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 February 27, 2024

Nikki Haley visits Colorado ahead of primary, still refuses to drop out of the race

The Colorado primary season this year presents a sharp contrast to previous bustling campaign trails, with Republican candidate Nikki Haley's recent visit to the state marking a rare prelude to the March 5th contest.

In stark contrast, the 2020 primary season saw a flurry of activity, with a diverse array of Democratic contenders crisscrossing the state, including high-profile figures like Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Mike Bloomberg.

Changing times

Even then-President Donald Trump made a notable stop in Colorado Springs, energizing the campaign landscape with a rally at the Broadmoor World Arena, a strong contrast with the current presidential campaign that sees him facing a potential ballot ban in the state.

However, the current primary season appears subdued, with independent political analyst Eric Sondermann characterizing it as a "going-through-the-motions exercise."

The Republican field, effectively narrowed down to a face-off between Haley and Trump, lacks the breadth and dynamism of previous contests.

Haley's visit

Leading up to Haley's recent rally in Centennial, her campaign unveiled a "Colorado state leadership team," comprising prominent supporters tasked with rallying primary voters.

Despite this effort, Haley's campaign presence in the state remains relatively modest, with just one staffer on the ground.

Several factors contributed to the subdued campaign atmosphere in Colorado this year. The dominance of a limited Republican field underscores the absence of robust competition.

In addition, the progressive shift in Colorado's political landscape has rendered the state less of a battleground and less attractive for extensive campaign investments.

What's ahead?

As Colorado leans increasingly left, candidates opt to allocate their resources and efforts to pivotal swing states crucial for securing victory in the general election. This strategic calculus prioritizes battleground states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and others, where campaigns concentrate their infrastructure-building endeavors.

Additionally, the primary in Colorado holds intrigue due to its unique feature allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in the primary of their choice.

The inclusion of an "uncommitted delegate" option on the Democratic ballot adds an element of uncertainty, with speculation rife about potential protest votes or expressions of dissatisfaction with President Biden's candidacy.

With the primary approaching, both Republican and Democratic campaigns maintain varying levels of activity in Colorado. This reflects the state's evolving political landscape and its diminishing status as a decisive battleground, highlighting the broader dynamics shaping the national political narrative as the 2024 election cycle unfolds.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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