What does the Colorado ruling mean for November's presidential election?

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The short answer is: it's too early to tell.

The Colorado Supreme Court's decision to disqualify former President Donald J. Trump from the state's Republican presidential primary ballot will almost certainly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Trump campaign has already promised to do so.

He and his allies have expressed confidence that a potential ruling would be in their favor, as three of the Supreme Court's six conservative justices were nominated under his administration. If the court took up the case, the decision would likely determine Trump's election eligibility in all 50 states.

The decision in Colorado alone would likely have little effect on the electoral map: The state awards just nine Electoral College votes and has been won by Democratic presidential candidates in the last four general elections, with Joseph R. Biden Jr. winning in 2020 for the majority. margin of those four, with 55.4 percent of the votes.

But if the court's decision is upheld, it could set a precedent allowing other states, including potentially more competitive ones, to similarly invoke the 14th Amendment.

The court's ruling as it stands would force Colorado's Secretary of State to exclude Trump from the state's presidential primary ballot. Those primaries will take place on March 5, also known as Super Tuesday, because a large number of other states also hold their primaries at that time.

Tuesday's ruling does not directly address the general election. But the legal argument — that Trump participated in an insurrection and is therefore disqualified from running for office — could reasonably be expected to extend to the general election if the state Supreme Court were to take up a separate case related to it.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidates will again be pressured to weigh in on the legal troubles of their primary opponent, who remains the overwhelming favorite for the presidency among GOP primary voters.



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