Can Colorado Swing ?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 | 11:19 PM


Can Colorado swing blue? That's an issue hardly anyone thought would be up in the air a week before the election. Bush appeals to "rank-and-file conservatives" in Colorado, which he won by nine points in 2000 (51%, to Al Gore's 42% and Ralph Nader's 5%).

Which, as the WSJ point out, only means nothing is certain:

Wsj_colorado_10252004 "There are red states and blue this fall, and then there is Colorado: a mile-high brew all its own, where just a few political inches could be huge in the struggle for Congress as well as the White House.

President Bush is ahead in polls here, but by small enough margins that he returned again yesterday for a rally in Greeley. Sen. John Kerry drew thousands in Pueblo on Saturday, and Democrats hope for a record turnout by Hispanic voters, drawn by a remarkable pairing of fifth-generation Mexican-American brothers who are running for Congress as Democrats.

Republicans agree they have dominated Colorado in recent years by making Democrats look risky. The big question now is whether today's real-life problems of Iraq, rising health-care costs, dwindling water supplies and a state fiscal crisis are frightening enough that voters may be willing to take a chance on the party out of power.

All that makes Colorado a potential swing state at every level in next week's election. "People have forgotten that this is not a partisan state. It is not an ideological state," says Bill Armstrong, a former two-term Republican senator from Colorado. "So while people say Republicans are losing their grip, the truth is they never had a grip."

Republicans have clear advantages: They enjoy a 178,000 edge over Democrats among registered voters and a proven ability to maximize turnout. "Fight Terrorism, Vote Republican" is a favorite slogan. Party ads on Christian radio stations include a toll-free number to facilitate early voting, which is attracting record numbers this year.

But some Republicans complain that their party may have pushed to the limits its antitax and socially conservative ideology. The second especially rubs against a Western libertarian streak on issues such as gay rights and stem-cell research."

Question: Is Colorado really in play? I never would have surmised that 6 months ago. Here's a quote that provides some good insight as to why this is likely so:

"I'm a 1964 Goldwater Republican and I'm not happy where the neo-Republicans are taking us," says Mark Larson, a state legislator from Cortez. In fact, the party's leader, Gov. Bill Owens, is no longer the partisan powerhouse he once was and has been hurt by his well-publicized separation from his wife. The brightest new political star may be Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democratic businessman who cultivates a brand of nonpartisan politics and a friendship with the Republican governor."
Fascinating stuff.

Colorado Has Swing Potential
Democrats Seek Inroads in Races That May Have a Broad Impact
October 26, 2004; Page A4,,SB109874604703455299,00.html

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Tracked on Oct 28, 2004 7:06:09 AM


There are many types of "conservatives" and one very valid form (though this is denied by the partisan Republicans) worries about efforts to radically change the system.

This is much of the solid core of the Republican party. They are actually involved in running enterprises and have some sense of what trashes them. For example one can believe that the effort in Iraq may have been worth taking and still know that problems must be prepared for, acknowledged when they occur and aggressively met.

But there is a sense that we are not getting this from the administration and even more so from the partisans. For example a stock response about the missing tons of explosives is that it isn't really an issue because it's less than a thousandth of the stuff lying around. This from the same people who were spouting until a little while ago that we had more than enough troops and that any extra would get in the way. Couldn't they have guarded ammo dumps? Among other things.

Similarly these people "win" the WMD argument by saying they are now in Syria. Great.

Economically people involved in business simply don't know the state of the economy. There are lots of worrying signs and the rah rah is one of them. We have had steps in a radical redefintion of our basic economics and indications that this will go further. A lot is being bet on lower taxes and other schemes. They are revolutionary in conception and there is simply no evidence that they will dramatically improve things. But there are real risks along with a failure to admit them.

And of course there are lies. The "death tax" doesn't always tax twice. Inheritors of real estate and other property will recieve things whose value has increased dramatically and on which no capital gains have been paid. And of course in general money is taxed multiple times. By necessity almost every economic transaction involves sime taxes (directly and indirectly) and money is dynamic, it moves through transactions

So even if one believes that certain cuts are good (I do) the ideology and explanations of reality are false which anyone who actually deals with money flows knows. So there is a sense that this activity is based on an ideology with the same degree ofmisunderstandings of capitalism and wealth that socialism has. Just in a different direction.

So there is a fear of the brave new world being emvisioned. Even if it's superficially beneficial to one's positions the costs may outweigh this and they are costs which will inflict themselves over time, with compound interest.

Realistically there is a chance that saving 3 or 4% now will cost 5 times that in 2012 with a population bitterly driven by continuations of the trend towars income inequality we've had in the last decades.

Certainly many of the Republican partisans think that third world distributions of wealth are somehow positive awarding the truly productive, forgetting the reactionary Henry Ford's sense that if you didn't give the worker the money to buy products you sold less. And the fact that many people who are buying into this are at some point going to see that it's them who are paying.

Posted by: David Bennett | Oct 28, 2004 1:28:04 PM

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