanders’ victory shows how much the Democratic Party can attract independents, still the largest voting bloc in a state that’s moved further left in recent elections.

As of 6:45 a.m. March 4, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office had Sanders with 33.15% of the total at 273,028 votes. Joe Biden had pulled into second place with just over 23% of the votes and Michael Bloomberg stood at 22%. Elizabeth Warren had 17.23% of the ballots cast.

Colorado held presidential primaries from 1992 to 2000, then dropped them to save money. In 2016, voters approved reinstating primaries after complaining about the caucus system of thousands of precinct meetings to start choosing presidential candidates.

Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the state’s 2016 Democratic caucuses, and he has maintained an enthusiastic base in Colorado ever since.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump drew the county’s GOP support with 90% of the votes. Statewide Trump drew 93%.

By early evening on Super Tuesday, Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien estimated approximately 16,000 ballots would be cast in the presidential primary. She noted a large contingent of voters waited until Super Tuesday to cast their primary ballots. As of the end of business on Monday, O’Brien said the clerk’s office had received around 9,000 ballots and an estimated 7,000 additional ballots were dropped off between 7 a.m and 7 p.m. Tuesday. That trend played out statewide.

“Turnout for the Colorado Presidential Primary could be record-setting, with clerks anticipating a high volume of ballots returned today and tomorrow,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in a Monday news release.

Late dropouts

The days leading up to Super Tuesday provided extra juice for the race when Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race.

Griswold sent out a press release Monday that informed voters who had turned in the ballots and who had selected one of the candidates who had withdrawn that they could not vote again. Voters who had filled out a ballot, but not yet returned it were given the option to change their selection by crossing off the name of their first pick and marking the oval next to their preferred candidate before dropping it in a drop-box or returning it in person.

O’Brien said her office had fielded some calls from voters who had cast ballots for candidates who are no longer in the race. However, she noted that the late turnout supported the theory that voters didn’t make up their minds until just before Super Tuesday so they were aware of who was no longer in the running.

Because of the influx of ballots on Super Tuesday, final unofficial results are not expected until Wednesday. O’Brien said election judges who began their day at the polls at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday would count until midnight and then stop for the night. The counting will resume at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

This story will be updated


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