Why GOP candidates may campaign in CO in April

Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 20:42:47-04

The Colorado Republican Party is giving presidential candidates a reason to campaign in Colorado in April.

Later this week, the state GOP will publish a list of potential national delegates, alongside who they have said they will support.

Even though Republicans did not have a presidential preference poll at the March 1 caucuses, this list will reveal which candidate has the support of the remaining delegates.

"You've seen that list?" Denver7 political reporter Marshall Zelinger asked state GOP chairman Steve House.

"Absolutely, yeah I have," said House.

"What's it break down as?" asked Zelinger.

"I don't know the exact percentages, what I will say it's very close," said House. "As of yesterday, more than half had declared a candidate."

"Was that candidate Donald Trump?" asked Zelinger.

"There were some that were for Donald Trump, there were some that were for Ted (Cruz), but it was very close," said House.

Colorado has 37 delegates that get sent to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which takes place July 18-21.

Of the 37 delegates, three are automatic. Those three include House, National Committeewoman Lily Nunez and National Committeeman George Leing.

Of the remaining 34 delegates, 21 are nominated at Congressional District Assemblies, which take place the week leading up to the state's national convention on April 9. The other 13 are nominated at the state's national convention in Colorado Springs.

The list that shows the delegates and who they pledge their support will be posted ahead of those delegates being selected.

"It's important for the people who are voting for the delegates to know ahead of time," said House. "It's really hard to make a choice of 13 people at the state assembly from a list of 900, if you've not done some homework, that's why we'll post it."

By posting the list, that could give candidates the incentive to come to Colorado that has been lacking since the state GOP's decision last summer against holding a presidential preference poll on Super Tuesday.

"When you post this list and it will be before the decisions are made, does that mean that Donald Trump will suddenly campaign in Colorado, that we'll see Ted Cruz campaign in Colorado?" asked Zelinger.

"I would," said House. "I'm sure that either high level surrogates or the candidates themselves are going to come, and they're going to want to talk to these delegate candidates."

"Do you have a slot open at the state convention for the Presidential candidates to come speak?" asked Zelinger.

"We will make a slot," said House. "At least one has asked, and I believe two have asked. We don't know if we're going to get the candidate themselves or a high level surrogate. I would be very surprised if we don't have the candidate or somebody very high in their organization on our schedule for that Saturday, if not touring the Congressional district assemblies as they happen."

The seven Congressional District Assemblies take place on April 2 and April 7-8.

Regardless of which delegate supports which candidate, Colorado will likely not be sending 37 delegates who all support one candidate.