Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Clever... Priebus has "cover" for the machinations behind the scenes to end Trump's run.
Priebus: 'Whatever they want to do, they can do' and COGOP chose to deprive all registered Republicans the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice. If you were not a delegate at the state convention you did not get a vote.The Colorado GOP executive committee has voted to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll after the national party changed its rules to require a state's delegates to support the candidate who wins the caucus vote.
"It takes Colorado completely off the map" in the primary season, said Ryan Call, a former state GOP chairman.
Republicans held precinct caucus meetings in early 2016 to begin the process of selecting delegates for the national convention — but the 37 delegates are not pledged to any specific candidate.
For Republicans, no declared winner means the caucus will lack much of its hype. The presidential campaigns still may try to win delegate slots for their supporters, but experts say the move makes it less likely that candidates will visit Colorado to court voters.
The Colorado system often favors anti-establishment candidates who draw a dedicated following among activists — as evidenced by Rick Santorum's victory in 2012 caucus. So the party's move may hurt GOP contenders who would have received a boost if they won the state.
State Republican Party Chairman Steve House said the party's 24-member executive committee made the unanimous decision Friday — six members were absent — to skip the preference poll.
The move, he said, would give Colorado delegates the freedom to support any candidate eligible at the Cleveland convention in July. Republican National Committee officials confirmed that the change complies with party rules.
"If we do a binding presidential preference poll, we would then pledge our delegates ... and the candidates we bind them to may not be in the race by the time we get to the convention," House said in an interview.
In 2008 and 2012, die-hard Republican voters gathered at caucus meetings to begin the delegate-selection process of selecting delegates to the national convention and voice support for presidential candidates in a straw poll.
The votes, however, didn't require Colorado delegates to support any particular candidate at the national conventions. This allowed for delegates that supported a losing candidate to vote for the nominee and demonstrate party unity at the convention.
But the freedom also opened the door for political mischief, as Colorado saw in 2012 when Ron Paul supporters managed to win a significant portion of the delegate slots, even though Paul finished far behind other candidates in the Colorado caucuses.
The RNC tightened the rules in 2012 to eliminate nonbinding straw polls and help prevent similar stunts in the future, forcing Colorado Republicans to re-evaluate their process. An effort earlier this year to switch to a presidential primary system failed amid party infighting.
"It's an odd scenario," said Josh Putnam, a political science lecturer at the University of Georgia who runs a popular blog on the presidential nominating process. "It's not to say the campaigns won't be there. ... But you won't have a good reflection of support at the caucuses, much less Colorado Republicans as a whole."
With the change, the only way Colorado Republican delegates would remain relevant is the remote chance that no candidate emerges as a clear winner in the primary contest. In this case, the state's unbound delegates would receive significant attention and may hold the key to victory in a floor fight. Colorado caucus results: Published here caucus night.