Colorado Caucuses - Frequently Asked Questions



Question: What is a caucus?


Answer: Caucuses are local meetings conducted by the Democratic and Republican parties held in precincts throughout the state. At the caucus, voters are divided into groups according to the candidate they support. The undecided voters congregate into their own group and prepare to be “counted” by supporters of other candidates. Voters in each group can then give speeches supporting their candidate and try to persuade others to join their group. At the end of the caucus, party organizers count the voters in each candidate’s group and calculate how many delegates to the county convention each candidate has won. This is the first step in a multi-step process to elect delegates to represent Colorado at the national convention. 


The caucus has three main functions:

1.  To elect Delegates/Alternates to the County Assembly and Convention

2.  To elect two precinct committee people for 2-year terms and;

3.  To vote on proposed platform issues



Question: Do we also have a primary in Colorado?  If so, what is the difference between the caucus and the primary?


Answer: Yes. In Colorado we use both the caucus and primary systems. 


A caucus is where party members get together in their precincts to pledge their support for a favorite presidential candidate. Delegates are then awarded to the candidates based on the votes taken at the caucuses. The delegates then attend county assemblies and the state convention to vote on the party platform and “carry” the votes from their precinct. The state convention then awards delegates based on the results from the state as a whole.


The Colorado primary is for state-level and congressional offices only. A primary is simply an election that allows registered voters (with a specific party) to go to the polls and cast their ballot for a candidate. In Colorado, our primaries are closed, which means you must be a member of the party to vote for that party’s candidate. 


The caucuses and the primaries finally culminate in a national convention in which the party’s nomination for president is formally announced. During the conventions, the elected delegates cast their vote for a party candidate and the candidate with the most delegates gets the party’s nomination. The end of the convention marks the beginning of the general election season.


Question: Where is my caucus held?


Answer: Typically caucuses are held in local public places. Contact the party you are affiliated with to find out where your caucus is being held. The Colorado caucus will be held on February 5, 2008.  The caucus starts at 7pm.  The political parties are recommending that you get to the caucus early to allow time to check in; voters will not be allowed to participate if they arrive after 7pm. - Colorado Democratic Party - Colorado Republican Party


Question: When are the national conventions and where?


 Democratic National Convention: August 25th-28th in Denver, Colorado

 Republican National Convention: September 1st-4th in St. Paul, Minnesota

 Libertarian National Convention: May 22nd-26th in Denver, Colorado

 Green Party National Convention: July 10th-14th in Chicago, Illinois

 Constitution Party National Convention: April 23rd-27th in Kansas City, Missouri