Colorado is home to a brewing blood war in the Democrat Party over whether to support more drilling. With gasoline racing towards $5 or $6 a gallon by this summer, that civil war is certain to spill over into the general election.
The liberal civil war over oil and gas development is defined by two major Democrat politicians with radically different approval ratings in Colorado: Governor John Hickenlooper and President Barry Obama.
On the pro-drilling side there is John Hickenlooper, who has a 53% approve to 23% disapprove rating, which makes him the second most popular governor in the country. Guv Hick, while doing his best to hide from many federal energy issues, has stuck his neck out to defend hydraulic fracturing. His pro-energy positions have led even Colorado oil and gas interests to run feel-good ads on his behaf.
On the other side of the Democrat divide on energy is President Barry Obama, who has an ignominious 40% approval to 52% disapproval rating in Colorado. Obama is the man who blocked the Keystone Pipeline, tied up onshore and offshore oil and gas production, and embraced the Chevy Volt at the same time that motorists said "thanks but no thanks" to the stupid little car.
Today, Congressional candidate and serial public urinator, Sal Pace, picked a side in the civil war, asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to block the lease of federal land for oil and gas drilling in the North Fork Valley.
Mark him down as an anti-drilling zealot more aligned with Obama than Hickenlooper.
Which side of the Democrat civil war is on the right side of public opinion?
We're going to go with the pro-drilling side, especially in the conservative, and oil and gas heavy, 3rd Congressional district.
You don't need to trust us, or Hick and Obama's respective approval ratings. Just look at the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll that found 2/3 of Americans blame Obama for high gas prices.
Or the fact that many counties in the 3rd Congressional district have unemployment surpassing 20%.
Or the fact that Obama's Energy Secretary has said he wanted gasoline to surpass $8/gallon.
Being anti-drilling at a time of record unemployment and record high gas prices just isn't an electoral winner. You don't need to drill down very deep into political statistics to bear that out.