Tag Archive for Colorado Election

Post Election Analysis: Colorado Midterms 2014

It’s been a few days now since Election Day and ballots continued to be counted here in Colorado. The Democrats look to hold the Colorado House of Representatives by one seat. They had a nine seat majority last session and now barely hold on to power. And the Colorado Senate is still up in the air with ballots still being counted in Adams County. A very close and contentious 2014 Election on both the local and national levels. But as the expression goes, the local is global. The political trends that we see this election year on the local level bode as bellwethers for the nationwide political trends.

Obviously, it was not a good year for the Democrats. Yet, none of it was unexpected. The “Sixth Year Itch” prevailed in that the President’s party, the Democrats, were voted out of office in record amounts. The Senate flipped from being Democrat controlled, with Harry Reid as Majority Leader, to Republican control, with Mitch McConnell as presumed new Senate Majority Leader. The House of Representatives also picked up several seats. The total numbers: GOP picks up at least 7 seats in the Senate, and at least 14 seats in the House, give or take a few if the GOP takes a few additional races that continue to be up in the air while recounts, runoffs, and remaining ballots are counted.

Obviously, the main narrative in the media is that the GOP trounced the Dems. And they did. I will give them that. And they had an extremely savvy strategy, especially in the Cory Gardner/Mark Udall race. I believe that Gardner benefited from the Democrats war-on-women central focus setting a vulnerable Mark Udall up for failure. This is what angers me. That the Democrats bungled this one and were complacent about the focus on this issue. As a feminist, I agree that the GOP’s policies are not women-friendly. The legislation coming out of D.C. is not women-friendly. They can’t even pass an Equal Pay Act in D.C. Then there’s the terrible decision made by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby Case. Between those and the Personhood legislation on state and national levels coming up every election cycle, and the “Forcible Rape” terminology in legislation, how are women supposed to believe that the GOP works for their interests at all? So the Democrats are correct to pursue this strategy. But it was not in their political interest to make it the center of Mark Udall’s campaign. Voters have a lot of anxiety right now about a lot of serious issues, and they have no confidence in Washington D.C. to address these issues. People are angry, and also checked out. And a wonderful Senator, one of the GOOD guys, Mark Udall pays the price. And opportunist and liar Cory Gardner is now a Senator.

The Colorado Independent has a great piece by writer Mike Littwin, in which he sums up the Colorado 2014 midterms in a nutshell stating: “The strangest thing is that Hickenlooper – who has spent so much time at the center of a gun-laws, sheriffs-pandering storm — is the Democrat who survives, and Udall, whose career has been basically storm-free, is the one who gets toppled.”

Such is the strange world of politics, where nothing is fair and anything can happen.

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.