PEAKING TOO EARLY: Prognosticators Downgrade Udall Despite Outlier Poll

“How many debates did my campaign sign me up for?”

It’s been an odd day so far for polls and prognosticators when it comes to Colorado.  A new NBC/Marist poll has Sen. Mark Udall with his biggest lead in the Senate race since Rep. Cory Gardner got in the race.  Yet, at the same time, one of the big national prognosticators, Stu Rothenberg, has downgraded Udall in the race from “likely Dem” to “toss-up/tilt Dem.”  Rothenberg certainly seems nonplussed with the Marist poll and most other political observers are agreeing with him.  Harry Enten, the senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight, tweeted this out:

Enten goes on to point out why this poll feels so out of step (and why Democrats are rallying so hard around it): it doesn’t fit the feeling of the race on the ground.

 

Question: does an incumbent who is up by seven have one of the most bizarre weeks where he goes out of his way to avoid his own fundraiser that the sitting President of the United States shows up for?  Does an incumbent who is up by seven do everything in his power to make the race about wedge issues when the American economy actually contracted the first quarter of an election year?

The Colorado Left (and some national Lefties as well) are pushing this poll hard because it is the first possible good news Udall has had in a long time.  But, truth be told, they are really clinging so hard to it because it might be their last chance to change the narrative of the race before Udall is completely swept away.

Much has been made about Marist using all registered voters versus just likely voters (a huge caveat especially in a non-Presidential year), and Marist assuming a 16% Hispanic electorate (even in the 2012 Presidential year, Colorado Hispanics made up only 14% of Colorado’s electorate), but even without those, the basic facts of this race haven’t changed.  Udall has a deeply flawed, far left, six-year record in the Senate that has him tripping over himself left and right running from it.  His close relationship with President Obama, once an asset when Obama was popular, has become a mill stone around his neck as Obama’s popularity in Colorado continues to plunge.  His opponent, Gardner, is well-liked and highly thought of— Rothenberg goes even as far to say Gardner’s “energy and sunny disposition will help make him broadly appealing.”

The time is ticking down on Udall.  If he doesn’t put this race away by the time Labor Day rolls around, if he doesn’t put this race away by the first time him and Gardner step on a stage across from each other, he will lose.  His record is too far left for a state like Colorado, and he has demonstrated he has an amazing ability to fumble even the simplest of questions.  Gardner with his sunny disposition will put him to the sword for it, and all while doing it with a smile.

Mark it down PeakNation™, this outlier poll was just the high water mark of Udall’s reelection campaign, and he still couldn’t break 50%.

 

RUNNING SCARED: Udall Skips Own Fundraiser Rather Than Appear with Obama

Udall refused three times to answer CNN reporter Dana Bash’s question about whether Obama will campaign with him.

UPDATE 3: Julian Castro was confirmed as the next HUD Secretary by a wide margin in the Senate – 71-26.  Good thing Udall was there to be that critical swing vote.

UPDATE 2: Sen. Michael Bennet also will not appear at the fundraiser.  The fundraiser will jointly benefit Bennet’s DSCC as well as Udall’s rocky campaign.

UPDATE 1: It’s unclear why Sen. Udall thought it necessary to stay back for the vote to confirm Julian Castro as HUD Secretary as he’s expected to be easily confirmed. From the Politico HUDDLE email this morning:

“OBAMA’S TEXAS VISIT comes on the same day the Senate will vote on the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to become secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro, a rising Democratic star and the twin brother of Rep. Joaquin Castro, is expected to easily win confirmation.” (the Peak emphasis)

Embattled Senator Mark Udall, originally slated to appear at a fundraiser this afternoon with President Obama, has now canceled his plans citing that he needs to stay behind to vote on the nominated HUD Secretary, Julian Castro.  C’mon.  You really expect us to buy this?

After all the bad press Udall has received leading up to today for his willingness to appear with Obama to scoop up cash, but not stand on stage with him, Udall is just asking for another media smack down by not even attending his own fundraiser.  Up until last night, Udall was scheduled to arrive in Denver at approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning.

Of course, Udall is not alone in his unwillingness to appear with the President whose poll numbers have plummeted recently.

Democratic candidate Andrew Romanoff is claiming that he was not invited to the Cheesman Park speech, which is why he will not attend.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper had a scheduling conflict, but played pool with the President last night.

But, across the country, liberal Senators in tough races have skipped appearing with the President. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) says he has no interest in campaigning with the President (at least he’s honest).  Democratic Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana also made headlines for skipping Obama events in their own state.

Senator Udall can run, but he can’t hide from the fact that he voted for President Obama’s agenda 99% of the time.

 

TRUE BELIEVER: Capitol’s Most Prominent Lobbyist Quits Over Home Builders’ Support for Hick, Special Session

Hey-o!  Prominent Capitol lobbyist and former legislator Steve Durham has given the Colorado Association of Home Builders and Gov. John Hickenlooper the proverbial finger in a very public and very brazen way.  Durham, who until today lobbied for CAHB, has resigned the position he held for the last 15 years over his principled opposition to the group’s support of Hick’s misguided effort to push for a special session. 

In Durham’s letter of resignation, which was circulated among all state legislators, he (rightly) accuses Hick of bending over backwards to appease Congressman Jared Polis, whom Durham calls a ‘terrorist.’ He annihilates the credibility of The Denver Post for protecting Polis and chastises the most prominent members of CAHB for acting out of political convenience and trying only to “preserve their ‘relationship’ with the Governor.”

Durham’s words carry huge weight, as he is one of the most (if not the most) influential lobbyists at the capitol.  Not only is he brilliant when it comes to crafting public policy, but he understands how the process works better than anyone else down there.  Durham is routinely put on retainer by some of the most powerful interests under the gold dome simply because they do not want him to work for their opposition.

Also interesting and noteworthy is the fact that Durham’s partner, Jeani Frickey, has resigned her position as one of CAHB’s lobbyists too.  Frickey is a well-known and well-respected Democrat, so her departure raises even more questions.

This news will certainly create ripples for weeks to come and could have a long-term impact on the CAHB’s ability to effectively lobby for years to come.   

For your reading pleasure, here is the full text of Durham’s resignation:

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 the Legislative Committee of the Colorado Association of Home Builders voted to support Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for a special session and his most recent proposed draft of legislation.  Rather than ask you or any responsible member of the Colorado General Assembly to vote for this legislation I have chosen, after over 15 years as the lobbyist for the CAHB, to resign my position.  It is important to note that each and every member of the Legislative Committee who spoke about this legislation believe that it was bad for Colorado and so stated.  The following are my reasons for resigning:

1.   Congressman Jared Polis has created this crisis for the Colorado economy and the CAHB wishes to resolve him of all responsibility for what he has created.  Not a single member of the Legislative Committee criticized Congressman Polis.

2.   Governor Hickenlooper has chosen to appease terrorist Polis rather than stating in no uncertain terms that what he is proposing is devastating for Colorado’s economy and should be defeated.

3.   It became clear that any tactic necessary to “persuade” responsible legislators to support the Hickenlooper legislation would be used.  I will not participate in any effort that demonizes responsible legislators and protects the irresponsible Jared Polis and Governor Hickenlooper.

4.   The editorial in Saturday’s Denver Post asking Bob Beauprez to support the Governor’s irresponsible actions is a harbinger of things to come.  The responsible legislators who oppose bad policy will be demonized by the media and their supporters and the terrorists will be allowed to proceed without consequences.

5.   It became clear that the strongest motivation for the CAHB to support this legislation was an attempt by several prominent members to preserve their “relationship” with the Governor.  The motive is not good public policy.

I hope that you will do everything possible to continue to resist this irresponsible legislation and hold accountable those who jeopardizing Colorado’s economy.

My partner, Jeani Frickey has also resigned her position as CAHB lobbyist.  Her reasons are her own and you should inquire of her should you desire additional details.  If you have any questions please contact me at [phone number redacted]

cc:  Legislators

 

MEET JILL: Beauprez Picks a Female Running Mate, Libs Lose Their Minds

Jill Repella

Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez announced his running mate and [drumroll] it’s Jill Rapella, a Douglas County Commissioner. According to her bio, her real passion is “economic development”, which is great since Colorado families are still struggling to recover from the recession thanks to the policies from the left.

Beauprez picks a woman, she’s attractive, articulate, and a proven leader, so what’s the next step for the lefties?  Democrats’ heads explode, and they try to discredit her by saying she was his second choice.  Here’s your war on women, ladies.

The truth is that Repella was Beauprez’s first choice – and it was a solid choice.  Here are a few of her achievements from her bio:

Over a cumulative total of 25 years, prior to her induction as Commissioner, Jill served in various elected and appointed positions in Douglas County, including Douglas County Planning Commission, Planning Commissioner; Douglas County School District, Board of Education; Highlands Ranch Metropolitan Districts, Board of Directors; Open Space Advisory Committee, member; Douglas County Housing Partnership, Board of Directors; and the School District’s representative on The Partnership of Douglas County Governments.

During her time as a community volunteer, Jill listened to thousands of citizens in hundreds of public hearings and community meetings across the entire county, during which time she gained perspective on the values of Douglas County citizens as well as respect for the lifestyle diversity found in this uniquely rural and urban County.

Another truth?  With Hickenlooper and Beauprez tied, and Beauprez picking a proven leader, the left is simply scared that they not only will lose the U.S. Senate race, but the Colorado Governor’s race as well.

 

DOGFIGHT ON: Rasmussen- Beauprez 44, Hick 44

“I am not unhinged right now!”

We now interrupt your normal broadcast for breaking news:

HOLY SNICKEYS BATMAN, not only will Gov. John Hickenlooper have what he thought was a slightly annoying reelection campaign to run this year, but he is now officially in a dogfight to save his political life.  With many recent polls showing no Republican candidate closer to Hick than double digits, the breaking Rasmussen poll that shows Hickenlooper and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez tied at 44%-44% is shocking and surprising.  Sure, a tightening of the race should be expected following the Republicans finally settling on one candidate. Yet, less than one week after the primary Beauprez has already caught Hickenlooper.  This bodes very ill for Hick.

This must have Hickenlooper’s handlers deeply disturbed, as Hickenlooper shows he becomes quite unhinged when things aren’t going well for him.  It equally must be devastating to a man who only wants people to love him. Even after four years of trying his gosh darn best, less than half of Colorado likes Hick enough to want him around for another four years.  At this rate, we can expect to see Hickenlooper standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign that says, “Will lie to you for affection.”

Seriously, how does Hick respond to this?  His whole political career has been that of a one-trick pony, where he pretends to be above the political fray; more benevolent deity than politician.  Now that his record of the past four years has shown this to be a complete fraud, he’s got no cards left to play.  The man who deigns campaigns and politics to be beneath his grand stature, can’t suddenly enter the bare-knuckle, dogfight for your political life world without exposing himself for what he truly is: a complete sham.

 

DEAD HEAT: Rasmussen Poll Shows Udall and Gardner Neck and Neck

As the 2014 campaign moves forward following last week’s primaries, the U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. Cory Gardner and liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall is still highly competitive.  According to a Rasmussen survey of likely Colorado voters released yesterday, 43% of voters would vote for Udall an 42% would vote for Gardner.  That’s well within the +/- 4 percent margin of error.

The telephone survey of 750 likely voters conducted June 25-26, 2014 also showed that 6% of voters prefer another candidate and 9% are undecided.

As an incumbent, this has to be troubling for Sen. Udall.  Not only have Coloradans had five years to get to know him as a Senator, but he also spent years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Colorado legislature.  In addition, Udall and his supporters (see: Planned Parenthood) have spent a lot of money trying to strong-arm women into falsely thinking that Gardner is anti-woman.  And, Udall’s numbers haven’t budged since the March Rasmussen poll release.

Then again, perhaps Coloradans are wising up to Udall’s do-nothing style of representation.  If 42-43% is Udall’s ceiling as an incumbent, Election Day is going to be a sad, sad day for our fair Senator.

 

 

MORE HEALTH PLANS CANCELED: Udall-Enabled Obamacare Cancels 2K Plans Since March

Liked Obamacare so much, he’d vote for it twice

The price tag of Obamacare in Colorado alone is $17 million a month in subsidies (over $200 million a year), $13 million in new taxes and fees even on those who don’t use it, a budget more than 150% higher than originally planned, and let’s not forget the $14,000 bonus we gave Connect for Health Colorado CEO Patty Fontneau.  Yet, for all those dollars and cents, they still couldn’t figure out a way to prevent 2,320 more Coloradans from losing their health care plans just since March.  If we were Senator Mark Udall, and this was what our vote for Obamacare has done to the Coloradans who will decide our political fate come November, we’d hit the snooze button on this week a few more times.

If that weren’t bad enough, the liberal eggheads over at The New York Times are growing more and more pessimistic about Udall’s reelection chances.  Even with their liberal bias, they have reduced his race to basically a coin flip.  Things have gotten so bad for Udall, the NYT Upshot Senate forecast has North Carolina Democratic Senator Kay Hagan with a better chance of winning reelection than him now.  Her state didn’t even go for Obama in 2012.  Then again, whereas Udall thinks he has a winning hand by pushing gun control, more Obama regulations, his close relationship with Obama, Hagan at least has the common sense to understand where her constituents are at.

Instead of tossing out wedge issues no one in Colorado really cares about, it’d be great if Udall could focus on the 2,320 Coloradans with newly cancelled health plans and not tell them that he’d be glad to vote to cancel their health plans again.  Of course, when you’ve already helped cancel 335,000 Coloradans’ health plans, what’s another 2,000?

 

 

FOLLOWING MONEY: Under Seige IRS Chief Donor to Bennet

As IRS chief John Koskinen sits in front of a committee arrogantly asserting that the American people are not owed an apology for the targeting of the President’s political opponents, media outlets across the country are reminding Americans that Koskinen is a major Democratic donor.  We’ll do our part – Not only is Koskinen a Democratic donor, but he’s a donor to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a named party in an ethics lawsuit for the targeting of conservative groups via the IRS.  Small world.

From FoxNews:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.

Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.

From OpenSecrets.org:

Earlier this month, Bennet was named to an ethics complaint filed with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics by the Center for Competitive Politics.  The complaint charges the following:

“The complaint documents how the senators improperly interfered with IRS adjudications to further their party’s electoral prospects. They pressured the IRS to undertake income-tax investigations of specific organizations, to find that specific organizations were in violation of the law, to reach predetermined results pertaining to pending applications by individual organizations for nonprofit status, and to adopt specific regulatory interpretations and policies to further their campaign goals.”

As we noted earlier this month:

“This is an issue that we have been harping on for at least a year. On May 14th, we published a letter that Bennet wrote to IRS Commissioner Shulman and a press release from his office specifically calling out conservative operative Karl Rove.”

Given Koskinen’s clear existing admiration for Bennet, should Coloradans (and America) really trust him to turn over emails that might indict his precious investment, Sen. Bennet?  We didn’t think so, either.

 

BALLOT RETURNS: June 18th

We’ll be covering the ballot returns now through the primary election on Tuesday, June 24.  The Secretary of State’s office will release the next batch of numbers on Friday.  While county clerks are counting the number of ballots are returned, the ballots will not be tallied until Tuesday.

Here are the statewide numbers:

Republicans: 198,213

Democrats: 142,570

Total: 343,933

To put this in context, the total ballots cast for the 2010 primary election numbered 774,071.  With less than a week to go until the primary, just under half of the number of ballots cast in 2010 have been returned.  But, of course, procrastination is an issue that plagues voters, so we expect a mad dash at the end.

Here is the county-by-county break down:

 

 

 

WE ALL PAY: Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Mandate 400% More Expensive Than Predicted

Hang on to your wallets:  another bill is coming due for former Governor Bill Ritter’s ill-conceived “New Energy Economy.”  And of course it is middle-class Colorado families who are shouldering the burden of these expensive policies.

Sadly, the economic fallout from the the Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act, signed into law by Ritter in 2010, will last throughout this decade and beyond.  One of the major consequences of this law is either the retirement of perfectly serviceable coal fired electric plants and replace them with natural gas fired plants or add pollution capturing equipment.

We always find it instructive to examine the costs that the creators of big government programs predict for pet projects during the legislative process, and then compare those to what actually happens.  So let’s turn back the clock to 2010….

Shortly after the Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act was passed, the Denver Post reported that “the program will add about two percent, or $14 to the average annual residential bill by 2020.”

Oops.  It appears that they were a bit off, to the tune of 400%.

This week, the Denver Business Journal reported that Xcel is looking for approval of an increase in base rates that would amount to $3.96 per month for the average ratepayer.  On top of that, the utility wants to add a surcharge that will increase the average bill by $1.06.  These new costs, totaling more than $60 per year for the average ratepayer,  are designed to cover more than $1 billion worth of changes and upgrades that the utility needed to enact in order to comply with the Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act.

There are also a number of hidden costs associated with this disastrous legislation.  The Denver Business Journal article noted that Xcel is now the largest property tax payer in the state, and the improvements mandated by the Colorado Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act have pushed that tax bill higher.  Guess who ultimately pays that?

Another hidden cost related to an increased reliance on gas fired plants has to do with the relatively high volatility of gas prices over time, when compared to the price patterns of coal.

Obviously, these costs will be passed on to consumers as well.

It is unlikely that Xcel will face any meaningful push back from their regulators for these two items.  Maybe Governor Hickenlooper, who has time and time again proven himself to be a supporter of expensive energy, can channel Jimmy Carter and tell us to save energy this summer by setting our thermostats to 80 and walk around the house in our boxers.

 
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