Monday, June 3, 2019

KOA: Final Denver Mayor’s Race Interview With April and Marty

Denver’s mayoral runoff campaign has gotten very negative and very personal. The race started about growth, development, homelessness and affordable housing, and now it’s about race and diversity and gender and harassment – very personal.

April Zesbaugh and Marty Lenz questioned the impact of negative campaigning on turnout and who’s helped by low and high turnouts.

As of Sunday night, the Denver Clerk reported 85,000 votes turned in. If the 185,000 voter turnout of the May 7 election is to be reached, 100,000 votes need to be cast and counted today and Election Day. That’s about what happened last time, with the huge 80,000 final votes on Election Day.

Voters are in an angry mood today, and politicians are convinced that staying on the offensive and going negative will boost turnout among their supporters. The Mayor, for example, wants to maximize minority turnout, and Jamie Giellis wants women to turnout strongly to her.

Who the level of turnout – high or low – helps or hurts depends, of course, on who turns out – the Mayor’s home area on the eastside or voters angry about traffic and congestion favoring Giellis. Generally, low turnout helps the incumbent, the status quo. Giellis needs passion behind her campaign.

Mayor Michael Hancock (L) and Jamie Giellis during a Denver Post mayoral debate
at the Denver Press Club, May 28, 2019 | Photo: Daniel Petty/Denver Press Club

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