March 1, 2016
For my next act, I’ll try to figure out Colorado’s Democratic caucus. The Republicans pulled the plug, so we only have one side to deal with here. One poll from Quinnipiac, pro-Sanders this cycle, from mid-November.
Hillary led 55/27. That was a high point for her nationally, so need to take that into account. The demographics favor Sanders, but this isn’t Minnesota. Colorado has a decent sized Latino population, and there are still questions about how well he did with Nevada’s Hispanic voters.
Toss that in a blender and you get this:Hillary Clinton 54.5%
This would count as a good win for her. Nevada’s margin was very similar to Hillary’s win over Barack Obama in 2008. Colorado was not kind to her 8 years ago. While African American voters have moved to Clinton this time, many liberals have not.
On the surface, a pot smoking, Subaru driving state that includes the community of Boulder should be Sanders Country. If the race were near even right now, he’d have it fairly easily.
But he’s trailing, and Boulder is not representative of the entire state. Hillary is well organized and sent her favorite surrogate to do multiple appearances. Just because this is a must win for him doesn’t mean he will.
Bernie Sanders 45.3%
In many ways, Sanders is fighting under much more difficult conditions than Candidate Obama in his attempt to dethrone the favored Clinton. Colorado was an example of a caucus state where she was underprepared.
Not this time. Iowa and Nevada proved her organizational progress compared to 8 years ago. While Bernie will always do better in a western caucus state than a heavily African American southern primary, there are few easy opportunities this time.
Sanders doesn’t have enough momentum for me to comfortably assume he’ll win both Colorado and Minnesota. He isn’t doing badly enough to expect double losses. Splitting the difference, this is the tougher pickup for him.