Sanders Tops Clinton At Colorado Democrats’ State Convention

Photo: Bernie Sanders supporters at Colorado Dem convention April 2016 (Staff)
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders show their support for the presidential candidate at the Colorado Democratic convention in Loveland on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is assured of taking more Colorado delegates into this summer’s Democratic National Convention than Hillary Clinton, thanks to an energetic performance from his supporters at Saturday’s state party convention.

Coming into the convention in Loveland, projections showed Sanders would take 39 Colorado delegates into the party’s national convention in Philadelphia. His delegate haul widened to 41 after ballots were counted.

Clinton won 25 delegates.

The majority of Colorado's delegates were allocated as expected at congressional conventions leading up to Saturday. But on Saturday, Sanders got a larger share of the 23 delegates still up for grabs than his campaign had expected.

The tally does not include 12 superdelegates – party insiders who are largely backing Clinton. So far, no Colorado superdelegate has announced support for Sanders. But because of his performance in Loveland, Sanders will carry more total delegates into Philadelphia even if Clinton sweeps the superdelegates.

Superdelegates are unbound and can support whomever they wish at the national convention.

Sanders backers dominated the energy inside the Budweiser Events Center. Chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” rung out from the very beginning and were peppered throughout the slate of events.

Sanders supporters were especially vocal during a speech given by Sen. Michael Bennet, a Clinton superdelegate. Sanders backers often interrupted Bennet’s speech with chants of “change your vote.”

They also chanted “Super PAC” – aimed at Clinton – during a pro-Clinton speech from former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. Salazar then led Clinton supporters into chants of “Hillary, Hillary” in an effort to drown out Sanders backers.

“I love Bernie too,” Salazar said. “I just happen to know Hillary is better to be president of the United States.”

While Saturday provided Sanders supporters with some good news, Sanders still trails Clinton in national delegate totals.

Both sides have passionate backers. Katrina Vincent of Parker is a Clinton supporter.

“I think that she is the candidate who is most qualified, the most experienced and her record is a wonderful record,” she said. “Plus, I would love to see a lady in the White House."

Meanwhile, Eleanor Jefferson of Lakewood is “feeling the Bern.”

“When I hear Bernie talk, I get a certain feeling of excitement that I haven’t experienced in the political arena for a really long time," Jefferson said. "He comes across to me as being a really honest guy.”

Convention-goers stayed warm and dry inside the events center as a spring storm pounded much of the state. Chris Meagher, a Colorado Democratic Party spokesman, said he wasn’t aware of any weather-related no-shows.

“It looked like a pretty full house,” Meagher said.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the location of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It will be held in Philadelphia, not Cleveland. The current version is correct.