In keeping with statewide results out of Tuesday night's Colorado caucuses, Cary Kennedy bested Boulderite Jared Polis in the Boulder County Democratic Party's gubernatorial preference poll.

The state Republican Party holds no such preference poll to assign delegates, but some counties, including Boulder, took straw poll votes that indicated the levels of support for various candidates.

In Boulder County, the straw poll wasn't close, with Treasurer Walker Stapleton claiming 61 percent of the vote, followed by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in a distant second, at 20 percent.

Across Colorado, Kennedy, the former state treasurer, won 50 percent of the vote, according to Wednesday totals with 96 percent of precincts reported. Polis, the U.S. representative and Boulder resident, took home 33 percent, and former state Sen. Mike Johnston grabbed 9 percent.

Noel Ginsburg, a first-time candidate and entrepreneur, received 2 percent of the vote, and 6 percent of voters did not commit to a candidate. Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, another top Democratic challenger, did not participate.

The combination shows the race is far from settled and reaffirms that the caucus is not a reliable indicator of which candidate will win the June party primary.


The preference poll is designed to allocate delegates to the county assemblies. Kennedy is the only candidate solely using the caucus process to qualify for the ballot; the others are collecting voter signatures to earn a spot.

In Boulder County, Kennedy won 382 delegates, Polis won 308 and 84 went to other candidates or went uncommitted, the county Democrats said.

The county assemblies will take another straw poll, and the delegates are not bound to a campaign, meaning Kennedy must continue to build support ahead of the April state assembly, where she needs to capture 30 percent of the vote to secure a place in the primary.

"I am so grateful for the incredible showing of support. I could feel the momentum building as I traveled the state," Kennedy said in a statement.

Polis is considered a front-runner and favorite among liberal activists, but some are questioning his mixed record on guns and energy development.

In an interview before the caucus, Polis said he is striving to reach the same threshold at the state assembly to qualify for the race.

"We always view it as an organizing tool and a way to get my name on the ballot," he said.

Statewide, just 2 percent of registered Democrats turned out to caucus on Tuesday. The Boulder County Democratic Party had hoped for participation from 10,000 people, and instead saw about one-third of that.

The Denver Post contributed to this report.

Alex Burness: 303-473-1389, or