Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Obama Takes Down the Democratic Ticket

Barack Obama won Colorado’s electoral vote twice, most recently by five points, but today his dismal approval rating and failed health care rollout is taking down the entire Democratic ticket. Senator Mark Udall and Governor John Hickenlooper are both at low points in their career approval ratings as they begin their re-election campaigns.

But, Obama’s 15 point negative approval is even dragging down the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. In a hypothetical match-up with Governor Chris Christie, she now loses Colorado by 6 points, her lowest point this year.

Two takeaways from the latest polls: First, the Washington D.C. contest to produce the worst policy in the American peoples’ view has pushed voters to the edge. If they had a choice of “none of the above,” it would do very well.
Second, there is no doubt that, as of today, Colorado is a battleground state.

Voters Don’t Like Recalls, But Many Like the Results

In the extraordinary Colorado politics of 2013, two Democratic state legislators, including the State Senate President, were recalled by angry voters. But when voters statewide are asked if they approve of recalling a person for political disagreements, voters stated they prefer to defeat the person in a regular election (36% favor recall and 57% wait for re-election).

However, in a recent Denver metro poll, voters were closely divided as to their support for the removal of the two state senators last September (39% favor, 35% oppose, 26% no opinion/don’t know).

And when statewide voters in the same Quinnipiac survey were asked if another Democratic legislator, Evie Hudak, should be recalled, 38 percent said yes and 49 percent no. But among the 38 percent who said recall, 60 percent of Republicans said yes, and if they are well-represented in her legislative district in a low turnout election, they can prevail.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fracking Loses Cities, Wins the State

Fracking may have been banned by voters in five North Front Range Colorado cities (mostly moratoriums, one vote in a recount), but when voters statewide were asked if they support or oppose it, 51 percent said support and 34 percent oppose in a new poll by Quinnipiac University (1,206 voters, Nov. 2013).

Republicans overwhelming support it; Democrats oppose, but only two-to-one; and independents are near the statewide percentage.
This poll offers good news for Governor Hickenlooper. His is anxious to reach a compromise on fracking rules and regulations to remove it as an issue next year. Its lack of support will help him by encouraging environmentalists to compromise since they lack a statewide majority.
As reported in 9 News: 
Ciruli thinks the governor genuinely thinks more regulation is the best policy, but there are politics behind this announcement that can't be ignored.
Oil and gas has been making a splash as a political issue in the state, with voters passing four local-level ballot questions aimed at banning or delaying approval of new drilling operations.
The governor doesn't want this to be a statewide issue when he's up for re-election next year.
“Nothing would be more difficult for him to be a fracking advocate at the same time that many citizens and certainly the environmental movement were actively backing a ban,” Ciruli said.
9News: Politics meets policy in Hickenlooper’s air pollution proposal

Kopp May Be Strongest Opponent to Hickenlooper

The latest Quinnipiac poll confirms that John Hickenlooper has only a modest advantage against the Republican field in his re-election, and former State Senator Mike Kopp may be the strongest opponent.

Kopp had the narrowest point spread and holds Hickenlooper to 44 percent.
Kopp’s strength is that he only loses 5 percent of Republicans. Tancredo loses 11 percent of Republicans, and Gessler and Brophy lose 7 percent each.
Kopp was the newest addition to the field and has low name identification. In his announcement and early debates, he avoided attacking, and although he’s as conservative as his fellow Republicans, he left a bit of room to maneuver.
The key to the race is for a Republican to motivate his base, but not alienate moderate Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Denver Metro Economy Slows

The Denver metro economy is increasing at half the pace of last year. As of September, retail sales, as measured by sales tax collections, have increased 3.3 percent over September 2012. Retail sales grew 8.8 percent in 2012.

A recent business study confirms the slower growth when it reported that the region’s “gross domestic product” (value of all goods and services produced) was down to 2 percent this year from 2.5 percent last year.

The stock market, of course, has ignored the economy and boomed. It broke an intraday high of 16,000 this week, and is up 22 percent since January.

Hickenlooper Still Vulnerable

After Governor Hickenlooper received favorable media coverage from his activism during the state’s response to the recent floods in the North Front Range, it was assumed his approval rating might recover from a steep decline measured last summer. But, he’s still below 50 percent, about 14 points below his approval rating taken by the same polling firm in fall 2012.

Any positive media coverage from the floods may have been countered by the crushing loss he suffered in the defeat of the billion-dollar tax increase, Amendment 66, this November.

If 2014 is a bad Democratic year based on President Obama’s sinking approval, Hickenlooper will be in an even more difficult position than he was in 2010. Although it was a bad Democratic year, Hickenlooper had a high favorability, few controversies and a totally fractured Republican Party.

The Buzz: A vulnerable governor
The Buzz: Hickenlooper looking for a bigger win
The Buzz: Hickenlooper’s approval drops 15 points since last fall
Quinnipiac poll: Colorado gov has early lead in reelect bid

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Colorado Ready for Third Party?

With more than a third of its voters unaffiliated with a political party, Colorado has been more hospitable to third party candidates than most states.
Ross Perot
Ross Perot gained 23 percent of the vote in Colorado in 1992, above his national average of 19 percent and tossing the state to Democrat Bill Clinton (Clinton 40%, G.H.W. Bush 36%). He was mostly positioned on the right as a populist, highlighting the federal deficit.

John Anderson, a moderate progressive Republican, contrasted with Ronald Reagan in 1980 and gained 11 percent in Colorado, well-above his national average of 6.6 percent. It was his sixth best state, but Reagan won Colorado and the presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt, who came in second in the 1912 election ahead of President Taft, won 27 percent of Colorado’s vote and 17 percent nationally. He was the most successful third party candidate in the nation’s history.
Theodore Roosevelt
Colorado’s electoral votes (3) were actually captured once by a third party populist. In 1892, James Weaver received 57 percent of the popular vote (the winner Grover Cleveland wasn’t on the Colorado ballot) and 22 electoral votes (he also carried Idaho, Kansas, Nevada and North Dakota).
Governor Dick Lamm, who was never comfortable in the Democratic Party (fiscally conservative and socially conservative on a few issues, but an environmentalist committed to limited growth and abortion rights). Although he remained a Democrat in his three terms as governor, in 1996 he ran for the nomination of Reform Party. Ross Perot decided to run again and eliminated Lamm.
Most recently, Tom Tancredo ran on the American Constitution Party label and received 36 percent of the vote for governor in 2010.
Could a third party candidate in either Colorado or nationally become viable in the current polarized and gridlocked political environment?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It’s Really “Pelosicare”

Although President Obama is ultimately responsible of the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it was drafted in 2009 by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her House Committee colleagues, especially her loyal California caucus members George Miller and Henry Waxman.

The 1,900 plus-page act was weaved together from odd bits of health care legislation and ideas that Congress and especially Democrats had been considering for years, some at least since Hillary Clinton’s failed effort in 1994.

At least one reason Pelosi has remained Minority Leader after the failed effort to retake the House in 2012 was to guard against either Republicans’ efforts to repeal or defund the Act and Obama’s inclination to modify it in light of pending implementation problems. Thus, Pelosi and her House colleagues share responsibility for today’s problems.

Not only is her signature piece of legislation in danger of political collapse, but it may become a significant political drag on Democrats in the 2014 election and the primary cause of her never regaining the Speakership.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When do Colorado Democrats Panic?

Vulnerable Democratic senators and congresspersons from around the country have begun to panic. They are introducing bills to delay or modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduction.
Democratic senate incumbents in competitive states are especially criticizing the implementation of Obamacare as they watch their approval levels decline. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina have been the loudest.

Democrat Seats At Risk
Mark Begich, AK
Mary Landrieu, LA
Kay Hagan, NC
Mark Pryor, AR
Max Baucus, MT
Jay Rockefeller, WV
Tim Johnson, SD

Colorado’s most vulnerable federal politician is Senator Mark Udall, who voted for Obamacare and is up for re-election in 2014. He has introduced a bill to maintain the insurance of persons who have lost it due to ACA’s impact on the rules and regulations.

In response to the Democrats’ revolt, President Obama has begun his own modifications of the ACA. It may be too little, too late. Udall’s vulnerability will mostly be a product of Obamacare’s ongoing problems –failed technology, inadequate signup, cancelling current policies and more expensive coverage, and angry constituents.

Denver Post: Colorado’s House, Senate Democrats stay loyal to Obama and Obamacare
Washington Post: Obama approval rating drops – November 2013 Post-ABC poll

Monday, November 18, 2013

Losing His Legacy

President Obama is about to lose his legacy due to his fumbled rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

There is irony in the collapse of support as Obama has been absolutely rigid in arguing the Act couldn’t be modified or delayed, but now to salvage it, he must delay, modify and apologize. His four years of intransigence contributed to the problem. His newly found flexibility is unlikely to improve peoples’ views of him or support for ACA.

His overall approval rating is now below 40 percent and approval of handling of health care only 37 percent. And, support for the ACA, which was never above 50 percent, is now 15 points in negative territory and moving down.

Accelerating the slide is peoples’ longstanding negative expectations and lack of confidence the program was going to be helpful. A Colorado health care poll in September of this year showed Coloradans disapproved of it overwhelmingly (52% to 33%).
Not only has Obamacare become much less likely to be a legacy and more likely a long lingering conflict in American politics, but for the President, Obamacare has become a combination of Katrina and a War in Iraq as he approaches the 2014 midterm.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obama Losing Support on Obamacare

The torrent of bad news about the Affordable Care Act is beginning to rapidly move public opinion against President Obama.

The latest Pew Research poll shows a 22-point spread between approval of Obama’s handling of health care and disapproval.

Opinion has shifted rapidly since September and continues to collapse.

His repeated claim that no one loses their coverage if they want to keep it is being belied daily by local headlines of lost coverage. A new Quinnipiac poll shows that people find him untrustworthy and dishonest by 44 percent to 52 percent. His approval rating is collapsing and dropped below 40 percent (39%), with 54 percent disapproval.

Unless Obama can stop the slide, he will completely lose his clout on any second-term agenda items (immigration), lose leverage in the budget negotiations (which he expected to dominate), and begin to watch vulnerable 2014 Democrats break ranks.

Wall Street Journal: Trust in Obama plunges in new poll

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two-Thirds of Americans Believe in Global Warming and Support Keystone Pipeline

To the ongoing frustration of environmental interest groups, the American public accepts the theory of global warming, but also supports building the Keystone Pipeline.

A couple of new Pew Research national polls (Sept. 26 and Nov. 1, 2013) show that the policy conundrum exists for extreme elements of both parties. Democrats have to deal with their environmental wing, which commands money (billionaires and millions in contributions) and publicity (movie stars), who promote the most extreme versions of cap and trade and want the Keystone Pipeline permanently stopped.

For these activists, hydrocarbons are an evil and there is not bridge to renewables, such as natural gas. They are not interested in bridges. They want punitive measures now against coal and the new issue du jour, “fracking.”

And while 84 percent of Democratic Party adherents sign off on “solid evidence the earth is warming,” only 43 percent oppose construction of the pipeline and a majority (51%) favor building it.

But, the Republican Party also faces internal divisions on energy beliefs and policy outcomes. Although only 46 percent of the party believes in global warming, there is a significant split between the Tea Party adherents of whom only a quarter (25%) accept the notion vs. 61 percent of non-Tea Party Republicans. The party is united in support for building the pipeline (82%).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hickenlooper and the Energy Divide

Tuesday’s election highlighted the energy divide in Colorado. A majority of Front Range cities considering a fracking moratorium or ban adopted them and, although not all northeast counties voted to secede (5 out of 10), the protest continues and a significant issue is their economy is benefitted by gas and oil. They oppose fracking bans and resist paying for Democrats’ preference for wind and solar energy. In an interview with the New York Times, the political importance of the election was described:
“It’s an important vote,” said Floyd Ciruli, a pollster and political analyst whose Denver firm advises clients on how to marshal public support for initiatives. “People here are concerned about the real impact of fracking — the effect on the air, the noise, the dust, contaminated groundwater.”
Mr. Ciruli said the approved measures were likely to prompt state legislators and Mr. Hickenlooper to consider tightening regulation of the shale gas industry, in part to blunt future efforts by antifracking groups to expand bans or moratoriums. (Michael Wines, NYT, 11-7-13)
Governor Hickenlooper supports the gas and oil industry and believes from his scientific background that fracking is not dangerous to groundwater or other claims made against it. He has tried to appease his environmental base in the Democratic Party with renewable legislation and stronger state regulations on fracking. To rural voters, Hickenlooper offers opposition to fracking bans. Neither group is very happy with him.

Hickenlooper is not alone among his fellow Democratic governors and senators in dealing with a country highly divided on energy policy. Pew Research reports that there is growing support for the more liberal positions on energy policy. The shift is largely a reflection of Democrats getting on board. One exception is the Keystone Pipeline, which has even Democratic support for building. But, on restrictions related to coal, nuclear power and fracking, support has recently increased. However, on policy questions, there is significant partisan disagreement.
  • 65% support building the Keystone Pipeline (51% Democrats, 82% Republicans)
  • 58% support increased offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters
  • 38% favor increased use of nuclear power (58% opposed)
  • 65% like limits on emissions from power plants (74% Democrats, 52% Republicans)
  • 44% favor increased use of fracking for gas and oil drilling (49% oppose)
  • 58% rate alternative power sources more important than expanding traditional energy sources; i.e., wind and solar vs. oil, coal and gas
Pew Research: Continues Support for Keystone XL Pipeline
New York Times: Colorado cities’ rejection of fracking poses political test for natural gas industry

Monday, November 11, 2013

Denver Post Editorial Hits the Mark

legislation, deciding the tax amount and structure, the signature effort and the ballot campaign, the Denver Post provided editorial support. It endorsed the initiative on October 6, albeit it was weak, criticizing the excessive tax level and union deceit (supporting the tax, opposing the reforms).

On October 8, Vince Carroll offered his analysis of the difficulty Amendment 66 was facing in a likely lower turnout election with a massive tax increase in a state with a long history of saying no to new state taxes.

But after the defeat, the Post’s post-election editorial hit the mark, citing the high price tag of the proposal, the still sluggish economy, poor reputation of education bureaucracy, and the lavish but ineffectual campaign.

What’s next in the Post’s view is to keep the reforms and be creative on how to fund them. But, appropriately, they were skeptical that another version of Amendment 66 was possible.

The Buzz: Denver Post endorsement of Amendment 66 weak
The Buzz: Vincent Carroll sees “tough sell” for billion-dollar school tax increase
The Buzz: Organized labor all in for Amendment 66
Denver Post Editorial: Amendment 66: a $1 billion bust

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Win Two – Lose 62

Amendment 66 only carried two counties in the entire state, Boulder, which votes for every liberal proposition offered to it, and Denver – the new definition of overreach.

But, it lost Democratic stalwarts, such as Conejos and Costilla. In fact, it lost the entire Valley, counties that would have allegedly benefitted from the tax revenue.  It lost Democratic Pueblo more than two-to-one. Obviously, a lot of Democrats voted against it. It also lost Arapahoe and Jefferson, Denver metro swing counties that Democrats have been winning lately. Even liberal strongholds, such as Pitkin and San Miguel, rejected it.

A comparison of the results of Amendment 66 with Proposition 103, which was defeated by a similar margin in 2011, shows the same voting pattern with a few differences. For example, Boulder’s own Senator Rollie Heath did better there [in his hometown] with his Proposition 103 than did Amendment 66. Heath lost Denver in 2011. In Tuesday’s election, Douglas County appeared to especially dislike Amendment 66 (7-point spread), no doubt a reflection of high Republican turnout due to the contested school board race.

However, the main difference between 2011 and today is that Senator Heath, who is famous for getting about a third of Colorado voters to support his candidacy and his initiatives, had a few hundred thousand dollars in 2011 and Amendment 66 spent $10 million.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Governor Hickenlooper and the public education establishment were crushed two-to-one by voters unwilling to raise their income taxes to provide billions to K-12 education.

Amendment 66 was not beaten by a better campaign. In fact, opponents had no real campaign. This vote was the collective will of Colorado voters saying no to the proposal and more state taxes.

Just two years ago, voters defeated a less expensive school funding proposal by the same two-to-one margin. The main difference is that Senator Rollie Heath campaigned with a few hundred thousand dollars in 2011. Hickenlooper and allies spent – or wasted - $10 million dollars.

Amendment 66 was:
  • Too burdensome. The real cost for the average voter would have been $200 or more per year.
  • Too hostile to business. The split tax was a major burden on small businesses and upper-income professionals.
  • Too rich. The billions for schools was seen as excessive and not for desperate needs, but add-ons and extras.
  • Too little reform. Not only was the complex reform proposal judged modest by many, but the union allies made it clear they would fight it every step of the way.
The vote was a rejection of the proposal, not reform and choice. Reform-oriented candidates for school boards won in Denver and Douglas counties and in many school districts around the state. Nor is it merely opposition to new revenue for schools. Voters in 2012 supported funding requests of one billion dollars worth of local school district bond and revenue overrides.

Colorado voters don’t trust state government with more money. Since TABOR passed in 1992 and voters were allowed to vote on taxes, they have said no – no to transit sales tax, no to gas tax increases, no to TABOR overrides, no to severance tax increases and now no to income tax increases.

Hickenlooper, the businessman, would have likely warned against the tax hike, but as the governor, leader of the Democratic Party and friend of the education establishment, especially the reform wing, he went along with it. Clearly, he wasn’t the happy warrior campaigning, and now his political reputation has been damaged.

Statewide school reform has been set back and funding schools, transportation and higher education just heard a loud and collective “no chance.”

See articles:
Washington Post: Six of 11 counties reject secession in blow to Colorado effort
Washington Times: Biggest loser: Bloomberg’s election spending won little for departing NYC mayor
Colorado Springs Gazette: Amendment 66 “crushed”; Colorado Republicans see opportunity
9News: Colorado voters don’t care too much for money
Esquire: This week in the laboratories of Democracy
Washington Times: Colorado says yes to tax on pot, no to higher levies for K-12 schools
Reuters: Colorado voters to decide on marijuana, education tax issues
Colorado Observer: Election 2013: Ciruli’s 6 trends to watch
Bond Buyer: In angry Colorado corner, counties vote on exit

Thursday, November 7, 2013

School Board Battleground

Just as Tim Gill and gay rights activists figured out how to target their money to win a majority of the Colorado legislature in the last ten years, school reform advocates are targeting selected school board races for major campaign contributions.

In what was a sleepy backwater of campaign politics dominated by teachers unions and local school activists with a few thousand dollars in contributions, hundreds of thousands of dollars are now being spent. Most of it in a few high-profile metro area races in Denver and Douglas counties, but increasingly contributions from wealthy education reform advocates are being targeted in school districts around the state – and they won more than they lost, including Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. Although Amendment 66 was an ill-positioned disaster, reform and choice won Tuesday night.

School Board Races with Reform and Choice vs. Union Competition
Colorado Springs (District 11)
Denver County
Douglas County
Greeley-Evans School District
Jefferson County
Loveland (Thompson School District)
Mesa County (Valley School District 51)

See Denver Post:
Financial backers widen reach in support of vouchers, school choice
Bloomberg, Jeb Bush are 2 donors
Douglas County school reformers sweep into office

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Michael Bloomberg and Colorado

Mayor Michael Bloomberg should think about a different post-mayor career. Investing in Colorado elections is not only a losing proposition, but his name and money is counter-productive. His $350,000, the largest single contributor in the recalls, was wasted and became a talking point for recall activists.
And while Amendment 66 was ill-positioned from its inception, Bloomberg did not help and possibly reinforced, if not initiated, some late “no” votes.
Move on Michael, move on.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Six Items to Watch for in Tonight’s Election

In Colorado’s nearly constant election environment, the following are six Election Night outcomes that highlight new and continuing trends that will influence 2014 and beyond.

Turnout: Does $10 million and the new voting procedures (universal mail ballots) increase the turnout from an expected one million to 1.3 million or 1.5 million voters? Can proponents motivate a new mix of voters adding occasional (i.e., presidential-only) voters? Turnout is likely to be the difference for Amendment 66 passing or not.

Narrative: Democrats have been playing defense since their hyper-liberal legislative session ended in May, facing two recalled legislative leaders, a High Plains secession movement and weak poll numbers. Amendment 66’s failure or success will extend or truncate the narrative.

Money: The Amendment 66 campaign is following the two drink rule. If you can spend up to two drinks per likely voter, they should be in a good enough mood to offer support. Although Amendment 66 was locally conceived, the election funding was dominated by out-of-state interest groups and billionaires on the left. More than half the $10 million spent came from national players interested in the salaries and benefits or the potential improvements in education policy. The trend follows the September recall election where national Democratic/liberal money dominated the election 10-to-1 against the recalls.

School board positions, which pay nothing, have attracted more than $1.5 million between Denver and Douglas counties. The unions are battling reformers and business interests for control of school policy around choice and teacher accountability. Reformers tend to dominate the money race 3-to-5-to-1. Expect more union/management conflict in the 2014 legislative session.

Rural/Urban Split: The Denver metro area is likely to provide the bulk of the pro-Amendment 66 votes. It represents about 56 percent of registered voters, but would need to contribute more than 60 percent of the Amendment’s support if it is to have a chance.

The success of the ten-county, northwest county secession movement will be a barometer as to the passion of the urban/rural divide. If it carries most of the counties, the 2014 legislative session and the governor’s race will be awash with passionate speeches and partisan maneuvering to extend the conflict or tamp it down.

Fracking and the Wind: The I-25 Corridor has become a dividing line in the state’s energy war. On its urban west side, anti-fracking activists have placed bans on four municipal ballots – a direct challenge to state regulatory authority, Governor Hickenlooper and one of the state’s most powerful industries.

The ten-state secession movement (11 counting Western Slope Moffat, a Coal County) has a major pro-oil and gas component to it. Supporters resent the anti-fracking attitudes of the state legislature and resist the Democrats frequent and, in their view, heavy-handed regulatory strategies to make local consumers pay for expensive wind and solar renewable projects.

Also, west of the I-25 Corridor is the City of Boulder anxious to pay $200 million, or three times as much, to buy its electrical utility so it can use wind and solar as its primary supply. Nearly a million dollars is being spent in the fight.

This election will illuminate the divide and which side has the most momentum. It will be another issue that bedevils the Governor and the legislature next year. It could also be a 2014 statewide ballot issue.

Dope and Guns: Colorado’s national image as a presidential battleground is now painted in bolder and brighter colors. Ask people what they’ve heard about Colorado lately and it’s dope and guns – a dangerous combination. Along with last September’s recalls, the secession movement has a big gun rights component. And in this election, Colorado voters will vote to put in place the financing of its new regulatory structure for legal marijuana use and sales. Retail sales start in January 2014.

Is Colorado more comfortable with sin taxes or income taxes? Bet on sin.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The I-25 Corridor and Tuesday’s Election

I-25 north of Denver is a seam that divides the state between its pro- and anti-hydrocarbon politics. Four cities west of I-25 will vote Tuesday on fracking bans promoted by local activists and supported by state and national anti-oil and gas interest groups.

Ten counties east of I-25 are voting to secede from the state due to hostility to the Democratically-controlled legislature and especially its opposition to gas and oil development and aggressive promotion of high cost renewable energy.

The I-25 split is especially difficult for Governor Hickenlooper who supports fracking, which angers his environmental base, but also supports and signed renewable energy legislation.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Amendment 66 – Will it Pass?

The Amendment 66 campaign claims it will pass handily. And that the $10 million five-week advertising placement has won voters in all demographics and throughout the state. And that the massive get-out-the-vote canvasing will boost turnout from the one million votes cast in 2011 to 1.3 to 1.5 million.

In reference to the poor turnout numbers in Denver, the campaign says it’s a product of a slow count in the Denver Clerk’s Office.

The campaign admits that the group it has not won over is the “chattering class,” by which they mean business people, public officials and a lot of stakeholders in the local government and education institutions.

Most of the Amendment 66 campaign is based on a big metro Denver win, which has been a key to the Democrats’ recent dominance in Colorado. For example, if the amendment can win by 8 points in the Denver metro area, it can lose by 10 points statewide.

On Monday, final analyses of turnout and other election metrics will be conducted getting ready for final blogs and Election Night.

Rocky Colorado – Ron Brownstein and National Journal

National Journal reporter Ron Brownstein just published an analysis of Colorado’s politics that captures the conflicting forces of empowered Democratic politicians on the defense, but Republicans still unable to take advantage due to failure to find a unifying leader or message.
This record [legislative] might not seem excessive for California Democrats, but it is testing the boundaries here. “Every poll shows that [on] individual issues like gun control or civil unions, the public was with them,” said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Denver-based pollster. “But the collective sense that they were going too far has hurt them.”
This backlash has manifested itself in two successful recalls of Democratic state senators, driven by gun-rights advocates; an ongoing third recall that would provide Republicans control of the state Senate if it succeeds; ballot initiatives next week seeking support for secession from the state in 11 small rural counties; and a tumble (although not collapse) in Hickenlooper’s once-lofty approval ratings.
Brownstein’s bottom line is that Colorado – the ultimate swing state – mirrors and anticipates the national political landscape.

See article:  Colorado is America, writ small