In the spring, Hickenlooper’s campaign was flying high. Spirits were high that Hickenlooper would have a comfortable lead through the summer leading into the fall and the election. But that was before the Republican primary and before Hickenlooper’s opponent was chosen.
And here comes Bob Beauprez.
He crushed Tom Tancredo in the Republican primary. And he has a shot of becoming Colorado’s next governor. The Denver Post recently ran a piece about the “6-year-pushback,” the idea that there comes a push-back against the President’s party after 6 years in office, the result of voter frustration after 6 years of policy making. There could be a tide of political change in this politically purple state. We could get a Republican governor for the first time since 2007. We could get a Republican senator in the form of Cory Gardner.
Gov. Hickenlooper is now locked into a re-election fight, much like Mark Udall. Polls in mid July showed Governor Hick locked into a statistical tie. A Quinnipiac University poll released on July 15 found Republican Bob Beauprez leading the governor, 44% to 43%.
Hickenlooper has taken a few hard hits in public opinion over the last few years. The first was with the passing of gun-control legislation following the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. And the second stumble was with the very unpopular decision Governor Hickenlooper made to allow a “temporary reprieve” on the death penalty sentence of mentally-ill killer Nathan Dunlap. Bob Beauprez is jockeying into position to exploit public anger on these two issues. That combined with the public anger about “Obama-care” and the Dems have an uphill battle to November.
And we the citizens get caught in the middle with the mind numbing political ads that fill our tv screens on the local channels. Super PACS are out in force. We have ads from Karl Rove’s Super PAC, the Koch Brothers Super PAC, the Republican Senate Majority PAC, the Democrat Senate Majority PAC, then from Udall and Gardner’s campaigns directly. It is mind numbing. Combine that with the oil company propaganda ads which tell us that fracking is safe, effective, and counters our reliance on Middle Eastern oil. Nevermind that is completely unsafe and ruins the drinking water and farmland. Nevermind that it is causing earthquakes in Greeley, Colorado, a place that has never had any earthquake activity.
Time and Politico both recently published in-depth pieces that did an excellent job examining the impact of Jared Polis’ anti-fracking state-wide ballot measures that could potentially be on the ballot in November, if enough signatures are had by the August 4th deadline. Democrats are concerned that these measures will serve as Republican turn out machines in November. This may cast the death blow to Mark Udall and to Gov. Hickenlooper. While I admire Rep. Jared Polis for speaking out against the intimidating oil and gas lobby in Colorado on fracking, he is not helping out the chances of Mark Udall keeping his Senate seat. Independents could very well be essential in determining who wins the Senate seat and who our governor will be….