This morning, Colorado Republicans woke up to carnage. We lost the Governor’s race, state Senate, the three statewide seats (Treasurer, Attorney General, and Secretary of State), Mike Coffman’s seat, and a host of local races we would have won with a normal year. Last night’s results are causing some Republicans and gloating Democrats to declare that Colorado has finally turned blue. If you’re one of those people, no offense, you’re a damn fool.
First, last night was Jared Polis’ crowning achievement. When he embarked on the Blueprint with his fellow rich Democrats in the early 2000s, it wasn’t just because he believes so strongly in Democrat values, it’s because he was charting his own path, creating his own chess board that we would be forced to play on. The results last night were because Polis invested literally millions just this year in a turnout model that would substantially change the composition of voters in his favor. He literally has had 65 full-time field staff doing voter ID since January. That is insane – and Republicans should take note and copy it.
Second, this was just another time that Jared Polis bought an election. He contributed $23,275,775.04 (that we know of) to win this election. He won his first election by spending close to a million dollars to win a state Board of Education seat by just 90 votes. He bought his next election, ousting the heir apparent Joann FitzGerald to the shrieking of Democrats everywhere, in 2008 when he won the primary for the Second Congressional District, the seat he held until he ran for Governor.
Third, while it was a bad night for Republican candidates, Colorado voters soundly rejected Democrats’ policies in the form of ballot initiatives. Voters rejected Amendment 112 by a wide margin, rejected tax increases, etc. The electorate is the same group of fiscal conservatives, this isn’t a seismic shift to the left as some would have you believe. If anything it was a referendum on Trump at the top of the ticket that trickled down to state and local races. Nobody rejected Sheriff Dave Walcher because he was a Republican. More likely, the turnout for Jason Crow was massive and voters voted straight Dem, including Sheriff.
Fourth, some of the losses can be attributed to friendly-fire in the Republican Party. That has to stop. You know who you are.
Is Colorado deep blue? No. Is it still purple? Absolutely. Republicans had a bad night last night. Democrats had a bad night two years ago. In Colorado, the pendulum swings back and forth. We’ll have a good night again.