Thursday, February 22, 2018

Unaffiliated Voters May Be Deciders in June 26 Primary

Due to Proposition 108, passed in the November 2016 general election, unaffiliated voters will receive the mail-back primary ballot for both parties and can select a primary they are most interested in and mail it back. (They can only vote in for one party primary to be counted.)

Colorado Politics Ernest Luning describes the potential impact 1.1 million unaffiliated voters could have on the crowded June 26 primaries for both parties. Given the crowded ballots for both parties for governor, a candidate could win with 30 to 35 percent of the vote, meaning a few thousand unaffiliated voters could be decisive.

I pointed out many unaffiliated voters have partisan feelings and considerable passion that can be activated by a particular candidate or campaign.

“The unaffiliated voter is not necessarily a moderate — in many cases it’s more liberal or more conservative than even the typical partisan,” Ciruli says. And while they might not belong to a party, there’s little doubt where their sympathies lie. “There won’t be a whole lot of people choosing between the two.”

In other states that hold open primaries, he noted, unaffiliated voters often amp things up rather than moderate the outcome.

“When they have been involved, it’s been sending a message or voting for a celebrity type of politician — a Bernie Sanders, a Donald Trump fit that category and attracted them,” Ciruli said.

After former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo’s departure from the GOP gubernatorial primary last week, Ciruli added, Colorado’s primary might not have that kind of choice on either ballot.

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