Results from the 2018 Colorado caucus are nearly complete, and while state Republicans aren't releasing details about their vote, Democratic attendees have given gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy a big victory. At this writing, she has 50 percent of the vote, more than all of her competitors combined.
Representative Jared Polis, the perceived favorite among Democrats running for governor, finished in second place, more than 17 percent behind.
According to the caucus page on the Colorado Democratic Party website, 96.32 percent of precincts have reported their tallies thus far, representing 23,168 votes.
Of that total, Kennedy collected 11,583 votes, or approximately 50 percent. Next came Polis with 7,567, or 32.5 percent; former state senator Mike Johnston with 2,049, or 8.8 percent; entrepreneur Noel Ginsburg, with 400, or 1.7 percent; and businessman Erik Underwood with 95, or 0.4 percent. An additional 1,504 folks, or 6.5 percent, are designated as uncommitted.
This doesn't mean that Kennedy has the Democratic nomination for governor locked up. The Colorado caucus system may be the preferred approach of advocate John Wren, whose thoughts we shared in this space yesterday, but candidates can also petition their way onto the ballot. And many of the hopefuls have been doing so in tandem with their caucus-related efforts, including Polis.
Nonetheless, Kennedy's performance is a strong boost to her candidacy, and her campaign has already weighed in.
"With this victory, Kennedy is in a strong position to win the primary and receive topline at the State Assembly," a release from her camp maintains, adding, "Kennedy won nine of the eleven biggest counties: Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, Arapahoe, EL Paso, Douglas, Weld, Mesa and Pueblo. Kennedy won the majority of delegates in key rural and suburban counties, showing her ability to win not only the primary, but to win the general election in November."
By the way, a Westworder who attended a caucus in Lakewood points out that Kennedy had the majority of support there. Our staffer added that the amount of participation was substantial, but other precincts reportedly had relatively low turnout.
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Clearly, Kennedy's campaign put maximum effort into the caucus process, making an estimated 170,000 calls, filling thousands of volunteer shifts and hosting fifty campaign events in the last eight weeks.
In a statement, Kennedy is quoted as saying, "I am so grateful for the incredible showing of support. I could feel the momentum building as I traveled the state."
Her campaign manager, Aaron Bly, added, "The caucus is an important step in this election. This momentum will only continue as we are gaining endorsements, building our grassroots team and talking to voters across Colorado."
For county-by-county results, click to visit the Colorado Democratic Party caucus page.