Will 200,000, 600,000 or a million voters participate in the March 3 presidential primary? In Colorado’s first presidential primary in 1992, Governor Jerry Brown just edged out the comeback kid, Bill Clinton, and Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas in a contest that attracted 235,000 voters. That vote total was the decade-long high for turnout in Colorado’s presidential primaries.
In 2000, the last year a primary was conducted, 178,000 voted in the Republican primary between George Bush and John McCain, and 84,000 Democrats showed up to support Al Gore over Bill Bradley.
Governor Bill Owens, with legislative help, shifted back to the caucus system, which parties operate and pay for. They usually don’t attract much more than 100,000 to 150,000 voters in competitive years.
But, Colorado’s recent June 2018 gubernatorial primary attracted more than a million participants, including over 200,000 unaffiliated voters who can now participate in party primaries. The Democratic side of the primary saw 640,000. Combined with the ease of mail-back voting, will 600,000 Democrats show up on March 3 presidential primary? Will opposition to President Trump attract any Republican partisans?