Yesterday’s Public Policy Polling survey of Colorado that found that Governor Hickenlooper had taken a 20 point nosedive among voters revealed one of the major consequences to come out of a legislative session dubbed by The Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel as “one of the most liberal ever.”
A flashback to that Durango Herald piece from April 8:
DENVER – Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Colorado legislators have done a lot this year.
If the session ended today, it would go down as one of the most productive and liberal ever, with new laws allowing civil unions, in-state tuition for children who lack citizenship and some of the only new gun control bills in the country this year, and they are on their way to expanding eligibility for Medicaid.
But with 30 days left in their annual session, Democrats are just getting warmed up.
KDVR’s Eli Stokols predicted this would happen in a 5280 Magazine piece in March, suggesting Democrats could be confronted with a case of “whiplash” from their over-reaching legislative agenda. (
The article is offline right now, but we’ll link if/when it goes back up It’s been reposted here). Eli’s inner-Swami proved quite prescient.
The consensus among the Colorado press corps seems to be coalescing around the idea that this legislative session has been on the radical side of liberal…sorry, progressive…much to the chagrin of Democratic leaders like House Speaker Mark Ferrandino who promised to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
From gun control to Hitler’s dog to sex ed for 1st graders, the topic of discussion under the Gold Dome has been everything but economics so far this year.
Hick’s twenty point hit since Christmas, almost entirely in the form of moderate Republicans and independents fleeing his ship, is nothing to sneeze at. That fundamentally reshapes Hickenlooper’s political standing in the state.
Hick’s slide likely isn’t over yet, either. The Progressive Leap Forward still has many miles to go.
There is still a slate of horrible bills yet to reach the Guv’s desk — like driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, a Common Cause-drafted election bill and a slew of anti-business legislation.
Not to mention the coming billion dollar tax increase campaign.
There is a reason the last tax hike campaign, Prop 103 in 2011, lost everywhere in Colorado but Boulder, Aspen and Telluride. Tax increases are like Democrats in Douglas County — a guaranteed loser.
While Hickenlooper managed to evade a public position on Prop 103, both the media and liberals are not likely to give him a free pass this time around. He’ll have to take a position. Coming out against it would enrage the left, and considering the pressure liberals were able to exact on him during the gun debate, we can’t be sure Hickenlooper won’t dive down the tax hike rabbit hole.
Suffice it to say supporting a tax hike in this economy won’t help improve his numbers.
The political blowback for legislative Democrats has only just begun, with a number of them having to fend off recall campaigns that will prove costly, both in time and treasure.
Such are the consequences for the most liberal legislature ever.