Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Republican Brand Endangers Local Races

Colorado Republicans have both opportunities and challenges in an effort to win the Colorado governorship.

Governor elections in Colorado since 1998 have often been close.

Democrats are in their first gubernatorial primary since 1998, after which they lost the general election to Bill Owens. The primary in June 2018 could be a wreck among at least three of the five current leading candidates, with millions spent and party factions at war. In addition, both nationally and locally, the Democratic Party is racing to the far left:
  • Single-payer
  • $15 minimum wage
  • Ban fracking/100% renewables
  • Sanctuary state
But Republicans must get through their own nomination process that in recent years has left them divided and not with their strongest general election candidates.

As I told John Frank in the Denver Post on April 17 in an article where George Brauchler announced for governor:
Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli said the governor’s race is a major test for the Republican Party. The GOP has claimed state’s top job only twice since the 1974 election and watched Democrat Hillary Clinton take the state in 2016.
The potential for an equally messy Democratic primary, he said, is “a real opportunity for them … which makes the Republicans’ selection very important.”
“If they can manage to have this primary and come out of it unitable. And if the ultimate winner is a person who can both lead the party and hold it together, that will … give them a very good chance of mounting a very strong race,” Ciruli said.
But, as of today, their bigger problem is President Trump and Congress. In an off-year election, presidential popularity and a party’s general reputation can affect local races, even non-federal.

Congressional accomplishments and the president’s appearance as fit for office will be a factor in turnout and voting preference.

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