I got an invitation to a Mitt Romney campaign event via email. I took the "don't ask, don't tell" approach. They didn't ask who I'm supporting, and I didn't tell them.
I learned some good information about how Colorado's caucus system works. I'll start with the highlights:
1. Colorado conducts a straw poll. The selections for the Presidential nominee are non-binding on the delegates selected.
2. Delegates are selected from each precinct. Some of these delegates will eventually end up at the national Republican Convention where they will be able to cast their vote for whomever they want.
Now for some details. The caucus begins at 7:00pm and lasts for 90 minutes. You meet at your precinct location with your neighbors. You'll chit-chat for a bit and then get down to business. The first thing you'll do is select two precinct committeepersons. This is for the party leadership. Some people are interested in that, but it's not really important for votes.
Next you'll select delegates to the county, congressional and state assemblies. These delegates will go to the assemblies and select delegates that eventually become a state delegate. This is the most important thing you'll do this evening. You want to select people that you know will eventually vote for the candidate you're supporting. What that means is, you need to KNOW that you'll have a majority of people at the caucus supporting your candidate. Contacting people beforehand and getting them to the caucus crucial to success. Otherwise, you'll be on the wrong side of all the votes that night.
The last thing you'll do is fill out a straw poll ballot selecting the candidate of your choice. These will all be sent up to be counted and this is what will be reported on the news that evening (or the next morning). The important thing to note is, this is non-binding. No actual delegates are committed to any candidate at this time.
Hopefully that explains the process, and more importantly what you'll need to do to be prepared. Go to the county clerk and ask for a list of registered Republicans in your precinct. Call your neighbors and encourage anyone that supports your candidate to show up at the caucus. You may not need that many. The person that was telling us about this said there were only three people at his precinct caucus: himself, his wife, and another person. Instant majority!
I have to say I'm impressed with the Romney organization here in Colorado. No one else has anything here, and these guys are way ahead of the curve.
Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.
Randy Ketner (NightTwister)