Colorado Archive:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

CO-05: Update - Hefley Demures, But Blasts GOP Nominee

Posted by James L.

Earlier in the day, we discussed the possibility of retiring Republican congressman Joel Hefley running as a write-in campaign to sabotage the election chances of Club For Growth's Doug Lamborn (who levied all sorts of nasty attacks against his five primary opponents). Well, Hefley has made up his mind, and he's vetoed the idea of running as a write-in. But nevertheless, he still handed Democratic nominee Lt. Col. Jay Fawcett this nice little gift:

The 20-year Republican congressman said, however, that he will not back GOP nominee Doug Lamborn for the seat, explaining that he can not condone the way the state senator campaigned in a six-way primary.

"I feel that he ran the most sleazy, dishonest campaign I've seen in a long, long time, and I can not support it," Hefley said in a telephone interview. He is in Oklahoma for a cousin's funeral.

Hefley has a great deal of respect in Colorado's 5th, and a non-endorsement of Lamborn is just about as earth-shaking as an endorsement of netroots candidate Jay Fawcett.

Posted at 04:36 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Colorado | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

CO-05: Hefley Ponders Write-in Candidacy, Republicans in Disarray

Posted by James L.

Oh how I love to hear those words for a change: "Republicans in disarray." Well, it's the truth. Here's the story so far: way back in February, 20-year congressman Joel Hefley, of Colorado's 5th district, announced his retirement. Now, Colorado's fifth is a deeply Republican district (it voted for Bush by a 66-33 margin, I believe) with a heavy air force presence as well as being the home turf of James Dobson's theocratic Focus on the Family, but Democrats have fielded a nominee who's a good fit for the district: retired Lt. Col. Jay Fawcett, an air force vet with a Bronze Star from the Gulf War. Meanwhile, the Republicans had a very nasty six-way primary battle that resulted in the narrow victory of the Club For Growth-backed state senator Doug Lamborn. Fawcett spent his time picking up traction in the district, earning a netroots endorsement, as well as the backing of key Republicans with military backgrounds in the district.

Still, despite his best efforts, all that might not have been enough to pull off an upset in this deeply Republican district. Well, at least, until this story broke today:

Rep. Joel Hefley is seriously considering running as a writein candidate to retain his seat rather than risk handing it over to Republican nominee Doug Lamborn.

In meetings with national political consultants, Hefley and his supporters have come up with yard-sign designs and the key messages of a possible campaign, Republican Party activist Peggy Littleton said.

Hefley, who has represented the 5th Congressional District for 20 years, has been the subject of a three-week push by high-level Republicans to take this nearly unheard-of step, Littleton said Monday.


Shortly after announcing he would not seek an 11th term, Hefley endorsed Crank. Crank and Lamborn engaged in a bloody political battle that included third-party mailings accusing Crank of being a tax hiker and an advocate for the “radical homosexual lobby,” charges Lamborn either leveled or refused to renounce.

Lamborn, a state senator, won the primary by 892 votes and is set to face Democrat Jay Fawcett in a district that leans heavily Republican. Thirteen Republicans have publicly announced their support for Fawcett, and others have complained behind the scenes about Lamborn’s primary campaign.

Radio stations pulled two ads by an organization that backed Lamborn because their truth was questioned, and the Federal Election Commission is investigating a complaint Lamborn illegally collaborated with outside groups.

Lamborn maintains that he campaigned on his record during 12 years in the Legislature and that he simply highlighted unflattering parts of opponents’ records. He has said also that he had nothing to do with mailers from outside groups.

Hefley, who criticized negative campaigning at the May GOP congressional assembly, gained a reputation in his later years as a champion of ethics in politics. He led the House ethics committee when it chastised Majority Leader Tom DeLay — a member of his own party — and later lost that seat and was ostracized by DeLay and his allies.

Littleton said many wellknown elected officials will back Hefley if he runs. If he does not, she and others are likely to sit out the election or, in some cases, vote for Fawcett, she said.

“Joel is the essence of integrity. . . . He was able to overcome ‘The Hammer,’ Tom DeLay,” Littleton said.

As long as those "Republicans For Fawcett" don't convert to "Republicans For Hefley", Lamborn could very well stand the chance of hemorrhaging from two sides. Hefley's no fool--I'm sure he realizes how next-to-impossible a write-in campaign is, even given his broad name recognition in the district. No, I'm quite sure that Hefley is doing this as a deliberate attempt to sabotage Lamborn's chances. Say what you will about Hefley--he IS extremely conservative, after all--but he wouldn't let Tom DeLay and his unethical kleptocrats push him around. He doesn't want to see his former seat of power be abused by someone without ethics.

Hefley has until 5pm to make this official. Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, please support Jay Fawcett and the netroots candidates today!

Posted at 12:02 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Colorado | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Tuesday Primary Review

Posted by RBH

Clearly we know about the biggest news of the night. Despite all the advantages of incumbency, Joe Lieberman was unable to win the primary tonight. Lawmakers who had either supported Lieberman or had stayed neutral are also turning their support to Ned Lamont. Including Evan Bayh and Hillary, and more people will likely speak up soon.

When it comes to the effects of a Lieberman candidacy in November. I still think that people overrate his chances in November. Money just doesn't come out of nowhere. And Lieberman will need money in order to help himself out in November. While Ned Lamont would need some help to get himself on solid ground, he'll also get a lot of things which he did not have for today.

Joe Lieberman's main source of new money will likely come from people who are donors to Republican candidates. The Republicans will be the ones supporting Lieberman, and money that could have went to Shays, Johnson, or Simmons, will be going to Lieberman. That's only a subtle favor, not any sort of big victory for the Democratic candidates running in those districts.

But I'd rather armwrestle Hulk Hogan than get into a money war with the Republicans. There's legitimate reason for concern when it comes to the Democratic challengers in all the purple districts.

I would certainly hope that Joe Lieberman rethinks his plan to run as an Independent, but I'm not expecting a change in his plans for September and October. I would also hope that those people who gave money to Joe Lieberman and who disapprove of his independent candidacy would ask for a refund or return of their contribution.

As for the other races, here are the highlights:

Colorado: Jeff Crank and Doug Lamborn are the frontrunners in CO-05. The winner faces Jay Fawcett. Ed Perlmutter defeats Peggy Lamm in CO-07.

Georgia: Hank Johnson defeats Cynthia McKinney in GA-04. Expect Cynthia to release the official list of people "to blame for Johnson winning" soon, odds are that "Republicans" will top that list. Ha Ha.

Michigan: Joe Schwarz loses to Tim Walberg. Mike Bouchard looks like the winner in the Republican Senate primary. Knollenberg wins 69-31.

Missouri: Lots of Democrats voted, Lots of Republicans voted, but there weren't a lot of close federal races. Over 80% of precincts are in. Akin rolls over Parker (87-13). No word on who'll face Akin, but the frontrunners are Charles Karam and George Weber. Alan Conner, who spent $246K to try and win the MO-04 nomination, lost by 22 points to Jim Noland, who hasn't filed with the FEC, and who has lost three straight elections to Ike Skelton. Noland's wife suing Conner was probably not helpful to Conner's campaign. This should tell you that there's some things that money can't buy. Sara Jo Shettles and Duane Burghard were both uncontested in their primaries to face Sam Graves and Kenny Hulshof. They also outpolled their opponents. Although in the case of MO-09, that's not exactly a feat of strength, but it's a pretty good sign. And yes, I just gave the longest writeup to my own state. I have the keyboard here, after all.

Any night where three incumbents go down is a night of pretty big activity. It should be a sign that being an incumbent in November is not going to be a pleasant thing.

That's my analysis of the night's events. I'm sure that one of the regulars (who isn't on vacation) will have something to say as well.

Posted at 01:43 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 07, 2006

CO, CT, GA, MI, MO: Tuesday Primary Election Preview

Posted by RBH

Here's the rundown of the elections which will likely produce news tomorrow.

Starting off first in Colorado where the biggest races are the Republican Primary in the 5th District and the Democratic Primary in the 7th District.

In the 5th district race, the winning Republican will likely face Jay Fawcett (who is the frontrunner in his primary). From a short combing though Google News, we find that Doug Lamborn has the Club for Growth supporters with him, Hefley supporters are apparently supporting Crank. Basically the entire primary could end with the winner recieving a very low percentage of the vote, under 40%, maybe under 35%. But right now, the winner is anybody's guess. I should note that Anderson (who is running as pro-choice, which means "pro-choice compared to other Republicans), Bremer (Paul Bremer's brother), and Rayburn (retired Air Force General) are all wildcards and they could get a surprising number of votes.

In the 7th district, the favorite to face Rick O'Donnell appears to be Ed Perlmutter. Ed has had a pretty solid lead in SurveyUSA polls over Peggy Lamm. But then again in an election like this, surprises will occur.

Moving on to Connecticut.

The big race is between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. It appears to be a pretty big deal. Basically the results could go either way, although Lamont is going into the election with a 6 point lead in the latest Quinnipac poll. I'm pretty sure that this race will be the top attraction, and also the one race which does not require a long explanation.

In Georgia, the big election is between Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson in the 4th district. McKinney had a plurality last time, but for this election, it could go either way.

In Michigan, the biggest race will be in MI-07 between Congressman Joe Schwarz and Tim Walberg. Schwarz is under fire from the right in this campaign and could be on the way out of Congress. The likely Democratic nominee is Sharon Renier. In other races, I'm expecting Keith Mike Bouchard to win the Republican Senate primary and I wouldn't be stunned if Patricia Godchaux got around 1/3rd of the vote in her primary against Congressman Joe Knollenberg.

In Missouri, no major races will occur in the primaries. The closest primary race will probably be in MO-02 between Akin and Sherman Parker, and that's probably not due to be close at all. Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent are expected to cruise over their unknown opponents.

So, on this election day, there's one more question: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted at 11:48 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Democrats, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Netroots, Republicans | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, February 17, 2006

CO-05: Hefley (R) Retiring - Band of Brothers' Fawcett Ready to Go

Posted by DavidNYC

Republican Rep. Joel Hefley (CO-05) announced today that he is retiring. That makes him the second Republican to announce a retirement this week (the first was Bill Jenkins, TN-01). Both districts are very conservative, but CO-05 is different. For one, we actually have a Dem already running. And for another, he happens to be a member of the Band of Brothers, Lt. Col. Jay Fawcett.

Lt. Col. Fawcett is a graduate of the Air Force Academy. He also earned a Bronze Star for his service during the Gulf War. I should add that Fawcett was also at the Band of Brothers rally in DC last week.

Now, this is a very Republican district, as I say - it went for Bush 66-33, which makes it roughly OH-02 territory. However, Hefley's retirement is the perfect illustration of why you run candidates in every district, no matter how hopeless the territory might seem at first blush.

• First off, open seats are always easier to win. Especially in a difficult district, it's a major plus. Sometimes, retirements are announced after filing deadlines have passed because some states allow late candidate substitution, but not late candidate filings. If you don't have someone already running, you're completely out of luck.

• Second, even though Fawcett still faces a tremendously uphill challenge, the fact that it's now an open seat race affects how the media will cover the campaign. With an open seat, the media are more likely to portray the race as a genuine challenge. That frame is more interesting for reporters, and Hefley's retirement lets them buy into it. A gadfly nipping at an entrenched incumbent is a boring story. An open seat always carries the chance for an upset.

• Third, it also means that Fawcett is likely to get a lot more media attention, which translates into greater name recognition should he want to run for office again later.

• Fourth, the GOP will waste money on a big primary here. (CO's primary is Aug. 8th.) It could also get very negative and ugly - Republican hopefuls will really be hungry for a potentially safe lifetime seat. This possibility increases the chance of a Dem upset.

• And fifth, if it looks like there's even a shadow of a possibility that Fawcett pulls off an upset here, the GOP may be forced to commit resources to defend this seat. Of course, that's not a heartening scenario for Fawcett, but it does mean that $100K of Republican money spent in CO-05 isn't being spent elsewhere. And there is a possible flipside to this: The GOP, with 231 seats open all at once, may not have the resources to defend CO-05 in the same way it (embarrassingly) had to do in OH-02. This could allow Fawcett to sneak in under the radar.

The bottom line is, Hefley's retirement is nothing but good news for us - and the fact that Fawcett's already running makes it even better news. Just like that, this race just got a lot more interesting.

Posted at 12:10 AM in 2006 Elections - House, Band of Brothers, Colorado | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 14, 2005

CO-04: Bush Doing Musgrave Fundraiser

Posted by DavidNYC

While it's easy to despise just about any Republican these days, Marilyn Musgrave holds a special place in the hearts of most liberals, thanks to her frothing, borderline-insane hatred of gays (it's the only issue she ever talks about). In 2004, Stan Matsunaka gave Musgrave a good run for her money, but came up short. However, the margin is a bit misleading. Stan lost 51-45, but 4% of the vote went to a Green Party candidate, which hints, of course, that the left-wing vote in Colorado's fourth district may be a lot closer to 50 percent than to 45.

CO's 4th district is pretty rural and conservative - it went for Bush over Gore by 56-37 (I don't have the Kerry numbers). So it's a real testament to Matsunaka that he was able to do as well as he did (and to pin down Musgrave and prevent her from raising money for her colleagues). On the other hand, is CO-04 so conservative that Marilyn's constituents will welcome a visit from George Bush? Especially when so many Republicans are running away from G-Dub as fast as they can?

The Stakeholder is aptly calling this their "Radioactivity Watch" - what kind of fallout, if any, will there be from Bush campaigning across the country? Musgrave has been a dominant fundraiser, while her challenger, Angie Paccione, trails by quite a bit. And Bush is still great at pulling in the bucks - Musgrave will no doubt be in an even stronger financial position after Bush sweeps through town. But what price do those dollars come at? Will Paccione be able to use the event to tie the Bush albatross around Musgrave's neck? I sure hope so.

P.S. Geiger counters going berserk: New Gallup poll says "Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues."

Posted at 05:19 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Colorado | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 14, 2005

Denver is the Perfect Spot for the Dem Convention

Posted by DavidNYC

The other day, Bob wrote about the idea of a "Western Primary," to give this fast-growing region a bigger voice in choosing our party's presidential candidate. I think it's a great idea, and one way to capitalize on it would be to have our convention out west. Fortunately, some folks out in Colorado are trying to make this happen.

Denver came very close to hosting the convention in 2000 - hopefully it can be our site in 2008. If nothing else, I have to imagine the summer weather in Denver's mountain air is about a million times more pleasant than the sultry heat you'll find in the northeast.

Posted at 11:53 AM in 2008 Election - President, Colorado, Democrats | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CO-Gov: Choosing on Choice in Democratic Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Denver Post:

In case of a Democratic primary, many have pledged to work against former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, a Catholic who opposes abortion rights. [...]

Schoettler says a network of Coloradans dedicated to electing women to top political seats will be eager to cut checks should [state Senate President Joan] Fitz-Gerald enter the race.

"A lot of us have a lot of energy that we're willing to put into electing Sen. Fitz-Gerald," said Meg Froelich, a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

In Washington, the well-heeled EMILY's List - a national group that funds female candidates who champion abortion rights - also is eyeing a possible Fitz-Gerald candidacy.

"We're watching the Colorado race with a great deal of enthusiasm," said spokeswoman Ramona Oliver. "If Joan, a pro-choice Democrat, decides to get in, we'll seriously consider getting involved."

This is going to be a huge race in 2006 and the overwhelming interest in the Democratic primary shows the consensus view that the general election will be the Democrats to lose.

There seems to be good deal of institutional excitment around the Fitz-Gerald option, the unions are also on board:

"If Joan ran, it would energize labor and we would bust our humps to get her elected," said Colorado AFL-CIO president Steve Adams. [...]

Labor groups' money and activism are credited largely for the Democratic takeover of both legislative chambers in 2004. Union brass are looking for a gubernatorial candidate to back next year.

Mitch Ackerman, president of Colorado's 5,000-member Local 105 of the Service Employees International Union, lauded Fitz-Gerald's record for "working people" in the state. Specifically, he cited her work this year on a bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

"Our members appreciate her efforts and know she'd keep working on their behalf as governor," he said.

Mark Schwane, executive director of the 2,000-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, credits Fitz-Gerald for championing higher wages and better health care for state workers.

"There's been a lot of talk about her candidacy. Our members would support her if she made the decision to run," he said.

When Congressman Mark Udall decided to focus on building a 2008 senate campaign, it looked like it would be a wide open primary. But in the last month and a half, it appears that a consensus has started to form around Fitz-Gerald.

We're still waiting to hear if venture capitalist Rutt Bridges or Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper get in, but it sounds like people have agreed not to choose Bill Ritter.

On the Republican side, University of Denver President Marc Holtzman is running and we're keeping an eye on Colorado Treasurer Mike Coffman, Congressman Bob Beauprez and former Congressman Scott McInnis.

Posted at 03:17 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

CO 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Colorado: Last week we looked at some names of potential Democratic candidates for governor. Today, the AP looks at the initial movement in the Republican primary:

University of Denver President Marc Holtzman has announced plans to run for Colorado governor next year.

Holtzman, a 45-year-old Republican, was appointed by GOP Gov. Bill Owens to oversee the state's technology development efforts in 1999, later leaving to take the university job in May 2003. He has never held elected office.[...]

Other Republicans considering joining the race include state Treasurer Mike Coffman, U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez and former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.

Posted at 06:55 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Colorado 2006 gubernatorial, 2008 senate races

Posted by Bob Brigham

Udall is running for US Senate:

Saying he wants to work on federal rather than state issues, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall surprised fellow Democrats on Thursday by deciding not to run for governor in 2006 but to vie for the U.S. Senate in 2008 instead.

"Frankly, I am reluctant to set out on a different path," said the fourth-term Eldorado Springs congressman who was the favorite in the small camp of Democrats publicly eyeing gubernatorial runs.

Udall's announcement emboldens former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter and venture capitalist Rutt Bridges, both of whom have expressed interest in the job but lack Udall's name recognition and party ties.[...]

Udall's decision also clears the field for other potential Democratic contenders. Some in the party have urged state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald to run for governor. And many Democratic brass are leaning heavily on Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to consider the seat.

This is one of my favorite states and critical to the future of the Democratic Party. I'll be watching the 2006 primary closely, you should too.

Posted at 04:42 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, Colorado | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Colorado About-Face?

Posted by DavidNYC

Just a week ago, the DNC sent out an e-mail saying they were going to "be aggressive" in Colorado. Now, via MyDD, we learn that Kerry is mostly pulling out of the state. So the Kerry campaign is pulling its ads and cancelling a visit there by the senator, but it says it will continute to send surrogates - and the DNC is claiming it will still keep flooding the airwaves.

I'm not quite sure I get this half-move. I mean, I think it's probably smart to focus on Florida and Ohio instead of Colorado - quite a few polls have shown Bush at or above 50% in CO in the last month - but why is the Kerry campaign taking a different strategy than the DNC? With one week left, this doesn't seem to be the time to spread your resources. Any thoughts on this one?

Posted at 12:19 AM in Colorado | Comments (33) | Technorati

Monday, October 18, 2004

We're Making a Play for Colorado

Posted by DavidNYC

Many of you probably just got the same e-mail from Michael Whouley at the DNC that I did. Here's the important bit:

You deserve some specifics: At one point during the meeting talk turned to Colorado. Many pundits thought this state was in the win column for George Bush. But polls show this is not the case -- we can win Colorado. We decided that we should be aggressive here and once again the answer was "go for it." On the night of November 2, when Colorado is called for John Kerry, know it was because of you.

Interesting. So, assuming that "go for it" really does mean "go for it," this tells us a few things. First, obviously, is that the DNC thinks the state can turn blue. Second, that they don't expect the EV-splitting initiative to pass. If it does, fighting for a majority of CO's popular vote would only net us on additional EV, which would be a waste of time. And third, the DNC wants to make a real effort for CO's Senate seat & the various competitive Congressional races. Now, the DNC's job is to get Kerry elected president - winning the Senate and House is the responsibility of the DSCC and the DCCC, respectively. But obviously these guys all talk to each other, and I have to imagine that our Congressional prospects had something to do with this decision.

So we'll see how this shakes out. We are in fact still running ads in Colorado, so it's not clear to me exactly how this changes our game plan - but perhaps now the state will see a stronger last-minute push.

By the way, the AP article linked just above indicates that the battleground - at least as it's being fought over the airwaves - has shrunk to just fourteen states: FL, OH, PA, WV, IA, ME, MI, MN, NV, NH, NM, OR, WI and, of course, CO. If you ask me, we have no business wasting time in West Virginia anymore, but why on earth is Bushco blowing bucks in NH, MI, OR and, to a certain extent, ME? Sorry, what I mean is, it sure is great to see the GOP spending money in all those states!

Posted at 03:10 PM in Colorado | Comments (42) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 & More on Colorado

Posted by DavidNYC

First, a site that I should have plugged long ago: They have a great clickable map that will give you comprehensive polling information for every state. It's more thorough and user-friendly than almost any similar site.

Secondly, Winger has a very thoughtful post on why Colorado is winnable for us - not just in the future, but this year. As readers here know, I'm a big believer in pursuing our political future in the fast-growing states of the Southwest. Colorado is in many ways part of this region, in particular due to its growing Hispanic population. (This interesting map created by CommonWealth Magazine includes a good chunk of CO in its "El Norte" region.) I'm not supremely optimistic about our chances this year, but I think NV, CO & AZ will all be blue very soon, and be permanently lost to the GOP not long after.

Posted at 10:34 PM in Colorado, General | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, September 18, 2004

CO, MO, PA Poll Roundup

Posted by DavidNYC

DemFromCT has new polls for Colorado, Missouri & Pennsylvania.

Posted at 05:05 PM in Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania | Comments (29) | Technorati

Thursday, August 19, 2004

SUSA: All Tied Up in CO

Posted by DavidNYC

Speaking of Colorado, SUSA released a new poll (PDF) a couple of days ago (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 47
Bush: 47
Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��4%)

This is bad news for Bush: He won CO by over 8 points last time around. However, it's still early, and I still don't predict CO to wind up in our camp. But the good news for our side is that Kerry leads among Hispanics by 66-24 in this poll, meaning that Bush is way below his target of 35% in this demographic. Kerry also leads among indies, 49-38.

One related note: The Senate race between Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Pete Coors is also in a virtual tie, with Coors at 48% and Salazar at 47%. I don't know much about the specifics of this race, but I would tend to think that a tie at this point benefits Salazar slightly. I say this because the outgoing Senator (Campbell) is a Republican, and I expect there to be an anti-incumbent/anti-GOP swing across much of the nation.

And to follow up on what Chris said the other day, I think the GOP is in a lot of trouble long-term. In 2012 or 2016, how will the GOP be able to compete when CO, VA, AZ, NV, NH and maybe NC (and maybe even GA) are all lean-blue, and FL, NM & OR are solid blue? Even if IA, WI, MN and OH head their way long-term, we come out with a big advantage. I'm starting to think that Teixeira & Judis really are right.

Posted at 12:57 PM in Colorado | Comments (31) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Colorado EV-Splitting Initiative is on the Ballot

Posted by DavidNYC

Via Kos, it looks like the Colorado initiative to split its electoral votes proportionately has succeeded in getting on the ballot for this fall. If the measure passes, it would apply starting this election. As we've discussed here before, this move - while a short-term boon for Kerry - would likely be bad for the Dems long-term. That's because it would start an arms race where Republicans lean or safe Dem states would try the same thing. I could easily imagine a similar initiative getting on the ballot - and winning - in California.

And as the article indicates, it may not even be so great short-term. There would almost certainly be legal battles over the initiative if it proves decisive in the election. The most obvious avenue of attack is pretty simple: The U.S. Constitution provides that state legislatures choose the method that electoral college members will be appointed. Though my understanding is that the CO constitution defines the legislature's will pretty broadly - ie, the legislature created the ballot initiative system, hence it can choose to delegate its authority - I could easily imagine a big fight over this.

Colorado has nine EVs this year. This measure would pretty much automatically give us four of those votes. While the possibility of the initiative passing will surely make Bush sweat in search of four new EVs, we don't want to win this way. Obviously, we want to win as big as we can. But if it's going to be close - and I still think it will be - we want Kerry's election to be as "legit" as possible. Yes, Bush won a stolen election that was about as illegitimate as it gets. But we all know that, thanks to the GOP and their media abettors, there's a huge double-standard that overlooks this kind of thing when it decisively benefits the Republicans but excoriates the Democrats if it even appears to benefit us in the slightest.

P.S. Gotta love the name of the GOP-backed group opposing this measure: Coloradans Against a Really Stupid Idea. They happen to be right, but they have no idea why.

Posted at 06:25 PM in Colorado | Comments (29) | Technorati

Four New Swing States

Posted by Chris Bowers

Zogby has declared that four new states--Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia--are now swing states and will be included in future Zogby Interactive Battleground polls.

Sweet! Not only does this show weakness in Bush's base, we will all be treated to regular polls from these four states. This will also help to reinforce the emerging conventional wisdom that Bush is in a lot of trouble in this campaign.

As a testament to David's determination, he had never given up on these states, listing them as swing all along. It is forward thinking people like that who will be the backbone of a more aggressive Democratic Party in the years to come.

Georgia and Louisiana remain the final frontiers.

Posted at 04:29 PM in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (22) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Buncha Polls (FL, CO & Zogby)

Posted by DavidNYC

I've been behind on posting about a few recent polls, so here's an all-at-once glance:

Colorado - Mason-Dixon (no trendlines):

Kerry: 43
Bush: 48
Nader: 3
Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��3.5%)

Bush's favorability at 47-39; job approval at exactly 50-50. Don't forget that Colorado might wind up splitting its EVs this year. If so, polls like this are great news for us.

Florida - Quinnipiac (no trendlines):

Kerry: 43
Bush: 43
Nader: 5
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ��2.8%)

Kerry has a slight lead (46-44) without Nader in the mix. Job approval is 46-52. Favorability is 42-42-15 (the last number is "mixed"). Kerry's split is 30-33-23.

Also, Zogby posted an update to his bi-weekly battleground poll last week. Florida, Nevada, Michigan and West Virginia all moved into Bush's column, while Arkansas and New Mexico came over to Kerry.

And lastly, if you haven't already, you should go read Chris's post over at MyDD about Ralph Nader's failure to get the Green Party nomination. Chris says it's the end of the line for Ralph, because now he's got no ballot lines and virtually no money. I still think a late infusion of GOP cash could turn the tide for Nader, but this is nonetheless a very good development for Kerry.

Posted at 12:34 AM in Colorado, Florida, General | Comments (5) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Electoral College Reform Revisited

Posted by DavidNYC

Back in the very early days of this blog (aka last October), I wrote a post about electoral college reform. It produced a great set of comments which, if you're a numbers geek, I highly recommend checking out. Anyhow, I was primarily discussing what would happen if every state adopted a system like ME and NE's - where EVs are awarded for the winner of each Congressional District, and the overall popular vote winner gets the final two EVs.

At the end, I asked what I thought was a throwaway question, though it wound up sparking most of the comments:

Could a state pass a law appointing electors simply in proportion to the total popular vote won? I don't see why not. Article II �� 1 of the US Constitution says: "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." Seems like the states have free reign here.

The consensus was that, nationally, such a move would likely be bad for the Dems. But in particular states, it might help. And indeed, in Colorado, one group is apparently attempting to establish such a regime via ballot measure.

While this would help Dems in Colorado (had this system been in place in 2000, Gore would have gotten 2 of CO's EVs, rather than zero), it would hurt the Dems if it were adopted nationwide. And if such a system passes in CO, you can bet that Republicans in big Dem states (like CA, where getting an initiative on the ballot is easy, or NY, where both the Governor and State Senate are Republican) will try to push for similar measures there. In short, this is a war we don't want to start, as this right-wing columnist correctly observes.

Interestingly, while poking around for more information on the CO ballot measure, I discovered that a similar effort is underway in Missouri. Brad Ketcher, former chief of staff to the late Mel Carnahan, is apparently circulating petitions for two different electoral reform plans: One just like that in CO and one identical to the ME/NE system. Neither seem to have been given a spot on the ballot yet.

I couldn't find out any more info on this topic - most of the news about MO ballot measures concerns an attempt to ban gay marriage. (Sigh.) If any locals know any more about this (especially if you've been asked to sign this petition), I'd be grateful if you could let me know.

And again, while this system would have helped Gore in MO in 2000 - indeed, the straight-proportional plan would have split the state's EVs 6-5 and tipped the entire election to Gore - we really don't want to go down this path. If you want empirical confirmation of that, I once again suggest that you check out the comments to my old post mentioned above. And if we can win MO this year - which I think we can - then this system would hurt us.

My personal feeling is that the only appropriate voting reform is to abolish the electoral college and go to a national popular vote. This would, however, require a constitutional amendment. And since such a move would draw down the power of small states (and hence, Republicans), this is just never gonna happen.

(RMN column thanks to John Smith.)

Posted at 01:08 AM in Colorado, General, Missouri | Comments (8) | Technorati

Friday, May 07, 2004

Is Colorado In Play?

Posted by DavidNYC

The Prospect takes a look at whether Colorado is in play. As I've said before, I don't really think we can win there, but I like the idea of taking the fight there. Interesting tidbit: John Kerry was born in Colorado, in an Army hospital. Over to you on this one, Luis.

Posted at 04:27 PM in Colorado | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Kerry Ad Buy Hits the Usual Suspects, Plus LA & CO

Posted by DavidNYC

John Kerry is finally going on the offensive and launching a huge ad buy - to the tune of $27.5 million. What I really like about this ad buy is that, in addition to the standard 17 battleground states, Kerry's also hitting Louisiana and Colorado.

LA's margin is easily the reddest on my list, at 7.32%. Of course, we did win two big races there recently (Senate in `02 and Governor in `03), but with candidates who were a lot more conservative than John Kerry. From what I read, it also seemed that local issues - which Kerry may or may not be able to associate himself with - seemed to play a big role as well. LA's a definite longshot for us, and it's probably a state we'll win only if we've won big elsewhere.

CO is a bit different. It had a margin of 3.71%, but that was due to a pretty big Nader factor (5.25% of the total vote). In fact, CO had the biggest Nader vote of any of the states on my list, so I'm hesitant to consider it truly swing. However, with the retirement of Sen. Ben Campbell, Democratic AG Ken Salazar is now favored to pick up that seat for us. Plus, we also have two legit House pickup chances (the 3rd and 7th districts). But even if two-thirds of Nader voters, say, were to come to our side, we'd still be almost 5 points back, so I'll peg CO as a longshot, too.

I did say that I like this ad buy, though - so why? Well, for once, we are taking the fight to the enemy. Bush isn't on the air in either state yet - though apparently he plans to be soon. This means we are acting, and our opponent is reacting. And this is where you want to have the other guy: Responding to your blows, rather than dishing out his own. The GOP copycatting here is also a nice reassurance that you are either doing something right or that they at least think you're doing something right. And it sure is good to see those guys back on their heels for once.

P.S. Luke promises reviews of the new ads themselves shortly. He also points out that this is the biggest single ad buy either candidate has done this cycle.

Posted at 01:40 AM in Colorado, Louisiana | Comments (6) | Technorati

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