Caucus night: Arapahoe slow

(’76 Editor) Neighborhood grassroots politics, America at its best, was in full swing Tuesday night as Republicans and Democrats in Colorado held precinct caucuses. However my Arapahoe County precinct in Centennial near DTC had just 17 voters turn out from 280 households. Meager, but much better than most others near us, I gathered at the district captain’s results-turn-in party.

Candidates were mostly elsewhere. One contender for House District 37, Michael Fields, dropped by our caucus, and one for CU Regent 6th District, John Carson, was at the turn-in party. Literature provided by other hopefuls up and down the ballot, as handouts at our precinct, was spotty too. Nothing from Hill for Senate, Tancredo or Kopp for Governor, Waller for Attorney General.

No one at our caucus was under 40, and surprisingly — after last year’s conservative winning streak on recalls, taxes, and school boards — enthusiasm didn’t seem high for this year’s important races. When we tried a straw poll for US Senate, the vote was Cory Gardner 4, Owen Hill 3, abstentions 10. Then in the straw poll for governor, it was 17 abstentions, period. Yawn.

My takeaway is that even as intensely as a few of us are already following the big 2014 contests, most Coloradans — even those good souls who care enough to come out on caucus night — haven’t yet tuned in enough to size up the field of candidates and pick a favorite.

Things won’t even start to sort out until the GOP state assembly on April 12 in Boulder, and since important players are skipping that in favor of ballot petitions, it will really only jell at the June 24 primary. So a lot of fun (if you think of it that way, and I do) remains to be had in the intervening 16 weeks. Onward, red team!

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