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Turning Colorado Red Again

July 22nd, 2014 - 10:40 am

The headline isn’t quite accurate because Colorado was never really red. Our politics have always tended towards hardcore conservative Republicans and deeply weird (Richard Lamm, Gary Hart) Democrats. And the occasional outlier, too — Colorado voters went for Ross Perot by a bigger margin than any other state. Twice. But the GOP has been in Circular Firing Squad Mode for nearly a decade, and our state Democrats have undergone a major shift to the left. So with all that in mind, read this RCP report on our off-year election:

The election will also be a test of lessons learned by the party, locally and nationally. The GOP was dealt a blow in Colorado four years ago by Ken Buck, whose series of incendiary gaffes cost the party a Senate seat in one of the most favorable climates for a pickup. Republicans believe they have avoided that risk this year with Cory Gardner, a young and charismatic congressman from the conservative 4th Congressional District whose entrance into the race cleared the GOP field.

There’s a lot riding on him. While Republicans don’t necessarily have to win Colorado to take control of the U.S. Senate, a victory there is viewed as integral to the party’s hopes in 2016.

Wadhams said that if Republicans don’t win the Senate seat, or at least the gubernatorial race, “in a year like this, with a tired, beleaguered incumbent, when the issues are with us … my question is — and I’ve lived in Colorado all my life — when are we going to be able to win again?”

Good question. I might have an answer for you in November.


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All Comments   (2)
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Colorado Republicans will win either when the Democrats can't muster enough cheating or when the GOP cleans up the corruption that sets in around Democrats.

The resources might be spread too thin to cheat sufficiently in November. They'll want to be focusing on really key areas and may or may not focus on Colorado, depending. But I fear the Democratic party has an easy time finding sufficient resources when it just needs to secure one giant concerted election. I've got Colorado colored "possible" in November and "longshot" in 2016 on that basis.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stephen, color me skeptical.

I agree that the Colorado GOP is looking better than they have in some time - particularly since, as you say, they seem to have abandoned the circular firing squad formation they've been in since Bill Owens left the Governor's mansion.

But there are two factors that might squeak out a win for Hickenlooper and Udall:

1) Bob Beauprez is kind of bland. I'm hoping he can spark himself up and show more animation, more engagement than when he lost to Bill Ritter. We'll see.

2) Cory Gardner is promising but from what (admittedly) little I've read of him he tends to wear his religion on his sleeve, which may motivate some folks but will turn off others.

Also, both candidates have to play well enough in the Western Slope, the Eastern Plains and the Arkansas Valley to overcome the deep blue Denver/Boulder Axis. I'm hoping they can but in the twenty-five years I've lived in Colorado I've only seen that indicator swing one direction - towards the Axis.

Which is one of many reasons Mrs. Animal's and my retirement plans include a move to Alaska.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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