Thursday, May 8, 2014

Divided Colorado Democratic Party

A division in the Colorado Democratic Party offers the first local threat to its dominance of Colorado
Gov. John Hickenlooper
politics since 2006. An important part of the success of Colorado Democrats has been their ability to avoid primaries and issues that could leave them bitterly divided and unable to unite on Election Day.

Fracking may be the issue to crack the Democratic Party unity and produce a general election where leading candidates, John Hickenlooper and possibly Mark Udall, cannot unite a strongly divided Democratic Party.

“The Democratic party is particularly vulnerable because it is highly divided,” said 9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli.
Hickenlooper is among establishment Democrats who are supportive of the oil and gas industry, while grassroots environmentalists want to curb fracking.
A prominent ballot question on the issue could pose a threat to Hickenlooper among voters in the Democratic base who oppose oil and gas development.
“The governor could be criticized during much of the campaign for being on the wrong side of that issue,” said 9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “He could potentially lose environmental votes and front range votes.
The party desperately wants a compromise to reduce the full tension, but after a week of negotiations with essentially itself, Democrats failed to agree.

From the point of view of a large bloc of Democrats, the party leadership is on the wrong side of the fracking issue, and that conflict will be front and center on the November ballot in a multi- and million-dollar campaign.

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