Word to the wise: From the post-election polling I've seen, it would be smart politics for Republicans to back Hickenlooper's cuts. Voters understand the need for cuts. They don't like having less money for education, but overwhelmingly support cutting budgets across the board. 

If legislators start supporting pet projects or cutting deals, voters will smell it and punish them accordingly. Hickenlooper's budget is equally rough on a wide swath of programs and interests. Republicans would be wise to stand by him and let the Democrats be seen as supporting the demands of public employee unions.

Endless polls I've seen say standing on public employee unions' side is not going to help legislators' cause come November 2012.

Beyond budget cuts, a number of bills put up by Republicans, from requiring photo ID to vote to E-Verify has substantial and high intensity support.

Republicans are on the right track, but the budget is where the road forks. I suggest the Republicans veer right.