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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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.
That’s the quagmire voters will have to negotiate on Nov. 6. Continue reading here.
32 days until mail ballots go out and 54 days until Election Day.
- NEW: Politico reports Gov. John Hickenlooper is closer to running in 2020. Politico
- Despite a rough two years in office, Trump’s support is still strong on the Western Slope.
- Team Polis fights back against attack ad claiming he didn’t pay taxes. Still, neither candidate has released recent tax returns.
- Methamphetamine made a deadly comeback across the state last year while much of the public’s attention was focused on the nation’s opioid epidemic. via The Gazette
- What happens to a community when its people’s sense of belonging begins to unravel? via Colorado Independent
- The average the number of House seats lost by an unpopular president during a midterm election is 37. via Gallup
- That one time Senate debates featured knives and pistols. via The New York Times
The New York Times is polling Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. So far, Jason Crow is ahead.
The Grey Lady is asking voters who they plan to vote for in Colorado’s hottest congressional race. The contest is a key one nationally and even could be a harbinger of which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives for the next two years. The poll results are being reported live as they’re collected in an experiment by the New York Times to help demystify polling and get a handle on important House races across the country.
That means the poll is not yet completed. But Democrat Jason Crow is in the lead, with 51 percent of the vote. Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman has just 40 percent. A big word of caution, though, against putting too much stock in these numbers. Only 387 district voters have weighed in as of Thursday morning, and 9 percent of them are undecided.
Following the money
Speaking of Colorado’s 6th, there’s a lot of cash — and a little bit of irony — flowing into the race.
Records show that two independent expenditure committees, including one that wants to elect lawmakers to reform campaign finance laws, spent $1.56 million in the 6th Congressional District race just between Labor Day and Sept. 11.
The breakdown of spending since Labor Day from political action committees:
- End Citizens United — a group that wants to stop unlimited spending by corporations, nonprofits and other groups — has put $907,546.60 toward efforts to help Crow and oppose Coffman, most of it on media ad buys.
- The LCV Victory Fund, a super PAC tied to the League of Conservation Voters, has put $662,416 toward the race, most of it on television ads opposing Coffman.
— Ben Botkin
When it comes to reporters at fundraisers, gubernatorial candidates are like, “Sorry, not sorry”
Well, the #COgov candidates have been united on one thing lately: no press at their fundraisers. Just turned away at door of a @jaredpolis event at The Palm downtown, after @CoreyHutchins was barred from a @WalkerStapleton event. (Alas, no eavesdropping from a distance here…) pic.twitter.com/DXJAraB5v3
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) September 11, 2018
The Terminator says ‘hasta la vista, baby’ to political gerrymandering
Hollywood action star — and former California governor — Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Twitter late last week to raise support for ballot initiatives in four states that seek to remove politics from the drawing of legislative boundaries. The initiatives he’s supporting in Colorado are Amendment Y and Z.
“Each of these campaigns is citizen-driven, and fighting to stop the politicians from picking their voters,” he tweeted. “They deserve our support, so that we can send a message to all politicians in Washington that the time for gerrymandering is over.”
Check out the Twitter video from Schwarzenegger himself here.
State Sen. Kerry Donovan is engaged!
State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, isn’t just in one of the hottest races this fall. She’s also recently engaged. Donovan said yes to Shad Murib, who currently serves as policy director to gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.
The two met in 2014. That’s when Murib helped Donovan first get elected to the state Senate. They also worked together at the Capitol, where Murib was the chief of staff for Senate Democrats. The two were engaged on the Fourth of July in the mountains.
Perennial candidate doesn’t qualify for Colorado’s 2018 ballot
Paul Fiorino, a “retired guy” and “performing artist” from Denver, has unsuccessfully ran for a statewide office three times since 2006. And he had planned to run as an unaffiliated candidate in this year’s governor’s race. But that’s not happening.
The Secretary of State’s Office determined that he didn’t meet the 1,000-signature threshold to get on the ballot. After rounding up more signatures, Fiorino ended up with 939 valid signatures — still not enough.
He took the matter to court to contest it, but ended up losing the case. Fiorino confirmed he’s not making the ballot but asked a reporter to put a positive spin on the news.
“You don’t have to say he failed,” Fiorino said. — Ben Botkin
Getting to know you
Each week we feature a different member of the state’s political community whom you should know. Up first, however, we’re introducing ourselves to you. This week, meet reporter Andrew Kenney.
Who are you and what do you report on for The Denver Post?
In print, I’m Andrew. In person, I’m Andy. I report mostly on city government and life in Denver, though I tend to follow the ideas that interest me wherever they go. Often, they go deep, deep into the weeds.
How did you end up on the politics team?
I’ve covered local and state governments throughout my career in North Carolina and Colorado at publications including The News & Observer and Denverite. I’ve always thought that cities get far too little attention, considering how powerful and important they are. At The Post, I’m taking over day-to-day city coverage from Jon Murray, who is going to take on some bigger projects for the paper.
What current storylines — local and/or national — are most interesting to you?
Here’s the biggest one: Are cities achieving their potential? What is their future? Are they the future?
Basically, we’ve seen Denver transformed in the last 20 years. That has come with a lot of pain — people have been priced out of their homes, and they’ve seen their old hangouts washed away. But we also hear, from the urbanist point of view, that Denver should embrace growth, that the urban form is the most efficient and least environmentally harmful way to house all these people. I’m interested in the story of how Denver decides what it wants to be, and whether those fears and promises come true.
Also, I’m into all the usual journalism stuff: politics, power, corruption and interesting people.
What’s your biggest pet peeve covering politics?
Reporters can get so exhausted from the daily business of politics that their work becomes uninspired and boring.
What’s your favorite part of Colorado?
A campsite just below treeline. Most recently, that was at the foot of Uncompahgre.
What’s the best way for someone to get hold of you if they have a story tip?
Email me email@example.com or call 303-954-1785.
Nominate yourself or someone you know to be featured in The Spot. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.