This election has so far seen a variety of caucus-related issues, primarily, it seems, on the Democratic side. Another such case, this time regarding the Colorado caucus, has just been revealed, thanks to reporting by The Denver Post. On April 12, the Colorado Democratic Party admitted to miscounting the results in ten percent of the state’s precincts in caucus. The Denver Post discussed in detail the potential consequences of this miscount:
‘The mistake is a minor shift with major implications. The new projection now shows the Vermont senator winning 39 delegates in Colorado, compared to 27 for Clinton.
Even if Clinton wins all 12 superdelegates in the state, Sanders can finish no worse than a split decision. The new count contrasts with prior projections from The Post, Bloomberg Politics and The Associated Press that indicated Clinton would probably win the majority of the 78 delegates in Colorado because of her support from party leaders with superdelegate status.
If Sanders lands one Colorado superdelegate — two are still undecided and others are facing significant pressure — he could win the state’s delegation.’
What is most controversial about this issue isn’t the fact that a mistake was made, but the fact that a mistake was made and the Colorado Democratic Party tried to cover it up rather than fix it. The Sanders campaign was not informed about the miscount, while the Clinton campaign was.
Rick Palacio, Democratic Party Chairman, said that he didn’t tell the Sanders campaign about the discrepenacy “because it didn’t necessarily affect (them). It was our mistake that ended up affecting the estimation of Hillary’s campaign.”
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, commented on the new information, “We are obviously pleased to essentially narrow the delegate lead by two delegates, one up and one down, it’s a zero sum game.” He also added that it is “certainly disturbing that that information gets sent to one campaign and not to another.”
There were also issues on the Republican side, with Donald Trump and his supporters complaining about a “rigged” system after he lost to Senator Ted Cruz. While Trump could just be a sore loser, the fact of the matter is that caucuses are notoriously chaotic, therefore making it easier for mistakes to occur.
Something positive coming from this scandal, which Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio called “an embarrassment,” is the fact that it provides yet another reason for states like Colorado to move from caucuses to primaries. According to The Denver Post, there is already a push to make the switch:
‘The double-barrel controversies regarding Colorado’s caucus system will only reinforce calls for the state to move to a primary vote that allows more transparency and participation among voters who felt left out of the complicated process.’
In the video below, courtesy of Denver7 via YouTube, the problems with caucuses, specifically the one in Colorado, are discussed in more detail, as well the reasons the state wishes to switch to a primary system instead.