The MSM says Obama has a registration problem since some states passed laws designed to end fraudulent registration and phony voting. At least here in Colorado, MSM is wrong because local Dems killed election safeguards.
The real problem for the Dems? Their base is fleeing – and they don't know how to get them back. Well, they do, but it involves prohibited practices.
Gloomy Registered Voter Numbers
In February a Democrat fellow-traveler group mailed out a faulty registration mailing to 17,000 "inactives." County clerks had to clean up the mess when recipients returned these forms that had no place for a required signature. So Democrats seemed to have an advantage: outside and taxpayer money helping them.
By May Day two months later, Democrats had gained 12,744, but – without outside help – Republicans had added 13,752 more active Republicans. Dems, now in third place, are behind both Republicans and "all other" voters!
Ever since Obama won Colorado, it's been downhill. Democratic numbers (the blue line) declined by mid-2010. Then came a twelve month collapse. Since last summer Republican registration growth outpaced them while Independents and minor parties rebounded strongly. And Independents who stayed "active" after 2010 had delivered about 70,000 more votes to Republican ticket leader John Suthers than to Suthers' Democratic opponent.
Between the '08 and '10 elections, Democrats' election participation dropped 21% – one and a half times the Republican decline. (Secretary of State and Voter Contact Services data, author's analysis.)
Obamacare the Cause?
DU's Seth Masket coauthored a study saying the Obamacare vote cost Democratic Congressional losses in 2010. Voters perceived Obamacare as far left-wing and Democrats as too liberal. Perhaps Obamacare also led Coloradans to avoid Democrat affiliation.
Amid the overall decline, here are some particulars:
Gallup reported 78% of under-30 voters were highly likely to vote in 2008. Today, only 56% of young voters say they will definitely vote in 2012. Obama's lousy jobs record may not be why young voters have lost enthusiasm.
Before 9-11 Colorado's young voter turnout ranged from 28% to 31% (Census data). Young voters' opposition to the Iraq war jumped their turnout to 44% and 46% in '04 and '08, making them 10% of all voters. Just 22% of young Coloradans voted in 2010. There is no "anti-war boost" among these voters this year. If young voters shrink from 10% to 8%, that would cut Obama's Colorado numbers.
Ski Counties and Affluent Voters
Ski counties shifted more strongly to the Democratic side from 2004 through 2008 than either before or since. These counties have many high income voters who once voted on liberal wedge issues. In 2012, however, ski county voters may vote on the economic fundamentals, as they seemed to do in 2010 – which would hurt Obama. If well-off Coloradans matched this pattern statewide, Obama would suffer.
Our state's Hispanic turnout, as a percent of all adult Hispanics, has tracked downward since 1996, Census reports, with two exceptions – 2006 and 2008. In 2010 registered Hispanics fell 6% below 2006, a trend which, if maintained, would mean Obama would lose thousands of votes. If the trend accelerates, as it could given our sour economy? Wow.
These crucial demographics face
- lower turnout by Democratic constituencies and
- votes shifting toward Romney.
Alone, they wouldn't push Colorado into the Republican camp – but Colorado would have a neck-and-neck race as April's Purple Poll reported.
So far no tactic they've tried has worked for Obama and Colorado's Dems. But past Democratic performance suggests how they might improve future results:
After 2004, Colorado's Dems and fellow-travelers used old fashioned methods to boost their registration. Our state's vote integrity suffered back then from Acorn operatives who falsified voter registrations in Colorado Springs. There's proof of past coordination. Obama was Acorn's lawyer and his 2008 campaign paid Acorn for campaign work. Those are the facts.
Given this history, they must avoid similar behavior … or at least talk like they intend to. The "talk" part has started. At a weekend vote registration seminar, Obama's operative told participants "Strive for perfection" when registering voters. Is it just verbal camouflage?
Sadly, Chicago-style politics are Obama's pattern as we see, again, with his 2012 campaign's refusal to prevent illegal campaign contributions. And Colorado's Democratic state legislators repeatedly killed clean election bills, so our weak laws continue to offer concealment for fraudulent vote efforts.