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Joe Biden, Donald Trump win Colorado primaries as 50,000 Dem voters choose “noncommitted”

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won Colorado’s presidential primaries in their respective parties Tuesday, further cementing the inevitable November faceoff of two men who battled on the same stage nearly four years ago.

The Associated Press called the Colorado races for both candidates less than an hour after polls closed. As of 6:07 p.m. Wednesday, Trump led the Republican primary field with 63% of votes to nearly 34% for his last remaining challenger, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, in statewide results.

RELATED: Super Tuesday live updates from races across the U.S.

In the Democratic primary, Biden led with about 83% of votes, followed by 8.9% — or more than 50,000 votes — for the “noncommitted delegate” option and 3.1% for U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota. The uncommitted share increased as later-cast ballots were counted in counties including Denver, which released its final unofficial results late Wednesday afternoon. Some of that option’s support has been driven by pro-Palestinian activists’ push for voters to protest Biden’s support for Israel during the Israel-Hamas war.

Colorado is one of 15 states — including the nation’s two most populous, California and Texas — that held primary contests on Super Tuesday.

The primary capped what has been an unusually quiet campaign season in the Centennial State, with a singular visit to metro Denver by Haley late last month marking the only visit by a major candidate this year. Voters received mail ballots in mid-February.

The Republican contest took place just a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Trump, the New York real estate tycoon who served a single term as president, could not be removed from the ballot in Colorado. The 9-0 ruling reversed a December decision by Colorado’s high court finding that Trump was ineligible to run for president because his actions around the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, amounted to insurrection under the 14th Amendment.

At stake in Colorado’s primaries are 37 delegates to the Republican National Convention and 72 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The state’s primary results Tuesday showed lingering support for several candidates who dropped out earlier in the campaign, including Democrat Marianne Williamson and Republican Ron DeSantis, who garnered vote shares in the low single digits.

The state’s primaries for other races, including state legislative seats and Congress, are set for June 25.

Before Tuesday, Trump had coasted through eight states, notching victories in each — including Haley’s home state, South Carolina. Haley on Sunday won her first primary contest against Trump, in Washington, D.C.

Despite Trump’s dominance on Colorado’s GOP ballot Tuesday, Haley was on track to win seven counties in the state — all of them with a politically left tilt. Counties preferring Haley included Pitkin, Boulder, Denver and San Miguel.

Biden has had a solid showing during the Democratic nominating process thus far, though more than 100,000 Michigan voters on Feb. 27 broke from near-unanimous support for the incumbent by checking off the “uncommitted” line on the Democratic primary ballot.

More than 13% of primary voters in Michigan chose “uncommitted.” Many of those votes were driven by opposition to American support for Israel in that country’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Israel acted in response to Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7, which killed about 1,200 people and resulted in the taking of 250 hostages.

A similar protest-vote campaign was launched in Colorado late last week ahead of Tuesday’s primary, which unlike Colorado Democrats’ 2020 primary included the noncommitted delegate option.

Like the candidates, that option must clear a 15% threshold statewide or within congressional districts to qualify for a portion of delegates to the Democratic convention. Any uncommitted delegates selected would not be able to participate in the first round of voting but would be able to take part in a second round if Biden were to fail to secure a majority.

This year is the second presidential election cycle in which unaffiliated voters in Colorado could participate in the major-party primary of their choosing.

Not on either ballot was Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who initially had signaled he would run as a Democrat but is now an independent. He made a stop in Denver over the weekend as he tries to qualify for the November ballot.

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