Super Tuesday Off to a Super Start

Sanders and Trump Expected to Win Colorado’s Presidential Primaries

~ by Rick Langenberg ~

The election season has kicked off in the Teller high country with a bullish start for Super Tuesday

More than 5,000 ballots were already submitted by Friday morning for today’s (March 3) showdown, according to Teller County Clerk and Recorder officials. This election, in which nearly 1,400 delegate tallies are rendered involving 14 states, including Colorado, is expected to serve as probably as a do or die verdict for scores of presidential candidates. For the first time in 20 years, Colorado is holding a presidential primary and actually is playing a role in probably the most important date on the presidential primary calendar.

The preliminary ballot returns aren’t bad for Teller, considering the area is a red-hot GOP area. And for this particular presidential primary, no real opposition surfaced against GOP front-runner, incumbent President Donald Trump, meaning that many GOP voters may be sitting this one out.

On the Democratic side of the spectrum, 17 candidates were on the ballot. But in reality, the race hinges on about five main contenders, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar. Competition is intense among the Democrats, with a recent debate in South Carolina almost turning into a fist fight.

According to early polling data within the state, Sanders had a commanding advantage over his rivals, with Warren snagging a second-place showing. In fact, Sanders was leaping to a 12-point lead. Biden appeared to struggle once again, sliding into fourth place.  However, those stats are just based on a national polling firm, with conclusions reached by recent detailed telephone surveys.

These findings, though, aren’t that different from early polls. Sanders won the Colorado delegate vote four years ago by an overwhelming margin. But that was when the state determined its presidential picks through caucuses.

As a result of previously approved ballot issues, Colorado now has reverted back to a presidential primary, and more importantly, unaffiliated voters can partake in the process. They just have to determine whether they want to cast a tally in the Republican or Democratic presidential primary. They can’t do both.

These voters are a big factor in Teller County, as unaffiliated electors represent a huge block and are only trumped by registered Republicans.

Voters have until 7 p.m. today to turn in their ballots at secure 24-hour boxes at the courthouse in Cripple Creek or at the clerk and recorder’s office in Woodland Park at 800 Research Blvd. Also, they can vote the old-fashioned way at the Woodland Park Public Library until 7 p.m.

Super Tuesday represents the kick-off of a slew of upcoming elections.

Caucus day is scheduled for March 7. These neighborhood meetings for the Republicans and Democrats play a big role in selecting delegates for the respective county assemblies and are the starting point in many key state/county races. This could mark the first big test for the current candidates for two commissioner seats. The county assemblies will occur in late March.

Under one scenario, they could help determine the commissioner seats, currently held by Norm Steen and Marc Dettenrieder, or at least declare the front-runner positions.

Commissioners Forum

A commissioners’ forum, sponsored by TMJ News and hosted by the Country Lodge in Woodland Park, is scheduled for March 19, starting at 6 p.m.  It will be held at the Country Lodge and be moderated by TMJ. Official contenders for the two commissioner seats will introduce their candidacies and answer a few questions from the media and attendees (see related advertisement in this week’s issue). TMJ has moderated similar forums in the past. For more information, email

Then, on April 7, Woodland Park will have its municipal election. At stake are four open seats, including the most competitive race for mayor in a number of years. Four contenders are bolting from the gates to seek the seat currently held by restaurant owner Neil Levy. Levy has opted to step down.

The state and county party primaries are then slated for the end of June. This tally will most likely determine two county commissioner seats and a contested Democratic battle for one of Colorado’s U.S. Senate seats, currently held by Cory Gardner. The general election, which will determine the sprint for the White House, is scheduled for Nov. 3.