Thursday, June 30, 2022

Turnout Low and More Votes in Republican Primary

Credit: KOA
As opposed to the 2018 primary when more votes went to the Democratic candidates, the Republicans dominated the turnout in 2022 when they had the competitive primaries. It was also a quieter political year. Turnout dropped from 37 percent to 31 percent.

In 2018, 1.1 million voted, with 637,000 in the Democratic primary for governor (Jared Polis won), the top vote-getting race, and 503,000 voted for the Republican gubernatorial candidates (Walker Stapleton won). Today, the total vote with about 99 percent counted is the nearly the same at 1.2 million in spite of 500,000 more registered voters (3.3 to 3.8 million). The Republican primary attracted more voters (617,000 to 497,000).

High Unaffiliated Voter Turnout in Republican Primary

Unaffiliated voters broke two records – one for total turnout, 100,000 more than 2018, and another for voting in the Republican primary.

In 2018, 290,000 unaffiliated voted, with about two-thirds (200,000) voting in the Democratic primary and 90,000, or one-third of the total voting Republican. This year, 400,000 voted. It was 41 percent voted Republican and 30 percent Democratic.

Closest Race in State

The closest race in the Colorado primary was House District 6 in central Denver, expanding east along Colfax. Progressive Elisabeth Epps has won with 7,460 votes, defeating centrist Katie March with 7,087, with few votes left to count.

The race received extensive coverage as an example of the struggle in the Democratic Party between its progressive wing and more moderate forces. The district contest was also seen as a prelude to next year’s mayor’s race as Mayor Hancock retires.

Read: Crime, A Democratic Party Conflict. Denver Legislative and Mayor’s Races.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Battle for Soul of Party – 2020 Election Deniers Soundly Rejected

Credit: KOA
In a June 22 KOA interview with Marty Lenz, the June 28 Republican primaries were described as a battle for the soul of the party. 

I pointed out that the November election is likely to be a good year for Republican candidates, and primary voters are being asked: Do you want the strongest candidate to appeal to Colorado unaffiliated and swing voters or the loudest candidate to express your grievance with the 2020 election?

In the Senate, gubernatorial, and Secretary of State races, high-profile election denier candidates lost the Republican Party primary after winning the state convention’s top positions: Ron Hanks (Senate), Greg Lopez (Governor) and Tina Peters (Secretary of State). Donald Trump and his 2020 election denial is a losing position among Colorado Republicans. The party will field its establishment-endorsed and supported ticket for November. 

Democrats’ Intervention in Republican Primary Fails

The Democratic Party and associated groups entered the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, governor, Secretary of State and the new 8th Congressional District to promote the most conservative candidate, which they believed would be the easiest to defeat in November. Their advertisement theme was “too conservative to Colorado” in an effort to stir up the Republican base voters. They wasted their money – election deniers lost and the more moderate establishment candidates won.

  • Senate – Ron Hanks lost
  • Governor – Greg Lopez lost
  • Secretary of State – Tina Peters lost
  • 8th Congressional District – Lori Saine lost

In a KOA radio interview with Marty Lenz, I pointed out that the Democrats’ effort came under considerable criticism for being unethical, counterproductive to their values and ineffective. The ads are fundamentally deceptive to the voters; with an attempt to manipulate Republican turnout, they disparaged democratic values the Democrats claim to want to protect; and they were counterproductive in that they gave the non-election denier candidate some additional publicity, a target to attack and a bit of sympathy. The strategy wasted funds and failed across-the-board. Mostly, they embarrassed the party and hurt its reputation.

Ron Hanks, Tina Peters and Greg Lopez

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Late Votes Shift Lead to Bass in LA. Will Progressives Deliver in November?

The early results gave Rick Caruso a 5-point lead on Karen Bass (42% to 37% reported June 8, 2:00 am). The final poll completed on Tuesday, May 31, and published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, June 5, gave Congressperson Bass a 6-point lead over Caruso. The last IGS poll said 30 percent were undecided and Bass led 38 percent to 32 percent for Caruso.

The results, with just 74,000 votes left to count in California’s very slow system, is now Bass 43 percent to Caruso 36 percent, or a 7-point lead, very near the IGS poll. The late vote across other city races favored the more “progressive” candidates.

The question now becomes: Will the “progressive” vote and viewpoint of the issues remain dominant to November 8?

Karen Bass speaks at her election night party,
June 7, 2022 | Christina House/Los Angeles Times

Read:

LA Mayor’s Race: Does Bass Have Advantage in Runoff?

Caruso Takes the Lead In LA – Race to November: Crime and Homelessness or Abortion and Partisanship?

LA Mayor’s Race Still a Battle between Caruso and Bass

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Colorado Congressional Battlegrounds

Three Colorado congressionals are worth watching in 2022 by University of Virginia Crystal Ball House ratings. Lauren Boebert in the 3rd Congressional District is rated “likely” Republican. But, it is Boebert’s first re-election and she has a primary opponent. She has a flair for conservative grievance politics, a huge war chest and a lot of fight. But, she operates on the edge of norms and attracts controversy, so there could be a surprise. Still, it is very hard to see her losing at this point. As suggested in a previous blog, she should even win old-time Democratic stronghold Pueblo.

A newly configured, but still Democratic-leaning district, the 7th, is now an open seat due to Congressperson Ed Perlmutter’s retirement. Democrats, in their usual fashion for winnable seats, skipped the primary and nominated State Senator Brittany Pettersen. The only drama is in the Republican primary with three candidates, including a collection of election deniers. If the Republicans can nominate a capable candidate, this will likely be a competitive race, especially if the Blue Wave is big enough. It will be an expensive race. Pettersen has as of March 31 raised $565,000. The Republican money frontrunner is Tim Reichert with $539,000, Erik Aadland has $393,000 and Laurel Imer trails with $72,000.

The seat Republicans should win, if they can nominate a strong candidate, is the newly created 8th district. It is rated a “toss-up” by the Crystal Ball. Again, the Democrats nominated without a primary, State Representative Yadira Caraveo. The Republicans have a powerful fight between State Senator and former Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, Weld County Commissioner and former State Representative Lori Saine, and businessperson Tyler Allcorn.

All four candidates have raised more than $200,000 each, with Kulmann $392,000, Allcorn $306,000, Kirkmeyer $248,000 and Saine $243,000 in an end of March finance report.

Monday, June 20, 2022

OC Democrats Are Happy to Split Their Districts Between Counties

South Orange County has a couple of highly contested districts – one congressional, one state assembly – that are split between Orange and San Diego counties. The good news for Democrats is that the San Diego part of their district is much more Democratic in voting preference than the Orange County sections.

A good example is Democratic incumbent Mike Levin’s 49th Congressional District. In the June 6 primary, there were 121,000 votes in San Diego County and Levin received 53 percent, or 63,000. In Orange County, 67,000 voted and he only received 44 percent, or 29,000 votes. San Diego provided the boost that got him to a 50-percent average districtwide. His Republican opponent will be Brian Maryott, who ran against him in 2020.

Democrat Chris Duncan in the 74th Assembly District has a much more difficult path. He only received 42 percent, or 24,000 votes in Orange County (57,000 voted). In the San Diego County part of the district, he won 28,000, or 50 percent out of 55,000 votes. Better, but producing only a districtwide average of 46 percent against his opponent, Laurie Davies, on the primary ballot.

Read: OC Congressional Race Results – The Battlegrounds