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Colorado Goes For Sanders As Trump, Clinton Rake In Big Super Tuesday Wins

Voters in 12 states either went to the polls or caucused on Super Tuesday. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won Colorado's Democratic caucuses. He also grabbed victories in Oklahoma, Minnesota, and in his home state. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the big winners of the night, each taking seven states, on the busiest night so far of the 2016 election season.

Colorado's Republican Party did not take a preference poll for the presidential race – so no winner was declared in the state for the GOP.

Bente Birkeland reports from a Super Tuesday Democratic Caucus in Lakewood, Colo.

More than 2,000 people came to Creighton Middle School in Lakewood to caucus. Parking was tight and the resulting traffic jam got the evening off to a later start. That was OK for Dave Risser. The electrician said he will back the eventual Democratic Presidential nominee, whoever it is.

"I like Hillary and I like Bernie, but I like Bernie better," Risser said. "He doesn't take the money. He's worried about the middle guy and the low guy, and he wants money out of politics. When you take money from the people you say you don't want to take money from, it really hurts you."_

Registered Democrats from 34 different precincts caucused at Creighton Middle School. Bernie Sanders won all but a handful, many by 20-point margins, while others were closer.

In one precinct, where Sanders won by 11 points, it was initially too close to call because nearly a dozen people were undecided. Clinton and Sanders' supporters lobbied them for about an hour.

"I just want to see whoever is going to make the most change," said undecided 25-year-old Jordan Grote.

She was always leaning toward backing Bernie Sanders, but needed some convincing before she cast her final vote.

"Bernie is kind of the underdog and being a millennial we always get a bad rap for what we do, and he's pulling for us."

Some Hillary Clinton supporters were surprised that she didn't do better. Tracey Mahoney, a community college teacher said it was similar to her experience caucusing for Clinton in 2008 against Barack Obama. She believes younger voters may not have accurate information.

"I think Hilary has gotten some unfair treatment since she's been in the media spotlight for over 30 years now, and these kids who are voting for Bernie grew up listening to horror stories about her that a lot of us just know aren't true."_

For Clinton supporter John Torrez, it's her background that he thinks makes her the most qualified.

"It's great that there's two outstanding candidates for the Democratic Party instead of what's going on, on the Republican side. So it feels good to be a Democrat," said Torrez. "The reason I choose Hillary for me and my family is she has more experience."

Almost everyone interviewed said they would back either candidate. But there were exceptions. Estella Algueseva was an exception.

"I think he's living in a dream world and he's getting our kids excited about all these things he's going to be able to do but he's not going to be able to do," Algueseva said, referring to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. "What he's offering all these young people, free education, free this, free that, you can't do that, we don't have the money for it."

For others, Clinton's principles aren't as strong, and that's why they're advocating for Sanders.

"I would not envision Bernie Sanders voting for an unbudgeted trillion dollar immoral war that costs thousands of U.S. lives and that's probably by biggest issue with Hillary," said Jonathan Fleck. "While other people say she's a warrior and she knows how to compromise, to me those are horrible attributes."

Fleck also believes the office of president has largely become a figurative position.

"Donald Trump running for president signifies it's largely symbolic, so if it's going to be symbolic, let's vote for the ideas."

Read More: Super Tuesday: How It Happened State By State

Explaining the caucus rules to a precinct. 34 precincts caucused at Creighton Middle School in Lakewood, Colo. on Super Tuesday.
Bente Birkeland / RMCR
Explaining the caucus rules to a precinct. 34 precincts caucused at Creighton Middle School in Lakewood, Colo. on Super Tuesday.
Bernie Sanders won the night in Colorado, picking up 4 states on Super Tuesday.
Bente Birkeland / RMCR
Bernie Sanders won the night in Colorado, picking up 4 states on Super Tuesday.

Copyright 2016 KUNC

Bente Birkeland
Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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