Local Voters Declare Teller County as Trump Country

Super Tuesday Verdict Clears the Path for Presidential Rematch

Rick Langenberg

Apathy is a long-forgotten word, when it comes to elections these days in Teller County, with a huge turnout in the March 5 presidential primary contest.

Altogether, close to 50 percent of active voters in Teller participated in the Super Tuesday tally, a statistic that officials are calling extremely impressive.

Despite the defusing of the political and legal spark plug, just a day prior to Super Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on these primary tallies in Colorado, GOP voters came out in volumes in supporting former President Donald Trump during last week’s long-awaited showdown. And this occurred with virtually no competition, as neither the Republican nor Democratic front-runners had any formidable opposition.

The Supreme Court overwhelmingly decided that any attempt to block Trump votes from being counted, resulting from an earlier state ruling, could not occur.

And similar to the verdict rendered on March 5, voters are poised for a rematch that most Americans despise:  Donald Trump versus Joe Biden.

Big Local Win for Trump

Trump captured the heart and soul of Teller Republicans by winning 76 percent of the GOP primary voters. Altogether, more than 7,250 voters cast tallies in the presidential primary GOP contest. Some of these votes came from unaffiliated voters who were eligible to partake in the primary vote (by choosing which party contest they wanted to vote in).

Republican challenger Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was favored by 22 percent of the GOP voters in Teller County. Other than Trump and Haley, the only other contenders to receive voters were some of the former president’s previous rivals, such as Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie.

These pro-Trump numbers on a percentage basis were much more decisive than the state verdict, which only had Trump winning by a 65 to 35 percent margin.

Super Tuesday was not kind to Haley, who threw in the towel the following day, but issued a stern warning to Trump:  Appeal to voters outside of your base, or you will lose the general election.  Out of 16 states that were part of Super Tuesday, Haley only won in Vermont.

On the Democratic side of the equation, Biden was the clear winner in Teller County, Colorado and across the Super Tuesday map.  In Teller, the president received 85 percent of the tallies, with close to 2,000 ballots getting cast.

But similar to the Republican contest, the front-runner faced a number of electors who weren’t ready to jump on board. More than 7 percent of the Democratic votes in Teller County were made in favor of the non-committed delegate pick.  Across the nation, Biden, in many Democratic contests, faced criticism form party leaders for his handling of the conflict in the Middle East, and for his staunch support of Israel in the Gaza conflict.

Leader of Insurrection

However, the Democratic primary took somewhat of a backseat due to the national attention over the previous movement to disqualify Trump from the presidential primary. Although his name appeared on the ballot, the possibility existed that votes case in favor of the former president may not get officially counted. A Colorado court ruled that Trump was ineligible to hold the presidential office due his role in leading an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.  They based this ruling on a constitutional measure used previously, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War.

In a previous interview, Teller County Clerk and Recorder Stephanie Kees stated that her office received many questions over whether votes for the former president would get counted, and if their votes would not count if the Supreme Court did not overturn the Colorado court’s decision. She actually recommended that voters wait until a decision was reached, prior to turning in their ballot.

But most political insiders predicted that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of Trump due to fears that this could set a bad precedent, with states disenfranchising the voters from barring candidates of their choice. In fact, the Supreme Court’s ruling was unanimous.

At the same time, the court was not as solid in giving Trump the green light in declaring his innocence regarding claims that he incited an insurrection. This question was not addressed in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who has constantly feuded with Trump in the past, expressed disappointment in this decision. She believes this signals the message that it is okay for top national leaders to partake in acts of insurrection, actions that clash with the U.S. constitution.

If the Supreme Court had not intervened, then a number of states may have taken similar actions as Colorado. Trump’s eligibility as a presidential candidate was also being challenged in Main and Illinois.

Although losing this battle over Trump’s eligibility as a presidential candidate, Democratic leaders in Colorado are still waving a victory flag.

“Today (March 5), Colorado voters once again displayed that we are energized and ready to send Presidents Joe Biden and Vice President Kamela Harris back to the White House. Thanks to President Biden, Space Command will continue to call Colorado Springs its home, thousands of jobs have been created in rural and metropolitan areas alike, and inflation is down,” said Shad Murib, chairperson of the Colorado Democratic Party. “Donald Trump doesn’t just take credit for the failures of his administration; he’s promising to double down on overturning Roe v. Wade, putting his politics ahead of our national security and doing more harm to our public lands. With so much at stake, Coloradans are ready to reject Donald Trump’s agenda once again and reelect President Biden and Vict President Harrs this November.”

Republican leaders, meanwhile, are arguing that the Biden administration is a complete failure and cite extreme concerns over illegal immigration and the crisis at the border, and the economy.

The big question centers around which candidate can win the support of unaffiliated voters, now the major political force in Colorado. Both the Trump and Biden campaigns are showing weaknesses in garnering the support of unaffiliated voters.

As far as local victories, officials cite the turnout at the primaries as a positive sign. This could signal an active period during the forthcoming election season. The party caucuses were also held last week in local Republican and Democratic circles.

For GOP voters, the next big date will be March 16, the date for the county GOP Assembly in Divide. The Teller Democrats already held their county assembly on March 9.