The early returns in 2013 were what actually spelled early trouble for Democrats in Colorado.
That was the year of our first recall. On the chopping block was Colorado state senate majority leader John Morse (Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (Pueblo). As the leadership of onerous new gun legislation laughed at town halls — a gleeful nod to Obama’s vigorous gun hatred combined with populism and ambivalence to limited government control — petitioners got to work.
The recall passed, Giron and Morse lost their seats in safe Democrat districts.
Exit polls showed that pro-gun democrats had been the ones to break ranks. Republicans smelled blood in the air.
This election, Republicans have been busy tying Obama’s unconstitutional agendas to every Democratic race. Much to the chagrin of incumbents up for re-election, the president himself has doubled down on his own hubris, saying his “policies are on the ballot.”
Funny enough, Colorado is now an all mail-in ballot state. So those policies have been voted on since October 14th. Here’s the overall returns so far:
TOTAL TURNOUT: 1,379,962
Obviously we won’t know for sure until election night, but it’s pretty clear where the momentum has shifted.
Below is my analysis for statewide and local offices in CO/Colorado Springs/El Paso County. I do not pretend to know every single candidate or race in detail, and I would not insult anyone’s intelligence by telling you how to vote.
However, if you are reading this on election day and you still have not decided, by all means go ahead and let me help decide for you. Anything I can do to help someone not paying attention to public affairs cast an informed vote is a benefit to everyone.
I predict Cory Gardner will win by a surprising margin (not double digits, but close to it) as the late news of Mark Udall’s hatred of male Colorado voters continues to percolate in the news (this is a joke, but not really). As someone who’s been caught voting 99% of the time with Obama policies, his rhetoric trying to divide women voters has created a spectacular backlash effect. Gardner has been one of the few candidates able to cut through this, supporting quite the libertarian mindset in proposing over the counter birth control policies for women. He’s been incredibly disciplined and cheerful on the campaign trail, a stark contrast to his opponent.
MY PICK: CORY GARDNER
House Congressional District 5
Doug Lamborn may face another, tougher primary from a serious and constituionally-minded challenger in 2016, but once again the safest Republican district in Colorado will remain red as he coasts to victory. His opponent, Air Force General Irv Halter, took to debating three people dressed in chicken suits when Lamborn decided such a debate could only hurt him. The real fight here happened in the primary.
MY PICK: DOUG LAMBORN
Bob Beauprez on the other hand has failed to inspire this election, viewed as many as a safe second choice against a fairly well-liked incumbent. This is surprising given John Hickenlooper’s anti-gun track record, cozy relations with President Obama (playing pool and drinking beer just months ago). Whatever political damage Obama has caused to Democrats, Hickenlooper has emerged relatively unscathed. Oddly enough, both have now turned tail on Amendment 64 (which could have been damaging to Hickenlooper since he signed it into law). Beauprez instead focused on the policy failures and economic issues, rightfully showing the failures of the incumbent. On the third party front, Libertarian Matt Hess has campaigned rather ineffectively and will likely fall well outside of the margin of difference between Beauprez/Hickenlooper. Expect pro-pot Independent Mike Dunafon to have a decent showing, after gaining public support from music artists Wycleff Jean and Snoop Dogg.
MY PICK: BOB BEAUPREZ
Colorado Secretary of State
I’m endorsing Wayne Williams to be Colorado’s next Secretary of State because he’s truly a public servant. In the time he’s served as El Paso County’s Clerk & Recorder, he’s transformed it into a shining example of service and efficiency for others to observe and follow. Williams has upheld the public trust in a manner I personally respect.
MY PICK: WAYNE WILLIAMS
I would have liked David K. Williams more had he hired a campaign manager. Similar to any other LP candidate I’ve ever voted for, the campaign is stillborn but the candidate is quality. Cynthia Coffman will likely win and appears to be quality as well. Fun story: one of our frequent contributors managed to get Coffman to admit that government is fiction.
MY PICK: WILLIAMS
I highly recommend checking out clearthebench.org, run by Matt Arnold for a full analysis. He’s done a superb job of explaining judges’ positions from a constitutional and professional point of view. Below is a list I’ve taken and put into three categories:
KEEP IN: BOATRIGHT, FOX, MCGAHEY JR.
KEEP OUT: RANDALL C. ARR, MARK RANDALL, ANN RAPPAPORT, BRISCOE, WILLIAM BAIN
COIN FLIP: JOHN MADDEN
As a libertarian, I don’t pretend to think I should apply my beliefs on other people’s conception fortunes. As a man, doubly so when the penalty for killing a fetus could now be jail time. This issue is complex and I will not be voting on it.
MY PICK: DK/RF
Aurora already has a racetrack and gaming, so it makes sense it should be allowed to expand its gambling. I hope that this kind of momentum will continue to expand legalized gambling to any establishment that wants to compete as well.
MY PICK: YES
School board meetings and union votes should all be public. Any publicly funded should also be open to the public.
MY PICK: YES
While it’s important to label things, the government usually mucks around and selectively enforces this against small businesses. The libertarian in me says “caveat emptor” and let the market decide winners.
MY PICK: NO
Surplus money should not be spent on parks, instead it should be put towards actual infrastructure needs. Colorado is one giant park as it is.
MY PICK: NO
We should take the money from 1A and give it to 1B. That makes too much sense, so instead we’re going to get reamed with the “rain tax” for 20 years and no oversight? Give me a break.
MY PICK: NO
Are you voting? Share your comments or prognostications in the comments below.