USA TODAY takes a close look Larimer County, Colorado, which is home to Fort Collins and representative of unaffiliated millennials .
Larimer County, home of Fort Collins, has picked the eventual winner in every presidential election except one since 1980. It splits party affiliation: Among locals, it’s been called the rule of thirds — one-third Republican, one-third Democrat and one-third unaffiliated with any political party. The divide deepens in the younger generation.
Among Colorado voters ages 26-40, 44% are unaffiliated with any political party. For those 25 and younger, it grows to 48.4%, according to data from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
During the presidential caucuses earlier this year, Democrat Bernie Sanders’ campaign fired up the youth bloc in Colorado. But his loss — and what Colorado State University political science professor Kyle Saunders characterizes as a less-than-full-throated endorsement of Clinton — leaves allegiances fragmented as the election nears.
Saunders said high negatives for the t
The USA TODAY Network is spending time in eight counties in eight states, exploring the key electoral themes that could decide this fall’s election. Each week from now until the election, we will feature a different one.