Much of the post-2016 analysis was focused on Donald Trump’s ability to win over working-class, union voters in historically Democratic strongholds. Michael Moore was one of the few liberal elites to accurately predict a Trump victory, and he did so based on Trump’s appeal to white males and rust belt voters.
But there are other pockets of working-class America where Trump did surprisingly well, including our very own Pueblo, Colo. In fact, the recent headline of a feature in the LA Times was: “Voters in this Democratic part of Colorado backed Trump. After 100 days, they have no regrets.” The Times reporter had no trouble coming across Trump supporters in Pueblo, even after the mainstream media has dubbed his first 100 days a disaster.
Of course, 2016 is not the first time that we saw evidence of this shifting mentality in our state’s southern population center. In 2014, Cory Gardner lost Pueblo County by less than 300 votes. His campaign manager at the time observed: ““…Pueblo had decided that the Denver-Boulder kind of ‘latte liberals’ had left them. They’re a different kind of Democrats in Pueblo. They’re gun-loving, church-going, union Democrats.” His ability to close the gap in Pueblo was a major factor Gardner’s success.
Fast-forward two years, and even though Trump didn’t carry Colorado, he won Pueblo by 390 votes. Another slim margin to be sure, but it shows an important trend that neither party can afford to ignore going into 2018. Swing voters aren’t restricted to the Colorado suburbs, and Democrats can no longer take Pueblo for granted.