The Rocky Mountain Alliance of Blogs (of which I am a member) and People’s Press Collective (to which I am a contributor) — not to mention the Independence Institute where I work — are all among many co-sponsors of the upcoming First Annual Western Conservative Summit on July 9 to 11 in the south metro Denver area.
Put this one on your calendars. There is a fantastic and diverse collection of speakers slated to come, including: (more…)
I’m not the only one who has noticed the apparent desperation from the Jane Norton campaign. Fellow RMA and PPC blogger Don Johnson, frequently criticized for showing favoritism to the former lieutenant governor, now says that a Norton victory would make her “the miracle candidate of the year.” Among other things, Johnson describes a newly released Norton campaign poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), showing their candidate with a 39-33 lead as “unbelievable.”
On Tuesday afternoon, upon invitation from the Norton campaign, I joined their press teleconference to discuss the results of this poll — which contradicts recent polls from Magellan and SurveyUSA showing Buck with double-digit leads. (While Nate Silver’s numbers rank SurveyUSA as the third most accurate political polling firm out of 63, POS rates 60th. The in-state firm Magellan was not included.)
As articulated by Norton campaign spokesman Josh Penry, the POS poll assumes greater participation in the August primary because of high Republican voter intensity and a mail-in ballot election. Simply put, Norton’s numbers indicate the broader the electorate, the greater share of votes she gets. (more…)
Yesterday I actually found myself in a mood to give national radio host Hugh Hewitt a chance to not embarrass himself in talking about Colorado politics. After all, with a great interview early in the show, Hewitt finally acknowledged the existence of rising star and Colorado Congressional candidate Ryan Frazier. (I haven’t listened much lately: has Hugh Hewitt finally noticed Cory Gardner, too?)
But toward the end of the program Hewitt started following the Jane Norton campaign’s lead and bashing the SurveyUSA poll that put Ken Buck ahead of Jane Norton, 53-37. The host asserted in all-too-typical bombastic fashion that the polling sample of 59 percent men vs. 41 percent women wildly skewed the results in Buck’s favor. (more…)
7News reporter Russell Haythorn has a great story today about a Denver proposal backed by Mayor John Hickenlooper to institute a “crash tax” on non-residents who cause traffic accidents on highways inside city limits:
Some say it would raise revenue, others say it’s a double-tax that would scare visitors away.
“It would seem to me to be a little bit stupid,” said Dan Trippie who was visiting from New York and rented a car to get around.
“I think that’s outrageous since I already pay taxes to work in Denver,” said Ellen Warp, who lives in Wheat Ridge and works in downtown Denver.
Go here to watch the video of the report.
Kudos to my Independence Institute colleague Todd Shepherd for cracking the lid on this story. One of his reports, which appeared recently in the Denver Daily News, provided some context to the Hickenlooper-backed Denver proposal: (more…)
Last night I posted a quick analysis on the fresh survey data on Colorado’s big-ticket 2010 political races. Down the ticket, state treasurer hopeful Walker Stapleton has a 10-point lead on J.J. Ament — who only a month ago won a resounding victory at the State Assembly. Having bypassed the assembly process, Stapleton successfully petitioned onto the ballot.
The big numbers: Stapleton 41, Ament 31, Undecided 28. And according to the crosstabs underneath, Stapleton lead (or at least is statistically tied) among all demographic groups — age, gender, race, region, etc. Even the pro-Tea Party voters narrowly picked Stapleton over Ament, 37-34.
“This poll clearly shows that our message is resonating with voters across Colorado. Voters don’t want another politician,” said Stapleton campaign spokesman Michael Fortney. “They want to elect someone with real business experience from the private sector to get our state back on track. (more…)
Colorado’s big political buzz since Sunday has revolved around the Denver Post / 9News / SurveyUSA polling on the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. The governor matchups pretty much reflect Rasmussen’s recently released results, but the latest poll also puts Scott McInnis at a 2-to-1 advantage over fellow Republican Dan Maes in head-to-head support for the primary.
On this point PPC blogger PerlStalker is correct about Maes’ chances:
That’s a lot of ground to make up before the August primary. I doubt that he can do it with so little time left.
Don Johnson and others have been highlighting the most newsworthy result: Ken Buck’s 53-37 advantage over Jane Norton in the Republican showdown for the U.S. Senate contest. The response from the Norton camp at the changing fortunes? Josh Penry attacked the messenger in an email memo to supporters:
It’s safe to say that Howard Dean was more than a little surprised after being trounced in the 2004 Iowa Caucuses by eventual Democratic nominee John Kerry. You’ll recall that was the night that Dean had a now-legendary meltdown on primetime national TV.
I was taken aback yesterday when I read this Grand Junction Sentinel column that sure made it sound like Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes favored a lack of transparency in public utilities rate disclosure. Both a Rocky Mountain Right diarist and fellow RMA/PPC blogger Don Johnson jumped over the comments to assail Maes’ views.
I called Dan Maes this morning to get some important clarification. Below are my three questions and his brief answers: (more…)
I was privileged Thursday with the opportunity to conduct a one-on-one phone interview with Congressman Mike Coffman, Republican from Colorado’s 6th CD.
As co-founder of the Balanced Budget Caucus on Capitol Hill, it’s not surprising that Coffman is heavily focused on the importance of this issue. “You have to take the power away from Congress,” he told me. “It certainly has worked in some states.”
Coffman continued that he is “amazed how much overhead there is in the federal bureaucracy. The majority of what we do here has nothing to do with our constitutional responsibilities. It seems like the federal government is involved in every level of government.” He believes the Balanced Budget Amendment will “force Congress to deal with its constitutional responsibilities.”
I agree with the Congressman that this Amendment is an important next step for Congress to take if there is to be any hope for fiscal discipline from Washington, D.C. The Amendment is an important piece, but it certainly isn’t the endgame.
Coffman has heard the objections that a Balanced Budget Amendment would open the door for some interest groups and politicians to demand higher taxes rather than cut wasteful spending and reduce the size and scope of the federal government. He says it’s worth the risk and that “it’s better to make the tough choices now,” especially given the unprecedented tide of popular sentiment for cutting spending and reducing debt. (more…)
The Denver Post editorial board is on track today with a piece calling on Colorado’s sell-out U.S. Senators to come out and oppose a terrible piece of special interest payback legislation known as the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act:
Insiders say Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is championing the measure, has as many as 62 votes. That tally includes Udall and Bennet.
A connection of the state of nativity with my state of residence — the state where I cut my teeth on politics with the teeth the state where I’ve come more involved in politics than I ever imagined. Conservative leader Bob Schaffer, former Congressman and current chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, publicly announced his endorsement in the Republican primary for Michigan’s gubernatorial race in an email sent today to supporters:
Please join me in supporting U. S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra in his campaign to become Governor of Michigan.
With all the attention being paid to campaigns here in Colorado, you’re surely wondering why I’d ask you to join Maureen and me by supporting a candidate in Michigan. The answer is pretty straightforward:
Pete Hoekstra is one of the finest leaders I’ve ever known. (more…)
For the first time today, Rasmussen Reports released survey data on the Colorado gubernatorial race that included Dan Maes as a candidate. The result?
A tie in the head-to-head matchup: Maes 41, Hickenlooper 41. At the same time, the presumed Republican frontrunner Scott McInnis leads Denver’s Democratic mayor 46-41 — a statistically consistent advantage over the past three months. Hickenlooper remains the candidate who draws the strongest reactions either way, while Maes’ very favorable-to-very unfavorable ratio of 9-8 is similar in proportion to the more well known McInnis’ 16-14. (more…)
Update, 6/11: Final results are in. As expected, Walker Stapleton moves forward. Gubernatorial candidate Joe Gschwendtner and state senate candidate Mark Hurlbert both failed to make the ballot — the former by a mere 242 out of 10,500 votes. “They won’t have Joe G to kick around anymore.”
One day to go for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to verify whether candidates who opted to petition onto the ballot collected a sufficient number of signatures to move ahead. The updated list is here (PDF).
As of 5 PM on Thursday, five candidates (including Jane Norton for U.S. Senate) have qualified for the ballot and one was disqualified. The fate of two Democrat and five Republican campaigns are up in the air, including:
- State treasurer hopeful Walker Stapleton, who likely has enough to qualify
- Gubernatorial contender Joe Gschwendtner, who looks like he’ll be cutting it very close
- State senate candidate Mark Hurlbert, whose chances don’t look too good
Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens.
Don Johnson recently highlighted the latest Rasmussen poll showing potential head-to-head matchups among the four major candidates for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat.
But of course, the four different possible matchups of Democrat vs. Republican will be determined by voters in their respective parties by August 10. As the two GOP candidates Ken Buck and Jane Norton vie to make their respective cases for electability as one factor among many to woo primary voters, it’s also of great value to see how the two are faring against each other.
A newly-released Magellan Strategies poll may be some of the best news Ken Buck has garnered yet. Among a representative sample of 1,026 likely Republican primary voters surveyed statewide, Buck holds a 42-32 advantage over Norton. Perhaps even more interesting are some of the breakdowns within the poll:
- Favorability ratings for Norton: 37.4 favorable / 31.3 unfavorable / 23.7 no opinion = 92.3% Name ID
- Favorability ratings for Buck: 39.1 favorable / 13.3 unfavorable / 32.2 no opinion = 84.6% Name ID
- Among the 860 “extremely likely” to vote, Buck leads Norton 43-32; among the remaining 166 not as likely to vote, Buck only leads Norton 34-28
- 35 percent of votes for Norton are “definitely” voting for her as opposed to 65 percent who said “probably”
- 42.5 percent of votes for Buck are “definitely” voting for him as opposed to 57.5 percent who said “probably”
- Among male voters, Buck leads Norton 45-32; among female voters, Buck leads Norton 39-32
- Buck shows strongest among voters in northern Colorado, the eastern Plains, and the 6th Congressional in the south/west Denver suburbs, while Norton fares best on the Western Slope, southern Colorado and Denver proper
Given the significant amount of voters “probably” supporting their respective candidates and a quarter of those polled expressing indecision, making more than two-thirds of the electorate at least somewhat open to be swayed, it’s fair to say the race is still very much up for grabs.
But if Ken Buck can continue his momentum by reporting a significant increase in fundraising through the end of this month, all signs will show him as the come-from-behind prohibitive favorite for the last month of the primary campaign.
Ben DeGrow is a Contributing Author at People’s Press Collective, Your Source for Colorado Politics
If I were to pick candidates to support in this year’s primary based on the ill behavior of political allies, I wouldn’t be able to back Jane Norton or Ken Buck to be Colorado’s next U.S. Senator.
First, it was the over-the-top attacks from Norton lieutenant Josh Penry (whom I had enthusiastically decided to endorse during his brief, abortive run for governor) against Buck.
Then yesterday I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this bizarre hit piece by Red State’s Erick Erickson on Jane Norton. Until today, most of Buck-backer Erickson’s jabs at Norton have been at least somewhat reasonable. Then he highlighted this passage from an AP story: (more…)
The appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet appears to be wavering again. Maybe he needs to hear from constituents. Colorado’s junior senator is on the fence about an egregious attempt by Congress to impose what the Wall Street Journal aptly describes as “the most punitive tax rates on investment income in recent American history.” Steve Forbes clearly explains how destructive the proposal would be to the U.S. economy.
But don’t let that stop the Democratic steamroller in Congress. Better known as the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, the scheme is to combine the economic poison with an unrelated provision to extend jobless benefits to workers already strung out by the Obama administration’s campaign against the private sector economy. (more…)