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Colorado moves presidential primaries to Super Tuesday

James Anderson
The Associated Press
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold, right, announce that Colorado is moving its 2020 presidential primaries from June to Super Tuesday on March 3 during a news conference April 30 in Denver. The move adds Colorado to at least 10 states conducting their presidential primaries on March 3, 2020.
AP Photo/Jim Anderson

DENVER — Colorado is moving up its 2020 presidential primaries from June to Super Tuesday in March, hoping to lure major party contenders to the purple state.

Gov. Jared Polis made the announcement Tuesday, adding Colorado to at least 10 states conducting their presidential primaries on March 3.

Under voter initiatives approved in 2016, independent voters — Colorado’s largest voting bloc — can participate in one or the other of the major party primaries.

“I think we can really highlight Colorado as a key state because among the Super Tuesday states, Colorado is one of the only ones that is also a competitive state for November — a purple state,” Polis said.

Down-ballot races will continue to be held in June.

Critics of the previous system argued the presidential race was largely decided by the time Colorado held its June primaries.

The 2016 ballot measure created winner-take-all Colorado presidential primaries in 2020, instead of non-binding caucuses.

Proponents argued that change would inspire candidates to try to appeal to centrist voters in an increasingly polarized political climate.

The 2016 caucuses were messy: Democrats struggled to accommodate every voter, and Republicans didn’t choose presidential delegates because the national party insisted the vote be binding. Independent voters were left out in the cold.

Then-Gov. John Hickenlooper, now a presidential candidate, supported the changes, as did U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who also is expected to formally jump into the Democratic race.

Colorado held presidential primaries from 1992 to 2000 then dropped them to save money.

Giants California and Texas headline the list of Super Tuesday states.


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