Super Tuesday results: Bernie wins in Routt County and Colorado; Biden wins big nationwide |

Super Tuesday results: Bernie wins in Routt County and Colorado; Biden wins big nationwide

Routt County recording supervisor Barbara Houston sports a jersey with the words "Routt County Elections" across it to celebrate Super Tuesday's presidential primary.
Derek Maiolo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Election officials had a busy day on Super Tuesday at the historic Routt County Courthouse, fielding ballots in the state’s first presidential primary in two decades. 

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders emerged victorious among county voters, garnering 1,817 ballots, or 33% of the Democratic votes. That reflected Colorado’s decision to also support the Vermont senator. Sanders also won in Vermont, California and Utah, according to election updates from The New York Times.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden performed well in southern states, winning Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Results from California, Maine, Massachusetts and Texas had not yet been determined as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

President Donald Trump won an unsurprising landslide against the pool of Republican candidates. In Routt County, Trump received 2,402 ballots, or 89% of the total Republican votes.

In total, Routt County voters cast 8,184 ballots, according to the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Democratic ballots comprised about two-thirds of local voter turnout. 

With hot-button issues like climate change and health care at the forefront of this election, many voters cast their ballot for the first time.

Cheyanne Latham was among the Routt County residents who made an inaugural trip to the courthouse to submit a ballot. A former Jehovah’s Witness, Latham has been barred most of her life from voting. After four years under the Trump administration, she is pushing for change.

“I just want someone who can take on Trump,” Latham said.

She is counting on Sanders to provide sweeping reforms, such as addressing her friends’ student debt. 

Catherine Carson, chair of the Routt County Democrats, noticed a lot of younger voters making their way to the polls, many of them excited by Sanders’ progressive message. 

Hank Hatch leaves the Routt County Courthouse on Tuesday morning after casting his vote in the 2020 Colorado presidential primary election.
John F. Russell

Anne Dean, a Steamboat Springs High School senior, also cast her first vote in Tuesday’s election. While still 17, her 18th birthday falls before the general election in November, allowing her to participate in the presidential primary. 

Encouraging her young peers to be involved in this election has been a major initiative for Dean leading up to Super Tuesday.

“I post up to 10 times a week on my Instagram story reminding people to register and to vote,” she said. 

Chief among her reasons for voting is addressing the nation’s widening wealth gap. In 2018, the richest 10% in America accounted for 70% of total household wealth, up from 60% in 1989, according to a report from the Federal Reserve

Dean sees Sanders’ economic policies, such as his calls for higher corporate tax rates and equal pay for women, as ways to bridge that gap. 

This election marks the first time Colorado has participated in the presidential primary since 2000. The primary system allows all voters, even those who are unaffiliated, to participate in the nomination process for presidential candidates. 

Kim Bonner, Routt County’s clerk and recorder, said the primary system should help to boost voter participation in the nomination process.

About 45% of voters in Routt County are unaffiliated, according to voting records Bonner provided. This represents almost 7,800 voters who otherwise would not have been able to participate in the nomination process.

Leading up to the 2020 election, Bonner described a growing trend of people disaffiliating from political parties, particularly elected officials. Bonner herself withdrew her party affiliation in September 2019 in an effort to make her office more inclusive and nonpartisan ahead of a contentious presidential election.

Those who voted for Democratic candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar learned their votes would not count after the two announced they are suspending their campaigns days prior to Super Tuesday.

Allocating the Colorado’s 67 delegates based on Tuesday’s results could take several days or weeks, according to a report from Colorado Public Radio. Forty-four of the delegates will be divided based on the candidates’ performance in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. The other 23 delegates are allocated based on statewide results.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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