Colorado will hold its presidential primary on March 3 — Super Tuesday — Gov. Jared Polis declared in an executive order today. The move is meant to give the state’s voters influence in who becomes president in 2020.
“Alright! Super Tuesday! Here we go!” Polis shouted after he and Secretary of State Jena Griswold spoke with reporters about the change.
“We want to welcome all of the candidates from both sides of the aisle and other parties as well to come listen to our concerns,” Polis said, “to make sure Colorado voices are heard by whomever becomes the next president of the United States.”
Though other states may yet shift their primary dates, Colorado is assured to be among the first 15 or so states to weigh in on the 2020 presidential race. Four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) will hold primaries in February. Then, on Super Tuesday, at least 10 more states will hold primaries.
The currently packed Democratic primary field will almost certainly be whittled significantly by the time Super Tuesday passes, so, by selecting an early date for Colorado, Polis invites a wider group of candidates to spend more time campaigning here.
“We hope that many of those candidates will come to Colorado, will stay in our hotels, will buy things in our stores,” Polis said. “And some of them have entourages, too.”
Next year will mark the first presidential primary in Colorado in 20 years. For the past two decades, the state has held presidential caucuses. But voters overwhelmingly approved Prop. 107 in 2016, ditching the caucus system for the presidential race only; it remains an option for non-presidential candidates in Colorado.
Colorado also voted on Super Tuesday in 2016, albeit with caucuses instead of a traditional primary.
In implementing Prop. 107, the General Assembly passed a law requiring Colorado to hold its presidential primary on one of the first three Tuesdays of March. Polis chose the earliest of those three dates. Prop. 107 also ensured unaffiliated voters will be eligible to cast ballots in the 2020 primary for the first time.
Colorado’s 2020 state primary will be held June 30, and Election Day in Nov. 3.