Ahead Of Colorado’s Caucuses March 1, Six Story Lines You Should Know

Photo: Republican caucus 2014 (AP Photo)
Gerry Gifford, the District II director for the Colorado Republican Party, talks to delegates at the Republican caucus held at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette, Colo. in March 2014.

Photo: Republican caucus 2014 (AP Photo)Colorado voters will get a chance on March 1 during party caucuses to weigh in on the presidential race -- or at least some of them will. Only Democrats will tally their preferences for president that night-- and even then, the selection is non-binding. We look into that process, as well as political ad dollars pouring into the state, the impact of millennials, and the health care battle, below

  1. What you should expect if you want to caucus: The University of Denver's Peter Hanson tells Colorado Matters about what it's like to participate in a caucus, why Colorado has a caucus system in the first place, and how the parties differ in their process and outcomes. There's a full explainer on how the system works in Colorado here.

  2. Why Colorado critics think the caucuses aren't democratic: If you're a registered Democrat or Republican in Colorado, you'll be able to caucus. But if you're unaffiliated, like a third of Coloradans, you'll have to wait until the general election to express yourself through a vote. Two politicos offer their alternative ideas here.

  3. The Koch brothers' PAC is spending big in Colorado: Charles and David Koch aren't from Colorado, their Americans for Prosperity PAC isn't based here, but AFP will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2016 election -- including a portion of that in Colorado. AFP strategist Michael Fields talks here about the group's legislative priorities and election-year strategies.

  4. Independent millennials present a big question mark: The single-biggest group of voters in Colorado are people who want nothing to do with either major political party. Many are under the age of 35 -- the millennial generation. Colorado has second-fastest growing millennial population in the country, and, by far, the most as a proportion of the population of any swing state. How will they vote? Read on.

  5. Democrats are spending more, and Sanders' spending dwarves Clinton's: Colorado Republicans are seeing very little attention from their candidates because the state party is not conducting a presidential straw poll Tuesday and won’t select national convention delegates until April. That means the bulk of ad dollars streaming into the state -- and TV and radio station coffers -- is on the Democratic side. We break the numbers down here.

  6. Health care insurance battles are still front and center: The Republicans say they want to repeal Obamacare but they've offered no replacement plan. Democrat Hillary Clinton defends the president's program. Bernie Sanders, her challenger, favors a single-payer approach. In Colorado there's a ballot initiative seeking voter support for a single payer system as well. We look at how will that affect the caucuses and general election here.