Archive for Elections

Mark Udall and Cory Gardner Duke It Out in Competitive Election Fight While Hickenlooper Also In Toss Up Race

Never Politics SmallAh, it is finally October. That means crisp apples, beautiful yellow Aspen trees….and cut throat politics and obscene amounts of outside of state Super-PAC money pouring in! Yes, the Midterm elections are a little over a month away and the politics here in Colorado are hot, hot, hot. Colorado is such a truly purple state, a state that is so evenly divided in terms of Democrats and Republican voters, that it absolutely could be Independents that decide the victors, like Third Way wrote about yesterday. Third Way notes how there is a large independent electorate in Colorado, with a surge of new independent voters in the state, comprising of an additional 300,000 voters as unaffiliated or independent! But a large amount of these voters are libertarians, ideologically Republican voters.

I want to influence the liberal Colorado voters who are independents to vote in this election for Mark Udall for Senator and John Hickenlooper for Governor. And in the 6th district to unseat Rep. Mike Coffman, and vote for Andrew Romanoff in the 6th Congressional District.

Both the Senate race in Colorado and the Governor Seat are considered toss ups at this time, with many pundits predicting that Cory Gardner will win Mark Udall’s senate seat, and that senate majority will go to the Republicans in the Senate. John Hickenlooper is also engaged in a tight race, with pundits labeling that race a tossup.

Gardner and Udall have been clamoring for the Women Voter bloc. And Gardner has a 13% deficit in the polls behind Udall with women. Gardner has a Women Problem. So of course he is pandering directly to women, telling us that he supports birth control, which I am pretty sure is laughable. It’s just odd when the tables are turned and women have the power and yet lies and pandering prevails.

Andrew Romanoff has run an excellent campaign against incumbent Mike Coffman. Indeed, in a recent debate, Romanoff went on the offense against Coffman, and showed he had an excellent grasp on the issues while Coffman drew gasps from the crowd when he denied that climate change, i.e. global warming, could be man made. But Romanoff has an uphill battle because incumbents usually win, even though Congress has abysmally low approval ratings, the people still tend to re-elect their past representative or senator. This disconnect in politics, this phenomena of re-electing incumbent politicians we are dissatisfied with, is especially baffling to me.

The midterms look especially depressing to me in terms of the likely outcomes. But I think Democrats could retain Senate Majority if people turn out. So I am encouraging all my friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family to vote.

The media continues to realize the importance of Colorado in elections. With some pundits now calling Colorado a more important bellwether than Ohio, given Colorado’s quintessentially purple status. I think Colorado is a very exciting state to live in for political nerds like me. I cannot wait for the election. I will be live blogging results on Election Day.

Andrew Romanoff Out Fundraising Incumbent Mike Coffman, Even While Eschewing Super PAC Money

Usually incumbents can easily out fundraise their opponents when it comes to election fights, but not so in the very competitive Colorado’s 6th district. In the first fundraising quarter of the year, Andrew Romanoff has raised more money than his opponent Mike Coffman. Romanoff raised $603,000 in the first quarter, which was $10,000 more than Mike Coffman. Romanoff also out-raised Coffman in the last quarter of last year. It will be interesting to see if this trend holds through the summer leading into the fall.

Romanoff now has $2.3 million in the bank to Coffman’s $1.96 million. But here is the interesting part, Romanoff is out fundraising Coffman, even while eschewing Super PAC money. Romanoff made a pledge to take no Super PAC money and even so has more money in the bank. I think this shows that Romanoff has a considerable amount of traction from voters disillusioned with the Do Nothing Congress. But can he edge his way to victory?

This will be one of the closest House races in November!

Governor Race Tightens Up with Most Support Among Independents Going to Bob Beauprez, Independents also favor Gardner over Udall

Never Politics Small

Colorado voters went to the polls for the state-wide primary June 24th and selected Bob Beauprez for their GOP candidate for governor, besting Tom Tancredo and others. And a new Rasmussen Poll shows that independent voters favor Bob Beauprez over John Hickenlooper 45 to 37 percent! This is huge news and could be a key trend to watch for the governor’s race leading into November. New polls show the governors race has tightened significantly since the primary shored up Beauprez as the nominee. The polls now show that Hickenlooper and Beauprez are in a virtual tie, each drawing 44 percent.

In separate polling, the very closely watched race between Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner also shows similar results. Independents are favoring Gardner over Udall, 41 to 36 percent.

I can’t pretend that as a liberal independent I am not disturbed by this polling. I am deeply worried about it. While I can’t ignore the fact that a large portion of Independent voters in Colorado are on the libertarian side of the political spectrum, there is also a large liberal independent voting block, a segment of the population who are unaffiliated voters who have strong liberal political leanings. We need to make our voices heard in this election season. Independents will have a huge sway on this election and who gets voted into Congress. Lets talk to our friends and neighbors and coworkers and make our concerns known. Because Udall is far from having this thing locked in. I do have faith that Hickenlooper will put out a win, but his victory is far from assured as well. Both Udall and Hickenlooper need to think: turn out, turn out, turn out!

Hickenlooper Enjoys Comfortable Lead While Sen. Udall Locked in Tight Race.

2014 Election: A Closer Look At the New Polls

With all the polling coming out constantly for Senate, House, and the Governor’s race here in Colorado, there is so much material for political junkies to dissect! I for one am really enjoying this election cycle! We here in Colorado have some very hot races to follow. Especially the Mike/Coffman Andrew/Romanoff race in the 6th Congressional District, and the Mark Udall/Cory Gardner race that came from nowhere to blindside the Udall Campaign.

Lets take a look at the newest batch of polling.

Hickenlooper Polling

The newest round of polling is quite favorable for Gov. Hickenlooper. A Quinnipiac poll out April 23rd shows Hickenlooper beating all four GOP candidates for governor. The poll shows Hickenlooper beating Tom Tancredo 47 to 40, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, 48 percent to 38 percent; former Sen. Mike Kopp, 47 percent to 38 percent; and former Congressman Bob Beauprez, who entered the race last month, 48 percent to 39 percent. This polling is reassuring to see after a tough year for Hickenlooper in 2013. He took a beating in the polls over his support for gun control legislation and for the indefinite suspension of the death penalty in the case of mentally ill Nathan Dunlap. It seems that Hickenlooper has regained ground with the voters, showing strong support from women and independent voters. I am glad that independents are behind Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper has proven himself to be a moderate politician in a state that is extremely politically purple. Hickenlooper is not the liberal firebrand that some people try their hardest to paint him. He is a politician who leads with steady, moderate leadership and who does not cater to the fringe of either side of the political spectrum. While I sometimes fault Hickenlooper for his obvious ties to the oil and gas industry, I cannot fault his practicality as a leader. He knows which side his bread is buttered. I think Hickenlooper is in a good position to win re-election in November for another term as Governor. And after that there are persistent whispers of presidential ambitions.

Udall/Gardner Senate Race Poll

Udall as an incumbent no doubt thought he was in for a safe cruise to re-election in 2014 when Cory Gardner decided not to run for re-election in the House and instead chose to challenge Mark Udall’s Senate seat. This race will be long, tough, and close. A new poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows the Colorado Senate race is extremely tight, according to a new report from Politico. The survey has Republican Rep. Cory Gardner up by 2 points among likely voters, 44 percent to 42 percent, over Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Libertarian Party candidate Gaylon Kent pulls 7 percent. This is within the 4-point margin of error. Another poll on the Democratic side with Public Policy Polling, which found Udall ahead by 2 points. And a Quinnipiac poll for the same race will be released tomorrow. There is a lot of public anger at the Affordable Care Act for Gardner to capitalize on. But there are also a lot of previously uninsured people who now have health coverage. I wonder if Gardner can really pull out a victory. Usually incumbents win. And Colorado is evenly divided. Independents could ultimately decide this race.

Mike Coffman/Andrew Romanoff 6th District

One of the hottest races in the country, this is a face-off between a conservative Republican incumbent, Mike Coffman, and a face of local Colorado Democrat leadership, Andrew Romanoff. This race will be fascinating to watch. The 6th district is highly diverse, with growing Latino populations, making for changing demographics. Andrew Romanoff has a highly organized campaign and they are raising major cash. Romanoff’s campaign raised over $600,000 in a 3 month period, to Coffman’s $593,000 in the same period. Coffman is associated with the tea part caucus, an association he looks to minimize as he campaigns for November. According to media reports, Coffman or his staff edited his Wikipedia recently to remove mentions of the tea party. So clearly Coffman is aware of how his image as a tea party member could be detrimental his re-election campaign. I am really hoping that Colorado elects Romanoff this year. We deserve representation that will work for us. A rep who will actually legislate, and not obstruct. We need real legislators, and not just party hacks who will not work across the aisle, compromise, and get work done for the American People.

Some Comments on Chris Christie and “Bridge-Gate” and the Broomfield Fracking Drama Continues; 75 Uncounted Ballots Suddenly Surface

Happy New Year from NEVER POLITICS!

 

2014 will be a year rich in political news. We have the upcoming midterm elections in November, with the potential for the GOP to win control of the Senate. (I hope not.) And the year started off with a roaring high-profile political scandal in the form of Chris Christie and “Bridge-Gate.” Only a few days ago I was saying to someone how Chris Christie is not presidential and that, if pitched against Hillary Clinton for the presidency, he will lose. Now with this Fort Lee traffic scandal, Chris Christie is being absolutely destroyed in the media. He looks like a bully. One must wonder if it hurts his political odds in 2016. It depends on the outcome of the pending investigations into Christie’s involvement into the traffic closures in New Jersey. If he is found to be lying about his role in this scandal, that could be the end to his presidential ambitions.

I kind of wonder if he got too complacent about his standing as a GOP “Golden Boy” and as a very popular governor, and thought he could get away with some malicious political hanky-panky. This hubris could prove fatal to his ambitions. But then, I must admit, I never found Chris Christie to be presidential. He has cost the state of New Jersey billions of dollars with some of his choices. How is that an example of sound Republican financial shrewdness? Puh-lease.

Here in Colorado, we have a political battle unfolding front and center: the Broomfield Fracking Ban Election Drama! A mysterious box containing 75 uncounted ballots miraculously and suddenly appeared! The box was reportedly found in Election Manager Michael Susek’s office. It is unclear why the box was never counted, or why it was never reported upon by the media in the wake of the mandatory recount that occurred in November of 2013. This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Why won’t the courts and the oil companies just admit that the election is over, and that Broomfield banned fracking?

The media has not reported on the results of this box of uncounted ballots changing the results of the election, which banned fracking for 5 years in the county of Broomfield. This story is developing….stay tuned to NEVER POLITICS to stay up on the news in this debacle!

Post-Election Update

BROOMFIELD FRACKING BAN RECOUNT

 

Two weeks ago, voters in Broomfield County voters voted on whether to approve a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it is known colloquially. The results of this moratorium, known as “Broomfield Question 300” are not yet settled. The measure, which was failing by 13 votes on election night, narrowly passed by 17 votes after outstanding ballots were certified last week. The narrow margin of victory made a recount mandatory per state law. Wednesday afternoon the recount will commence, with the results known on Thursday.

Fracking has been banned by voters in nearby counties to Broomfield. There are now fracking bans in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Lafayette. Colorado is a state with a large oil and gas industry, which carries with it a large lobby on its behalf. Governor Hickenlooper has been careful to not offend the oil and gas lobby in his time as Governor. He is politically-savvy to do so. There is a lot of political will in Colorado to keep Oil and Gas happy. Meanwhile there is an increased awareness of the dangers to people, communities, and the environment as a result of fracking. Films like the movie “Gasland” and “Gasland 2” have shown us the horrors of fracking. Especially the lasting image of people in Pennsylvania being able to light their drinking-water from the tap on fire because of the chemicals leeched into the water from hydraulic fracturing. This is not an image Americans are quick to forget. So, this Broomfield recount will be watched closely by both environmentalists and those who are pro-oil and gas. Especially in Northern Colorado counties like Weld County. Northern Colorado is experiencing a fracking boom which is making some people very rich.

The way that the oil-and-gas lobby counters the image of being able to light drinking-water on fire is two-fold. One: JOBS. Americans need jobs and there are jobs to be had in hydraulic fracturing. And the second part is touting how it secures America’s Energy Independence from the Middle-East. These are the counter to environmentalists and citizens concerns about pollution and water-quality (or lack thereof.) This is the way the oil and gas lobby can spin things. They can spin it as jobs and energy independence and not just flagrant and staggering short-sighted greed. They can spin it as securing our energy future instead of securing their next quarterly profits, which is of course, all that matters. That and the stock price of oil and gas companies and security of their stock-holders, naturally. It is a behemoth monster we are up against, we, the citizens, who want to have clean drinking water and farm lands and forests free of fracking contaminants.

This pursuit seems perhaps especially pressing and relevant in the face of the recent crippling floods in Colorado in areas where fracking is prevalent, and amid unresolved questions about whether some very serious pollution and contamination happened in fracking-sites devastated by the so-called One Thousand Year Flood in September 2013. The Daily Beast did an investigative piece about this which is worth a read.

I will be watching the results of Broomfield’s recount come in on Thursday and blogging about the results. If I had to venture to guess, I think the fracking ban might fail. Stay tuned…Developing…

ELECTION NIGHT 2013

Tonight I will be live-blogging local and national politics election results and analysis. Election Night in America is one of the best nights of the year. I love to see democracy in action. This is what makes our great nation so great: people across the country casting their ballots and making their opinions heard. Perhaps tonight we can gain a few “take-aways” from tonight’s election results to gage some nationwide political trends so that we can apply these trends as “bellwethers” — any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings. The biggest bellwether races this year I am focusing on are the Virginia governor’s race between Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ken Cuccinelli (R) the tea-party candidate, which is turning out to be a tight race. And then locally speaking, my eye is on the Amendment 66 here in Colorado, which “would inject $950 million of new money into K-12 education by changing the state income tax from a flat rate of 4.63 percent to a two-tiered arrangement. The first $75,000 of taxable income would be taxed at 5 percent and everything above that threshold at 5.9 percent.”

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE

The reason the national media is focusing so much on Virginia and their governor’s race is due to the fact that Virginia is a swing state and it shows the divide in America between liberals and conservatives. The geography of Virginia displays this divide very clearly. Northern Virginia is very suburban, and considered part of the “Beltway” and contains many industries which are connected closely to our nations capital in D.C. Defense contractors are a huge part of the economy in northern Virginia. Then there is the more rural areas of southern Virginia which are more conservative, where more distrust of Big Government exists. These are the areas where Tea Party candidates like Ken Cuccinelli can find big support. The counties in northern Virginia tend to go blue, whereas the southern counties tend to go red. This division is what makes Virginia a bellwether.

Ken Cuccinelli has a “women problem”. His extreme rhetoric makes him an unpopular candidate with the women’s vote. I think that if women turn out tonight, and the exit polls support this, he will lose. We have seen many big names come out to stump for both Cuccinelli and for McAuliffe.In the last few days even President Obama and it-girl Kerry Washington have stumped for McAuliffe. But so did the Clintons, who are close friends of Terry McAuliffe. Meanwhile Rand Paul and many tea-party darlings were on the stump for Cuccinelli.

Breaking NEWS: Media outlets are now calling the Virginia governor’s race for Terry McAuliffe (D)!

I expected McAuliffe would win. I think that Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme rhetoric made a victory unlikely for him. Women turned out and voted, and they voted for McAuliffe. However, the problematic early roll out of the Affordable Care Act brought out a vein of populist anger which did give Cuccinelli a boost. On the stump, Dems were careful to leave out any mentions of Obama-care because they know it is political poison. This race was quite close considering that Cuccinelli is such an extreme candidate. It shows that there is a lot of anger against the establishment candiates right now.

COLORADO’S AMENDMENT 66: Doomed to Fail?

Here in Colorado, an Amendment regarding funding structures and taxes for public education was put to the voters. As of now, almost 8:00pm Mountain time, the polls are closed here in Colorado and Colorado Public Radio and the Denver Post and other news outlets are projecting that Amendment 66 will fail. I think that pushing a tax hike at this time is a hard sell. There is no doubt to me that in Colorado, education funding is very flawed and complex due to complicated legislation in the state regarding taxes like the TABOR ACT (Tax Payer Bill of Rights Act.) Colorado is ranked 49th of 50 states for education funding. There are schools in complete decay across the state, especially in rural areas where property taxes generate less revenue. These kids in the public education system are being failed by the system. There is not enough funding to create solid schools which achieve their education goals. But to levy a tax increase across all tax brackets at this time is a very tough sell. Many opponents of Amendment 66 made the argument that this Amendment passing would be a drag on the state economy, just when the economy is starting to get better. No doubt many families in Colorado are struggling to make ends meet, and higher tax bills are the last thing people want. Personally I voted for Amendment 66 and I have no children and plan to have none. I just think education is important to society. Apparently the Koch brothers have even been meddling in Colorado. Some cynics say this means they have hopes of privatizing the education system. Politico did a great think-piece on that topic that I encourage you all to check out.

I will post local election results when they come in! Stay posted and hit refresh!

Breaking News: Amendment 66 Fails

 

Local news outlets are now reporting that Amendment 66 failed, and the marijuana taxing measure, proposition AA, has passed. What is there to say? I have friends who work very hard as teachers in this state and I imagine they feel very deflated right now. As do the children and parents of school-age children. This paradigm of under-funding education has deep roots in this state and it is a systemic problem that will need a multi-pronged solution. Just rasing taxes may not be the solution. I think that we need to also repeal the TABOR Act.