Similar to the fracking initiatives of 2014 sponsored by environmentalists and wealthy activists, most of the Colorado Democratic establishment and the business community are fighting single-payer. Democrats up for election in 2014, such as Mark Udall and John Hickenlooper, feared it would divide the party and cause a high-profile argument in the media among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters during the fall campaigns.
The single-payer initiative has the same potential with the added detriment of highlighting Obamacare, which is still disliked by a majority of the public and passionately by the Republican base.
The Democratic presidential candidates are also divided on the issue, with Hillary Clinton favoring improvements to the Affordable Care Act and Bernie Sanders wanting to scrap it (he claims amend it) for a single-payer system.
Longtime independent Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli calls it a “family feud.” He says the establishment in both parties is being challenged by outsiders with energized followers who are frustrated with the status quo.
“Between the Clinton and establishment wing of the party versus the Sanders, liberal, youth wing of the party, there are some real tensions and difference and it plays out in single-payer,” he said.
He says the question is how deep and lasting the rift could be. Especially since in the general election, Colorado is a key swing state.Read more on the story at CPR here