Ryan Call on why Colorado Republican caucuses mean more than ever

Categories: Politics

ryan call.jpg
Ryan Call.
Colorado's first caucuses were modestly attended affairs that didn't have a sizable impact on the presidential choices of either major party. But turnout jumped four years ago, especially for the Democratic caucus that boosted Barack Obama. Predictably, Colorado Republican Party chairman Ryan Call is the opposite of an Obama fan. But he wouldn't mind emulating, and surpassing, the Dem's 2008 accomplishment for the February 7 Republican caucus -- and he's confident it'll happen.

Call was among the politicos advocating for the state's caucus to be moved up to a date well before Super Tuesday in March, before the GOP will have all but settled on a nominee. "I felt Colorado was in kind of a unique position, because we're a caucus state," he says. "The rules permit us to move up without suffering the penalty of losing delegates. And the way it's unfolded, Colorado will be a swing state for the general election -- so I thought it was important to have our voice in the conversation."

That seems likely to happen. While a couple of prominent candidates (Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann) have suspended their campaigns, plenty of others are still slugging it out. And as Call points out, Colorado and Minnesota, which is also holding a vote on February 7, will jointly represent the sixth major contest. "It's Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and then us," he notes.

The jump forward had other positive effects as well, in Call's view. "By moving the caucus up a month, it gave counties more breathing room for county and district assemblies and designating local candidates for the ballot. So it helped administratively in addition to the political advantage of being earlier in the calendar."

Call predicts participation will grow because so much is at stake from a presidential perspective. "I don't think our caucus will be determinative, but I do think it will be influential," he says. "I don't think the field will have completely coalesced by then. So I think it will add some additional momentum to some candidates or keep the contest alive for others. And when there's a vigorous contest going on, folks get engaged. Republican voters understand that they're not just picking a candidate. They're picking who they want to be the next President of the United States. And they're going to approach it with thoughtfulness and seriousness because of that."

rick santorum at colorado gop club april 2011.jpg
Rick Santorum during an April 2011 visit to the GOP Club. Will the caucus draw more presidential hopefuls to Colorado?
Likewise, Call believes "we'll see participation across a broad spectrum of Republicans. A couple of years ago, the Tea Party movement brought some important energy to our side, and I think that was another reflection of a more broadly held sentiment -- that the government had gotten too big, that spending is out of control, that the federal debt is astronomical and continues to grow under Obama's watch, and that we need to change directions. And what I've seen over the last year or two is that the vast majority of Tea Party-oriented activists who got involved for the first time in the 2010 campaign have become more integrated within the Republican Party structure, and understand that in order to advance and impact the agenda and the process, the best way to do it is through the political party organization.

"That's really the most practical opportunity to defeat Barack Obama and change the direction of the country -- which is why I'm not seeing any kind of traction for a third party or independent-type run. Everybody knows that will only divert votes away from defeating Barack Obama in the fall."

At the same time, Call admits that no one among the current slate of Republican candidates has a monopoly on Colorado hearts and minds thus far. "The passion and enthusiasm I'm seeing is a passion to change the direction of the country by defeating Barack Obama," he allows. "And the engagement has been about who's going to be the strongest candidate to defeat Barack Obama and still be able to advance a philosophy of reform, economic growth, job creation and accountability back to government."

As for the nuts and bolts of taking part in the caucus, Call says, "The best way is for folks to show up at their local precinct caucus." There, attendees "will vote in the presidential preference poll as well as the election of committee people -- local party leaders who'll be responsible for coordinating voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts in your neighborhood for the next two years. Then they'll elect delegates from that precinct to attend assemblies and vote on the designation of candidates to the Republican primary election ballots."

Problem is, as Call acknowledges, "most counties are finalizing precinct boundaries this week, and some of the boundaries are a little bit in a state of flux. So we've developed a new system that will make it super-easy to find out what your caucus location is. You'll go to our new website" -- Caucus.ColoGOP.org -- "and put in your address to preregister. When the location is set, we'll send you an e-mail. You'll also have a contact person in your local county or neighborhood, and in the next couple of weeks, we'll be posting YouTube videos, FAQ documents and samples of what a caucus agenda looks like, so voters will become familiar with the caucuses work."

Seeing politics up-close isn't always pretty -- but Call feels caucus virgins who give it a try will be pleasantly surprised. "If your only exposure to politics is what we see on the news and in those commercials, you'll like this system," he says. "This gives folks a chance to talk to their neighbors about the election and engage in dialogue that's going to be critical if we're going to turn this country around."

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More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Tom Tancredo is once again a Republican, but he's not a party guy."

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David Josselyn
David Josselyn

As long as it remains a caucus rather than a primary election, I have little interest.  I do not like the caucus system and I believe only the highly motivated will attend.  What this means is that only the loudest voices are heard, not the true republican voice.


the CO GOP has had such a horrible record in major elections as of late, they will be lucky to get anyone to show at their caucuses...dan maes anyone?...scott mcinnis?...mirror of the national GOP for that matter...maybe CO can lead the GOP back to some resemblance of a Conservative party?...I'm not holding my breath  ;-)


Don't think so.

Democrats are just as fired up.

The fear the President won't be elected is palpable. The thought of any of the clown car occupants, from mittens to Paul to perry down to the very, very creepy Santorum, as the President of the United States is, and should be, terrifying to any rational person.

Same for the U.S. House, Senate, and all down ballot races. As well as State House, Senate, and every other position.

Republican obstruction has nearly caused a depression and has certainly derailed the recovery from the republican caused Bush recession of the past decade. Filibusters in the Senate, bullshit legislation like "defense of marriage", "mandatory prayer in school", eggmendment ruses. on and on,

Republicans routinely talk about how broken and dysfunctional government is. Then, when elected, they prove it, They show just how incompetent government, or "gummint", as the hillbilly half calls it. is.

Nobody buys the conservative con any more except the 34% that identify themselves as registered reds. The grift of trickle down, "job creators" and anti regulation has been figured out. 

 Why a millionaire would be a red is easy to figure.

But why anybody else would vote republican, against their own interests, their family's future, and against the very tenets of decency, is and always will be a mystery to me.,

Gary Rose
Gary Rose

Thank you Ryan and Michael for promoting this!! This is an issue that will decide whether our state is invaded by Federal Agents who will use MMJ like they did WMD in Iraq to completely topple our state!!!

Register republican, and find out when and where the caucus is for your precinct. Then, prepare yourself to nominate yourself as a delegate!!! This gets tricky so watch this video, it will teach you more about politics than 12 years of schooling ever did, in 5 minutes.



Why you would vote for a status quo politician, and vote against the US Constitution is beyond me.

How you think empowering tyrants and removing the provisions from our Constitution that protect us against them is not dangerous is beyond me.

How you somehow think that your family's future, the tents of decency, and your own interests will be still be something you can grasp next year, is beyond me.

Unless you vote Ron Paul, the only candidate who will protect the US Constitution, and begin the reversal of over 40 years of tyrannical, fascist Government that has all but destroyed this nation.

Or you can go find more stupid people to argue with because you feel like Obama , for some reason BEYOND ME, would EVER NEED YOU TO DEFEND HIM!!! 

Its called a CULT OF PERSONALITY, and you have fallen for it. Lets talk about the issues. How would you feel about China invading the USA and seizing all our property under a false pretext? Well what about the DEA then? We are Colorado!!!!!!!!!! 

Ron Paul 2012 


What you're doing with that nonsensical rant is called projection.

And you're the cult member, as well as a tool.

Ron Paul's history's a lot more telling than his eccentric spouting during these primaries.

And his understanding of the Constitution is really extreme. The fact you mentioned it squares with you never having read it, studied it, or thought about it until you heard Paul's crazy uncle like ravings.

But I can't help but appreciate the fact that Paul voters never really know who or what Paul is.. It's trendy, cool, and hip to say you're for Paul. His pro mj, anti foriegn conflict views are not only accurate, they resonate with over 50% of Americans. But his baggage as a truther, his ravings about the government secretly plotting to combine U.S and Mexican money into one currency, the secret 12 lane highway from Mexico to Canada he spouted about up to and untill Iowa, and his favoring the abolishment of the social safety net make him just another loon 

One thing's for sure though, Paul fits right in with the rest of the screwballs going for the red nomination.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Be interesting to see how Paul does in Colorado. Thanks for the post, Guesto.


"I got into army medicine probably subconsciously when I was still a kid. Because I saw some videos of WW2 and I always knew that I would probably be drafted one day, and I also knew that there was no way I could ever shoot anybody! I thought helping people would be a lot better for my psychology!!!"

Everything Ron Paul has ever said puts him in league with some of the most pure pacifists of the last 200 years!! He says shit Ghandi would say!!!



That's rhetoric, you know it. 


Well that sounds like a whole lot of apathy to me. 

Bush signed into law a complete withdrawal of troops by Dec 31 2011, Obama didn't really do anything to live up to his anti-war candidacy. Anti-War candidacy is still the most popular vote in the USA, and i'm sure the Liberal in you would like to vote that way too. 

Ron Paul is the only real anti-war candidate, we may ever see, because his campaign is bought and paid for by Military Vets, not Goldman Sachs. 



Nobody's in denial that Iraq was an idiotic venture or that the Patriot Act is an infringement on our civil liberties, but Paul won't be the red runner.

It was a republican president that hit Iraq, you know that. At least I hope you do.

Obama took over at a time when there were so many problems, it'll take 3 more 4 year terms to fix them. Yes, Obama's second and another 4 of a Democratic President, equipped with filibuster proof Senates and 400 plus Democratic House seats.

As Iraq wound down, as the Pentagon's budget's been slashed, as the size of government has continued to shrink, the job;less numbers have dropped, there have been plenty of things all of us are wishing could have been addressed.

But if you think a 77 year old Paul could have or would accomplish more than 44 the last 4 years, you're just uninformed, naive, and not paying attention to anything but campaign flyers.

It's easy to snipe, as you're doing. Complaining is a teabag way to go. But actual solutions?

He has none that are practically applicable, and as for his imaginary Patriot Act move?

A HUGE portion of the American economy is based on the "castle industrial complex". The republican party represents the castle industrial complex and Paul, despite the talk, would not go against them, no matter what he's telling you.

If Obama gets his Senate and House, which he will, you'll see an end to the Machiavellian elements of the Patriot Act

Eventually its' phasing out..

Be logical. Stop thinking in a small vacuum. The strains of the White House would be too much for any 77 year old guy. And a guy that's as wound up, hyper, over the top, reactionary and extreme as Paul is not suited for an adult job like President of the United States.

Stop ranting.


If you want to keep criticizing republicans only Ron Paul wants to allow you that freedom, Barack Obama won't repeal the Patriot Act. Do you value your freedom of speech? Do you value the 4th Amendment? 


Really so you don't think the NDAA is a threat to your families future? 

Ron Paul would protect you, from what Newt Gingrich would do to you, with the law Barack Obama just stuck you with. 

Ask the father of Anwar al-Awlaki what happened when the ACLU tried to stop the US Government from dropping a bomb on his house while his 16 year old son was inside...


Much love from a Ron Paul 2012 supporter. I understand your frustration brother.

Ron Paul 2012 

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