Oil and gas, Trump and gerrymandering

At a recent “Women for Walker” event, about two dozen women from Denver’s suburbs gathered to sip wine and call voters to encourage them to vote. Immigration was the main topic. Sanctuary cities had to be stopped, they told me.

While I was in Grand Junction for the annual Club 20 fall conference, the economy was top-of-mind for most Western Slope voters I talked to as we swatted away flies from our steak and drank beer.

Both groups are conservative, both largely Trump supporters, but for very different reasons.

To be fair, the death of an Iowa college student allegedly carried out by a Mexican immigrant who appears to be in the country illegally was fresh on the minds of everyone at the phone bank. And both groups were extremely small — and unscientific — samples.

Still, I bring up this contrast because it’s important to remember that Trump supporters — like any bloc of voters — are not monolithic. Trump supporters are not just disenfranchised blue-collar workers, but middle-class suburban men and women, too. Some voters were motivated by economic anxiety, others “white vulnerability.”

The political landscape across America and Colorado is complex. No one story — or email — could ever possibly capture all of the nuance and factors that make up the electorate. And while it’s important for journalists to avoid cliches and overreported narratives, it’s equally important for us to keep talking to and reflecting the electorate as much as possible.

As always, please send feedback, suggestions and news tips to ngarcia@denverpost.com. Forward this email to three of your friends or colleagues who are crazy about politics and encourage them to subscribe. And of course, become a digital subscriber to The Denver Post.

See you next Thursday! — Nic

Conoco oil rig in Aurora on ...

John Leyba, Denver Post file

A Conoco oil rig in Aurora on Nov. 16, 2017. Oil drillers are racing for opportunities even as the eastern metro booms with new suburban neighborhoods.

Colorado’s drilling setback ballot measure explained

A statewide ballot measure that would dramatically increase the distance new oil and gas wells would have to be from homes, schools and waterways will be a job-gutting attack on Colorado’s economy that will deprive cities and towns of millions of dollars in tax revenues and rob thousands of mineral rights owners access to their underground property.

Or Proposition 112, known during the petition process as Initiative 97, will bring long-sought sanity to neighborhoods, bolstering the health and safety of thousands living above or on the edge of Colorado’s increasingly industrialized energy landscape.

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