DENVER — For the second time this year, Civic Center Park in downtown Denver hosted a presidential rally.
Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally on the northwest portion of the park Monday, opposite of where former presidential candidate John Hickenlooper held his kickoff rally in March.
Sanders brought his "justice" campaign to Colorado. He said he's campaigning for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.
Sanders won the 2016 Colorado Democratic caucus over challenger Hillary Clinton, but Colorado has since switched to a presidential primary, which might be the primary reason he's in Colorado.
"Because it's a primary this year in Colorado, it's a much wider range of voters," said University of Denver political science professor Seth Masket. "It'll tend to be more non-white, there will be more poorer people, more people with kids, these are not all populations that Sanders have done well with."
Expect more presidential visits since every active Colorado voter will receive a mail-in ballot for the March 3 primary, as opposed to the Tuesday night neighborhood caucuses that were surprisingly crowded and ill-staffed in 2016.
Sen. Kamala Harris (California) held a rally and attended a fundraiser in Denver in August.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) held a rally in Aurora in April.
Former vice president Joe Biden is expected to attend a Denver fundraiser later this month.
Since Colorado is now a primary state, presidential hopefuls need to treat the voters like it's already November.
And don't forget, now that it's not a party-only caucus, unaffiliated voters can request Democratic primary ballots, perhaps swaying the vote.
"You might have some independents who lean Republican or independents who might lean Democratic, but just don't consider themselves part of the party, they'll be voting too," said Masket.
Colorado participates in Super Tuesday on March 3 with more than a dozen other states, including California.
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