Josh Kraushaar in the National Journal:
Obama hit a new low in job approval in Colorado in this month’s Quinnipiac survey, at a miserable 37 percent. Gallup found the president’s yearlong approval rating below the national average, at 42 percent, 4 points worse than his showing in the Old Dominion and 9 points below what he won in 2012. Sen. Mark Udall, despite having a famous last name, is struggling to pass 45 percent support against a bunch of second-tier opponents. He has awkwardly dodged questions about whether he’d welcome an Obama campaign appearance. Even Hillary Clinton would lose to Paul Ryan in a (very) hypothetical 2016 matchup, according to Quinnipiac.
Within the state, the Democratic problems stem from an ambitious liberal agenda pushed through by an ascendant legislative majority. Colorado was one of the rare swing states where the Legislature passed universal background checks for gun purchases and ammunition magazine limitations in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. The backlash has been severe, particularly outside the state’s urban centers, leading to successful recalls of two Democratic state senators and the resignation of another. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed bills allowing for driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants and dropped in the polls—proof positive that liberalizing immigration policies isn’t a win-win issue, even for a Democrat.
The rank and file GOP has done good grassroots work here, winning local recall elections, but at the state level the party is still sucking hind teat to the Democrats. The fact that an empty (and corrupt) suit like Udall still can’t draw a first-rate GOP opponent speaks volumes about the party’s deep troubles.