Thousands of Coloradans have already cast ballots through the early and absentee voting process. And a new 9NEWS poll shows that the voters are giving a thumbs-up to Amendment 43 (55-38), which would enshrine traditional marriage in the state constitution. At the same time, Referendum I’s “counterfeit marriage” scheme has dipped dangerously below the 50-percent mark (48-44). Support has slipped much more for the latter since initial polling was done.
A purely political explanation for the trend is the quality and extent of advertising. Opponents of Amendment 43 launched the lame ad with an actor portraying President Bush that never came around to give voters a real reason to oppose it. On the other hand, opponents of Referendum I have upgraded their arsenal recently with an ad highlighting the measure’s potentially costly fiscal effects, a smart move politically.
One week out from Election Day, my prediction for Amendment 43 is passage with 57 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Referendum I has moved from “narrowly pass” to “too close to call.” I don’t see it getting more than 51 percent either for or against. At this moment, my other ballot measure predictions remain unchanged.
Other predictions? While it may be true that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has an “unscientific” feeling about his own momentum, it just isn’t going to be enough. A lot of pundits and observers will be surprised at how close the final results are in this race – Bill Ritter by 4 or 5 points, I say. While Beauprez may not get his own campaign across the finish line, any help he gives to the GOP’s late Get Out The Vote effort will be crucial to other races.
Hence, a few other predictions to share in the final 7 days of Colorado’s campaign 2006: All the other Republican statewide nominees will win but by varying degrees. Attorney General John Suthers has the easiest time, netting 58 percent of the vote. Mike Coffman will become Secretary of State by a 54-to-46 margin. Mark Hillman will be able to drop the word “interim” from his resume to become the next treasurer, but the margin will be too close for comfort (51-49).
Democrats pick up a net gain of one seat in the state senate for a 19-16 edge, while Republicans find a ray of hope by gaining three seats and narrowly retaking the state house, 33-32.