The Denver Post just reported that 500 more possible noncitizens are on Colorado's voter lists. This increase happened between a March 8 letter by Secretary of State Gessler to the Department of Homeland Security and this month. And it equals 1.5% of the Democrats added to Colorado's voter lists in the last 90 day. This additional cloud on Colorado's vote integrity really calls into question the quality of Democrat's voter registration efforts analyzed in this column. Have Democrats and fellow-travelers fallen back on their old trick of creating phony voters?

Obama's campaign, purveyed by reporters, says it will boost Colorado's Democratic election participation. “Obama raises the bar” the headline proclaims. They plan to “dwarf” the '08 operation. (Back then, Democratic registration grew at twice the pace of Republican or Independent growth.) Quoting a female volunteer who owns a million dollar range country club home, Obama's campaign will be “more detailed and systematic than last time.” The four pillars of Obama's reelection, as reported? Social liberals, environmental enthusiasts, Hispanics and educated women. (If you don't vote for Obama, you must be uneducated?)

Set the puffery aside. In Colorado, at least, Obama's reality is remarkably unimpressive. With worse to come, national sources report.

In three months of boots on the ground effort, liberal supporters and Obama forces face this:

Without effort Republicans basically matched Democratic registration growth.

In the Colorado media wars, WaPo reports Obama spent $8 million to Romney's side of under $6 million … with this result:

Obama has a slim three point advantage (RCP).

Read on for the gory details. (My job used to be evaluating campaigns' actual efforts … separate from the things they told PACs whose support they wanted. Campaigns always exaggerate, and reporters may lack the time to test their brags.)

Obama faces difficulties – especially with Hispanics

Hispanic voting has been stagnant as a share of all voters, Census numbers show. Hispanic registrants are down. Compared to election participation in 2008, June's Republican active voter registration is down 32,000, but Democrats, of all races and ethnicities, are down 134,000. It's this huge deficit in registered voters that Obama must correct to win.

Hispanic election participation has two measures: intermittent Colorado exit polls (some accessible only through the Wayback Machine) and US Census surveys in each election November. They don't match well. Exit polling shows wide variation. Census data, the last column below, show most Colorado elections have about an 8% Hispanic share of all voters. This stability of Hispanic voting suggests it will be hard to shift the paradigm.

Hispanic Share of Voters

  • Election | Exit Poll | Census
  • 1996 | 8% | 7.7%
  • 1998 | 7% | 6.8%
  • 2000 | 14% | 10.2%
  • 2002 | N/A | 8.0%
  • 2004 | 8% | 8.4%
  • 2006 | N/A | 9.1%
  • 2008 | 13% | 8.4%
  • 2010 | 12% | 7.9%

The Pew Hispanic Center (HT/Mark Hugo Lopez) prepared a detailed report on Census (American Community Survey) data for Colorado. Many Hispanics in Colorado are not citizens and thus ineligible to vote – even with the non-citizen exodus since '08. The Pew data clearly shows that the demographic characteristics of Hispanics (younger, less educated, poorer, lower rates of home ownership) all produce lower election participation rates. (See the table of Census data.)

Colorado Hispanics (,000) in 2010 & 2008

  • GROUP | 2010 | 2008
  • Population | 629 | 590
  • Citizens | 455 | 380
  • Registered | 214 | 225
  • Voted | 144 | 195

This double whammy makes pollsters' lives difficult. The recent Colorado Marist poll, for example, used a sample that was 16% Hispanic, lower than the 20% from the 2011 ACS, as Marist poll director Barbara Carvalho told me. Marist's samples stick to the gold standard, but over-report Hispanic participation by almost double compared to the last two presidential elections. (And the practical effect of this is to artificially inflate Obama's vote.)

Democrat's Paltry Registration Efforts

Overcoming these dismal facts requires more than talk. The real question: Are Democrats and liberal fellow-travelers engaged in voter registration drives … ones that make a difference? This must occur for Obama to win in November, since Census reported 11,000 fewer Hispanics registered in 2010 than had been registered in 2008. A review of registration change from February (when new district data truly became available) to June of this year will show any Democratic activity, especially if we focus on State House districts.

Registration drives probably occurred in these districts with statistically high Democratic registration gains. The table shows active Democrat numbers (source: Secretary of State):

  • District – County | Feb | June | Change
  • HD 2 – Denver | 17019 | 18464 | 1445
  • HD 5 – Denver | 11754 | 12663 | 909
  • HD 6 – Denver | 18460 | 19422 | 962
  • HD 7 – Denver | 13630 | 14716 | 1086
  • HD 8 – Denver | 22070 | 23405 | 1335
  • HD 10 – Boulder | 18356 | 19331 | 975
  • HD 13 – Multi | 18422 | 19344 | 922
  • HD 14 – El Paso | 4751 | 5182 | 431
  • HD 15 – El Paso | 4996 | 5465 | 469
  • HD 16 – El Paso | 6768 | 7301 | 533
  • HD 17 – El Paso | 5440 | 6130 | 690
  • HD 18 – El Paso | 9993 | 10834 | 841
  • HD 21 – El Paso | 4505 | 5021 | 516
  • HD 42 – Arapahoe | 8436 | 9186 | 750
  • HD 46 – Pueblo | 16220 | 17137 | 917

IF the goal were to add Hispanic voters, several of these are sensible. Missing, however, are pieces of Adams County, core Greeley, the San Luis Valley and central Aurora. Some of the El Paso districts (also worked with registration drives in 2010) don't seem likely to boost minority registration. HD 10 and HD 13 (both Boulder) make sense purely for registering Democrats, but not for minorities.

Left-leaning registration drives? Yes. Hispanic registration drives? Not so much. A lack of enthusiastic volunteers for Obama? Gallup just reported that swing state Obama supporters don't match Romney backers in the “extremely enthusiastic” category.

These districts added 12,781 new Democrats and 8,611 Independents. This is one of those “kiss your sister” facts, however.

Statewide Democrats added 33,301 more Democrats with all these seeming registration drives. Republicans, with zero effort, added 32,408 more Republicans statewide. So, after months of effort, Democrats closed the registration gap by fewer than 1,000 new active voters.

What this reminds me of is not Obama in 2008, but Bush in 1992. In that year, too many preppie rich kids thought volunteering meant spending time in the shopping malls, not at the doors or on the phones. The faulty link between these types and working class voters showed in Roper Center data: working class voters' Bush support dropped almost 20% from his 1988 win.

Can wealthy liberal ladies really persuade poor religious Hispanics to vote for the guy who failed to fix our economy? Color me skeptical.

If his lopsided advantage in TV ad buys can't shift Colorado voters decisively to Obama, what happens when Romney's fundraising lets his side reach advertising parity?

In 2010, Colorado's top-of-ticket candidates faced sharp fundraising deficits that doomed their efforts. Republicans won every other statewide race.

Now WaPo says, “it seems likely that Romney will not only be able to equal Obama on air but, with an assist from the Republican super PACs, over take him between now and November 6. And that’s a very scary proposition if you are on the Democratic side of the aisle.”


Mitt Romney urges people to vacation in Colorado. The Left disagrees.

Published on July 11, 2012 by

Governor Mitt Romney during his visit here to Colorado Springs today asked people to help out here in Colorado by vacationing here and use those tourist dollars to help us out in our time of troubles.

From the Washington Post

Stay at hotels,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee urged his fellow Americans on Tuesday, “go to restaurants and purchase local merchandise.”

A Romney aide said the candidate made the suggestion at the request of some of the fire victims he had met with, who asked him to urge people to vacation in Colorado Springs

But apparently having people come to our state and spend money doesn’t sit well with the WP’s writer.

Never mind that many Americans in the current economy – a new Romney campaign banner dubs it “Obama’s Upside-Down Economy” – cannot afford to take summer vacations.

And you can view comments from the Post’s article as well as comment’s from The Hill, Democratic Underground, and others via googling.  The idea of coming to Colorado, enjoying both the natural wonders and the man made attractions, and spending money to help support communities damaged by the wildfires is one the Left obviously hopes no one heeds.


WHEN POLS ATTACKS: Woman Trouble Rears Ugly Head…Again

It turns out that yesterday’s “oopsie-daisie” attack on Robert Ramirez and his family, in which Colorado Pols insinuated that Ramirez was having an affair with his 14-year old daughter, wasn’t an isolated incident. Just two weeks ago, on June 21, front page editor “Progressive Cowgirl” attacked Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, because she owns a horse that qualified for the U.S. Olympic dressage team. Progressive Cowgirl had this to say about Mrs. Romney:

“Ann Romney is an elitist, tone deaf rich bitch who genuinely thinks she's just like you, despite her family's estimated net worth of $200 million.”

Wow. We think somebody (ahem, Progressive Cowgirl) is jealous that her horse didn’t make the Olympic team. Look, we’ll admit that we giggle during the videos of dressage, which has been likened to “horse ballet”. Of course, the video below is our favorite dressage video.

All silliness and horse ballet fun aside, Pols treatment of female relatives of candidates – and female candidates themselves – is troubling.  We’ll admit, we’ve made fun of Michelle Obama’s excessive traveling and spending; however, the attacks described above are more personal and over the line.

Ann Romney initially became interested in dressage as a therapy for her multiple sclerosis. In the May 2004 issue of Dressage Today, Mrs. Romney notes that “because of her riding and alternative therapies, she is now off all medications and doing well. "I have so much joy in the moment and love each horse I'm on."

She also told her interviewer that “when she began riding, her condition had weakened her muscles so badly that she could barely sit on a horse.”

Honestly, it’s just not that funny to make fun of someone’s debilitating illness, or to shine a spotlight on a 14-year old girl. We challenge women and voters to take a hard look at the way that the left treats women and decide if that’s the party that speaks for you.  


STILL HATED: Readers Of Denver’s 5280 Magazine Vote To Boot Obama From Office Second Year In A Row

Even in the liberal bastion of Denver, President Obama finds himself among a crowd of people who would like to see him packing up his boxes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Readers of Denver's 5280 Magazine chose Obama, for the second year in a row, as the politician they'd most like to boot from office.

It seems Barry can't catch a break in the Mile High City. Maybe it's the fact that unemployment has risen in Colorado for the last two months. For liberals it might be the fact that the waters didn't stop rising and the earth didn't begin to heal, as Obama promised would happen were he elected President in 2008. 

Whatever the reason, Denverites are jazzed to toss the Campaigner-in-Chief from office. We join them, as we did last year, in suggesting that we give the President the old heave ho

The editors of 5280 Magazine, however, turn their guns in a more liberally-inclined direction, choosing as the editorial pick Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler. 

While Gessler may be the chosen enemy among the liberal elite, that has so far had all of zero and zilch effect on his standing. A range of Denver-based Democrats have made fools of themselves in trying to take on Gessler. Check out our Top 4 Examples Of Gessler's Political Enemies Self-Imploding if you want.

If it were up to us, we'd gladly let the liberal media continue their failed assault on Secretary Gessler, while the great unwashed masses join us in chucking Obama. 


A DENVER STATE OF MIND: Press Corps Whining Over Romney Visit Misses The Value In Rural Outreach

If you've been reading the papers or watching local TV leading up to Mitt Romney's visit in Grand Junction today, you've surely seen the public media hand wringing over Romney's choice not to come to the Denver area. While the Denver press corps isn't pleased they have to leave the confines of the metro area to cover today's story, that doesn't mean there's no significant value in Romney's travel choices.

With Colorado set to possibly be the Florida of 2000 or the Ohio of 2004, it's instructive to look back at what worked in those states.

The movie …So Goes The Nation explains it well. In Ohio in 2004, the Bush campaign focused heavily on juicing excitement and turnout in rural Ohio. On Election Day, the Kerry campaign was feeling good because they were hitting their targets in all the major population centers. What they missed was that they were getting crushed by Bush in rural Ohio — something the metro-area-confined press corps and Democrats weren't able to pick up on. Ultimately, the margins that Bush ran up in rural Ohio were what won the state for him. 

Which is all to say that rural turnout matters. While the Denver metro area contains the majority of Colorado voters, big margins in rural areas can help push Romney over the top from the tight margins expected in the suburbs. 

As 9News's Brandon Rittiman pointed out this morning, metro area voters are also getting plenty of contact from the Romney campaign, and allied outside groups, in the form of millions of dollars of advertising. It's not like they're being ignored.  

Some uninformed observers have tried to play this decision off as amateur or a misunderstanding of Colorado's electorate. What they forgot is Romney's political operation is being run by longtime Colorado political operative Rich Beeson.

If Romney is deciding to focus on rural areas, to gin up the base at a time when swing voters aren't paying all that much attention, instead of the metro area, then it's probably for a good reason. We'll find out November 6, when as goes Colorado, so goes the nation. 

(Photo of Romney event line this morning courtesy of RNC's Ellie Wallace)


HONORED: At Least Alison Sherry Has Fans…Somewhere

We received a tip yesterday that the Denver Post’s very own embedded reporter was named a finalist in the Society of Professional Journalism’s “Correspondent” category. In honoring Sherry, the SPJDC wrote, “Sherry understands how to narrow and translate the wide Washington web to hone in on her community’s needs and interests.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Sherry has absolutely narrowed her reporting on Washington to hone in on her community’s needs. Translated: Sherry only reports back to Colorado a very narrow list of topics that hone in on her Democratic friend's needs and interests. A few of the Peak’s favorite Allison Sherry demonstrations in journalistic excellence:

  • Sherry has yet to report on Jared Polis’ insider trading scandal, despite attention paid to the issue by “60 Minutes” and other national media outlets. 
  • Sherry refused to report that Polis used franked mail (yes, taxpayers paid for this) to invite all of Perlmutter’s new constituents to an event with Perlmutter, when criticizing Tipton for doing something similar.
  • Sherry published a blog post titled “Interior Department: Reps. Cory Gardner and Doug Lamborn are wrong”, in which she literally regurgitates talking points from the Obama administration without getting responses from Lamborn or Gardner.

We wish we could say that these are just a few isolated incidents – perhaps a journalist having a bad day – but, unfortunately, these are just a few examples of Sherry's partisanship. For a full analysis, check out this post from March.

Of course, given the clear evidence that she’s just a partisan hack, we’re surprised that the SPJ would sully its good name by naming Sherry a finalist. Obviously, the SPJ hasn’t enlisted any of its investigative journalist-members to evaluate Sherry’s reporting. If it had, it would have found that Sherry’s version of “narrowing and translating the wide Washington web” isn’t all that appealing to Coloradans.

Well, regardless, cheers to you, Allison.  Keep up the mediocre and biased work?

(Photo Credit: Allison Sherry’s FB page)


“BEYOND THE CIVILITY”? Democrats & Outside Groups Stalking The Home Of Congressman Coffman, GOPers

Politico has an interesting article out today detailing the stalker-ish level Democrat trackers have achieved, including hiding in the bushes outside Republican politicians' homes and posting their home addresses online. That creepy tactic has reared its head in Colorado recently too, with liberal attack group Colorado Fair Share showing up at Congressman Mike Coffman's front door with video camera in hand.

After CD3 candidate Rep. Sal Pace whined to The Denver Post about his Republican tracker following him around the Capitol, surely Pace will disavow the tactics of his fellow Democrats and the outside groups aimed at getting them elected?

Per Politico:

Politicians recognize they give up a degree of privacy when they run for office.  

But Democrats are testing the outer limits of that understanding with a practice that raises questions about when campaign tracking becomes something more like stalking.  

While most serious campaigns on both sides use campaign trackers — staffers whose job is to record on video every public appearance and statement by an opponent — House Democrats are taking it to another level. They’re now recording video of the homes of GOP congressmen and candidates and posting the raw footage on the Internet for all to see.  

…In some cases, outside groups are producing the aggressive tracker footage themselves. A liberal group called Colorado Fair Share released a video showing volunteers hunting around the house of GOP Rep. Mike Coffman and asking neighbors if they’ve seen the congressman.  

In the video, a woman is seen knocking on the door of Coffman’s home in Colorado. Then, standing on the stoop, she turns to the camera and says: “Well, I guess he’s not home. Where’s Mike? We’ve been trying to find him." [Peak emphasis]

If you remember correctly, Pace lied to the Post and claimed his tracker was following him into the bathroom at the Capitol. The tracker wasn't actually doing that, though since Pace has two arrests for public urination, it might actually make sense to do that in his case. 

Regardless of Pace's untruths, does he think taping politicians' personal homes is appropriate? Pace's ally, Democrat state Rep. John Soper said following Pace around the Capitol "goes beyond the civility. It's just absolutely wrong."

If that's true, will Pace, Soper and Miklosi — Coffman's opponent — denounce Colorado Fair Share for stalking Congressman Coffman's home?


CREEPY & LAME: ColoradoPols Attacks Rep. Ramirez For Photo With His Teenage Daughter

UPDATE 2: Tim Hoover of The Denver Post and Eli Stokols of Fox31 report that Rep. Ramirez is not pleased, either. From Hoover’s write up:

The picture itself is from a printed campaign brochure, but the volley of sniping it caused between conservatives and liberals today was all online.

…”That attractive blonde woman posing with Ramirez in the upper left-hand corner? That’s not his wife,” Coloradopols noted in the blog piece this morning.

It’s not Ramirez’s wife. It is his 14-year-old daughter, a fact that conservative blog quickly tweeted out.

“@coloradopols Y’all don’t even try anymore, do u? You attack Ramirez for including a pic w his daughter b/c…she’s not his wife,” ColoradoPeakPolitics tweeted.

The Coloradopols post was soon changed, adding, “The woman in the picture may be a family member, but Ramirez should probably point that out in a caption.”

…Ramirez, though, found no humor in the situation and said he took the Coloradopols post to mean he was having an inappropriate relationship with the young woman in the photo.

“That is a straight insinuation that that is somebody other than my wife,” he said. “It bothers me.”


UPDATE: Mrs. Ramirez is NOT pleased:

Will Rep. Ramirez’s opponent, lawyer-lobbyist Tracy Kraft-Tharp, disavow this attack?


Any father of a teenage daughter cringes when someone insinuates that his child is attractive. And, when a blog tags a photo of a male and female with “she’s not his wife!”, it implies he’s up to no good. But, when they both happen in the same caption, it’s just creepy. That’s what happened to State Rep. Robert Ramirez today on liberal blog ColoradoPols as they critiqued his walk piece.  

We'll have to go to a screenshot to see what was originally published, as Pols edited their piece quietly after we taunted them for it on Twitter.

No, Pols, that’s not his wife. That’s his high school age daughter, you sick perverts.

(Note: Jason Salzman — nowhere does Pols acknowledge making the factual change in their piece. Deserving of a blog post from you?)  

Anyone who reads Colorado Pols these days realizes it has become a shadow of its former self. The writing is weak, the analysis flawed and they generally lack the hard hitting oppo research and snark that used to define the site.  

Beyond the fact that Pols insinuated that Ramirez’s photo with his teenage daughter was inappropriate, the post reads like one of those crazy emails campaign staff get when they check the email account listed on the campaign site — basically a long list of someone's pet peeves that ultimately amounts to nothing. And like many crazy people emails, it contains serious factual errors.  

It's sad, really. Partisans on both sides of the aisle used to have at least grudging respect for ColoradoPols. Either the left liked them because of the dirt they dug up on Republicans, or the right admired them for their humor and snark.  

Now they don't seem to possess either – just a lustful eye for a teenage girl. Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC – are you reading?


SHADY: Pat Stryker’s Name Appears In White House Visitor Logs At Key Points In Abound Solar Loan

Democratic mega-donor Pat Stryker's name appears in White House visitor logs at key points in the Abound Solar loan process. A review of White House visitor logs when compared to the timeline for approval of the $400 million taxpayer-backed loan to the now-bankrupt company yields some interesting overlaps, raising questions worth investigating outside of an anonymous blog.

The one caveat is that a "Pat Stryker" appears in the logs, but the White House and the Fort Collins billionaire heiress have yet to publicly confirm that she is the Pat Stryker in question. We assume there are not a lot of "Pat Strykers" out there capable of getting three White House meetings on the schedule in a year. 

Democratic donor Pat Stryker has had an outsized role in Abound Solar. Her Bohemian Companies was a large private investor in the company.

Abound, like Stryker, has also had a great deal of Democratic politician ties. The company ran advertising "thanking" then-Congresswoman Betsy Markey for voting for the Cap and Trade bill. Former Governor Bill Ritter personally hand delivered two letters of support for the company directly to Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu. After Ritter left office, Stryker's Bohemian Companies helped bankroll a $300,000 a year salary for Ritter at CSU focused on renewable energy. 

Additionally, Stryker donated $50,000 to Obama's inauguration, and raised another $87,500 for the same. Her tight political connections — including funding millions in liberal attack groups and other Democrat political infrastructure in Colorado — leads many observers to wonder about her role in helping secure the $400 million loan from the Obama administration.

When you compare White House visitor logs to key points in the Abound Solar loan approval process, something even sketchier emerges.

A "Pat Stryker" first appears in the White House logs in October 2009, meeting with a staff member in Operations. Nine months later, on July 3, President Obama personally announced the $400 million loan to Abound.

Only a day after Obama announced the loan to Abound, on July 4, a "Pat Stryker" shows up in White House visitor logs.

The overlap continues with the approval of the loan. Abound announced on December 14, 2010 that the Department of Energy had officially approved their loan application. Then four days later, on December 18, a "Pat Stryker" again shows up in White House visitor logs. 

What is going on here? It would seem the key dates in Abound Solar's campaign to get a government loan match up a little too closely to a mega donor for the Democrats and Obama setting meetings at the White House. 

The Sunlight Foundation last year tried to figure this out, but was rebuffed by the White House, who refused to answer any questions about the meetings. The only thing a White House spokesman did say was that the July and December meetings appear to be missed appointments, since no check in time was listed on the records. 

The question we have is: Did a Pat Stryker have meetings on those dates? If so, is it the same Pat Stryker who has donated millions to get Democrats elected? And if that is true, how can that not be seen as a lobbying campaign to use political connections to get nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer loans?

(Photo Credit: NREL)


UNION SPONSORSHIP: Filing Shows Unions Buy Targeted State House and Senate Races

On July 2nd, campaigns were furiously assembling their finance reports due by close of business.  Since then, we’ve been working on giving voters a peek into which candidates have the most union backing.  Not surprisingly, most of the union sponsorship ends up helping Democratic candidates in “races to watch”, as named in both The Colorado Statesman and The Colorado Observer.  The candidate with the most union “investment” is (drumroll) State Senator Evie Hudak, who has taken at least $15,250 from unions.  We wish we could say we were surprised. Please congratulate Ms. Hudak next time you see her on her big win.

Here is our top ten list, plus five honorable mentions.  A quick note about these figures – these numbers are simply the donations we could clearly identify as unions.  With the complex state and federal campaign finance rules, more union money may be out there, so this is not meant to be an all-encompassing figure, but merely a snapshot of direct union contributions.

SD19: Hudak ($15,250)
HD3: Kagan ($13,450)
SD22: A. Kerr ($13050)
SD26: Newell ($10,450)
SD25: Hodge ($9,250)
SD17: M. Jones ($9,000)
HD36: Ryden ($8,700)
HD29: Kraft-Tharp ($7,975)
HD50: Young ($7,950)
HD33: Primavera ($7,650)

Honorable Mentions:
SD21: Uliberri ($7,500)
HD18: P. Lee ($5,800)
HD35: Peniston ($5,200)
HD47: Rodosevich ($5,000)
HD17: Exum ($4508)

To see which unions supported which candidates, please view the chart below.



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