Presidential Campaign

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Some presidential candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are seeing their profiles and poll numbers rise after last week’s debates in Miami. But others, including former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, are making headlines for the attention they’re still not getting.

State of Colorado / colorado.gov

As the first wave of Democratic presidential candidates unveil plans for taxing wealth and universal government-provided health care, John Hickenlooper is making a narrower pitch of beer and bipartisanship.

The brewpub magnate and former Colorado governor recently swung through the early voting state of Iowa to test his theory that Democratic voters are less interested in a resistance champion than someone with a record of achieving liberal goals even with divided government.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Following Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech at the final night of the DNC, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a stop in Colorado Springs to try and gain momentum in a swing state that has so far provided lukewarm support.

"There is no reason we shouldn't win this state, heavy military and tremendous respect for law and order," Trump said. "We want law and order, we want a great military, we want our vets to be so happy."

K. Ray-Riek / DNCC

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders handily won Colorado's caucuses. That fact was not forgotten after Hillary Clinton's speech Thursday night, accepting the Democratic presidential nomination. But four days of unity building in Philadelphia during the 2016 Democratic National Convention seemed to help.

State Rep. Jonathon Singer of Longmont, a Sanders delegate, said Clinton's biggest challenge is that many voters don't trust her. Think emails and the wounds of a long primary. Clinton will get his vote come November though, because he doesn't want Republican candidate Donald Trump to become president.

"It's not worth losing things like immigration reform and reproductive choices," Singer said.

Erik Drost / Flickr - Creative Commons

Colorado's 37 delegates made waves when they walked out of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in protest of the rules. Most later voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as the nominee, even though he was no longer in the race.

"I was elected as a pledged Cruz delegate so I caste my ballot as promised for Sen. Ted Cruz," said Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Now that Donald Trump is formally the Republican presidential nominee, the question in Colorado is whether his candidacy can bring the party together before the November election.

The past month has not been kind to Donald Trump.

He has landed in controversy on everything from how much he (eventually) gave to veterans groups to Trump University (and the judge who he declared biased because of his Mexican heritage) to his response to the Orlando shooting.

This week, as part of the Nation Engaged project, NPR and some member stations will be talking about what the 2016 primary season has revealed about voters' confidence in the American electoral system.

Voters unhappy with the political system this year and unsure about whether their vote matters have big complaints how the country's two main political parties choose their candidates.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Bernie Sanders will be assured the majority of Colorado's delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton though, still has momentum in the state with the support of super delegates, like Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. The support of party insiders means Clinton will likely have 37 delegates from the state versus Sanders' 41.

Which still makes it an open question for Colorado: If the state is pulling for Bernie Sanders, but the super delegates lean for Clinton, will voters opt to support Clinton if she's the nominee?

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Just three months out from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Republican Party remains very much divided over their candidates for president. Ted Cruz closed Donald Trump's lead Saturday, sweeping all of Colorado's 34 open delegates at the GOP state assembly in Colorado Springs.

Republicans here though are as split as anywhere else in the country over the race.

Marc Nozell / Flickr - Creative Commons

Republican Party activists are gathering Saturday in Colorado Springs for the state GOP convention. Delegates will be chosen to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Sen. Ted Cruz is already confirmed to attend. Donald Trump will not make the trip to Colorado to address the state assembly, nor hold a rally. John Kasich has also announced he is not coming.

Initially, the state's conservative party was criticized for not holding a presidential preference poll during the March caucus. Now, as the national race seems destined to be heading toward a contested convention, the emphasis on delegates has given Colorado renewed importance.

Pages