Clarice Navarro Stands Up For Trump. It Does Not Go Well.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

Donald Trump, Rep. Clarice Navarro.

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Strescino reports on this week’s debate between Colorado House District 47 GOP incumbent Rep. Clarice Navarro and her Democratic opponent Jason Munoz. With Navarro having taken on a nationally prominent role as a Donald Trump surrogate, much attention was focused on this debate to see how her constituents would respond.

If this story is any indicator, not real well:

“I proudly support the Republican nominee,” said Navarro, who has tweeted photos of her and Trump together. “There’s absolutely no reason I would support Hillary Clinton. She left Americans to die in Benghazi…”

“My nominee has the business experience we need to turn around the country,” Navarro said as groans and mentions of bankruptcy came fast and hard from the packed Occhiato Center on the Pueblo Community College campus. [Pols emphasis] “(Trump) asked me what we can do best to support Colorado and more specifically Southern Colorado.”

Navarro pitched less government and lower taxes before the exchanges and Munoz, perhaps finally feeling comfortable said, “I’m curious, if Donald Trump wins and my opponent wins, is she going to help Donald Trump expand government to deport all the people he talks about? And if so, how is that investing in the community?”

Navarro said, “My opponent is not aware we have seasonal and migrant workers in our district. I have voiced my concern and discussed this specifically. And I don’t think that deporting 11 million people is possible.”

Got that? Navarro supports Trump–just don’t blame her for the stuff he says that offends people in heavily Latino HD-47. Like how we’re going to deport millions of brown people once Trump becomes President.

Do we know how this race between an underdog Democratic challenger and an entrenched Republican incumbent will end? No. Is Rep. Clarice Navarro doing herself any favors by embracing Trump to the bitter end? No–and that’s a much easier question to answer.

Radio Host and Woods Launch Fact-Free Attack on Zenzinger’s Gun Stance

Last month, State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) called Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate “gun grabbers,” prompting Johnson’s spokesman to say there was no truth in the comment.

Now Woods is on the radio agreeing that her Democratic challenger, Rachel Zenzinger, is a gun grabber as well, even though there’s no truth in this accusation either. (Listen here at 17:45.)

None of the gun safety measures backed by Zenzinger would result in a single gun being taken from a law-abiding citizen. Zenzinger supports criminal background checks prior to gun purchases, while still backing the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons.

Woods, on the other hand, emphasizes her belief that all people should be allowed to openly carry a gun in public, without concealing it and without obtaining a permit.

Woods even opposes requiring background checks for people purchasing guns at gun shows.

The Arvada Republican also opposes a Colorado law limiting the number of bullets a person can load into a gun at one time. Woods wants a gun to be allowed to hold, for example, 100 bullets if the shooter wanted.

KNUS host Chuck Bonniwell should correct the gun-grabber misinformation aired on his Sept. 17 show, not only to clean up his mess from the airwaves, but especially because the Woods-Zenzinger race is so important to the entire state of Colorado.

Woods, who’s a strong Trump backer, won the Jefferson County seat by 650 votes over Zenzinger during the GOP wave year of 2014. If Woods loses, Democrats would likely take over the state senate, giving them control of Colorado government.

The Debate Mattered And Not Just In The Presidential Race

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

Going into Monday’s debate with Donald Trump, the 538 election model “now cast” of who would prevail if the election was held on that day based averages of state surveys, gave Trump at 47.9% chance of winning the Presidency on September 26 (with new data on that day still reflecting surveys taken before the debate on the evening of September 25), if the election were held then. Post-debate polling have dropped his odds to 27.6% and falling, a 20.3 percentage point plunge in three days!

There has really been no news event in the relevant time period other than the debate that could explain this dramatic change in public opinion.

But, the pre-debate and post-debate media coverage does seem to also reflect greater media resolve to call out Trump’s failings. Multiple media outlets calling him a liar on the eve of the debate and the moderator in the debate also called him out on this score. USA Today “antiendorsed” Trump in its first Presidential endorsement in 34 years. An Arizona paper endorsed Clinton with the first Democratic Presidential endorsement in more than a century.  The Harvard Republicans club declined to endorse Trump, as did all of the still living former Republican Presidents and all 100 of the CEOs of the Fortune 100.

Some of this is in response to criticism from the left about the failure of the media to clearly explain how far off the reservation Trump’s conduct has been. But, a lot of the shift of intelligent conservatives in politics and the media come from pure disgust with Trump as a person.

Until the debate, lots of swing voters in Republican leaning areas had not really had to confront many of Trump’s failings as they considered their Presidential preferences.  But now, as a result of the debate and related media driven blitz, they are now hearing the unanimous chorus against him as they start to consider the matter more seriously and are seeing for the first time personally his shortcomings.

Clinton doesn’t have to hold the lead much longer, either.  Iowa’s in person early voting has already begun and voters in Colorado will get their ballots in less than three weeks.

Republican Senate Candidates Hurt Even More Than Trump

Even more striking is the shift in the odds of Republicans retaining control of the U.S. Senate, which, theoretically, from a high school civics perspective, should have nothing to do with Monday’s Presidential debate.

The Republicans had a 52.0% chance of retaining control of the U.S. Senate in the 538 election model peaked on September 25 (i.e. immediately before the debate).  This has dropped to 27.0%, a decline of 25.0 percentage points in the same four day time period based upon how a candidate in the same election who isn’t running for U.S. Senate performed in a debate.

Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have actually been hit more heavily by Trump’s poor debate performance on Monday night than Trump himself!

This powerfully proves the recent political science research that I mentioned in a blog post a couple of weeks ago, showing that the biggest factor in how voters vote in down ticket partisan races is their Presidential race preference.

Get More Smarter on Friday (September 30)

Get More SmarterDid anybody happen to catch the month of September? Apparently, it’s already over. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► The re-election campaign of Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is coming unglued with just a few weeks left until ballots drop in Colorado. Both Coffman and his counterparts at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) are getting throttled by media fact-checkers for a series of negative ads against Democrat Morgan Carroll that would need to improve just to be labeled a “half-truth.”

How did Coffman’s campaign respond to three straight troublesome fact-check stories? Like you might expect, saying this is “why no one takes fact checks seriously.” Perhaps a Coffman spokesperson was misquoted; they probably meant to say, “We don’t take facts seriously.”


► Donald Trump should probably take a break from Twitter. Or, better yet, maybe he should just stop trashing a former Miss America contestant for being overweight. From Politico:

While Hillary Clinton is riding high after the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is jumping down into the gutter.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the impulse-control-deficient Republican nominee let loose a torrent of tweets, calling former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado “disgusting” and accusing her of having a sex tape.

Trump may or may not win the Presidency, but he’s going to make damn sure to offend everyone in America before he’s finished campaigning. Even some of Trump’s campaign staffers can’t take it anymore.


► This has been a pretty awful week for Donald Trump, as the Washington Post explains:

The narrative that the race was tightening, and that the GOP nominee could really win, had taken hold going into Monday night. The days since have brought a stream of reality checks, as Trump’s preternatural unwillingness to ever admit he was wrong keeps him on the defensive. Since the first 20 minutes of the debate, when he was most on message, the national conversation has been all about issues that are unhelpful to his cause.

In a campaign where Trump’s charisma helped him rise to the top, his inability to resist picking on people—no matter how small or insignificant—is his Achilles heel. And by taking the bait, Trump lunged right into Hillary Clinton’s “artfully designed trap.”…

…Whether or not Trump wilted under the bright lights of the Hofstra stage, with 86 million watching, his messy messaging afterwards has only made things worse. First he blamed a faulty mic. Then he started declaring himself a “landslide” winner. But the attacks on Alicia Machado, in particular, cement his image as a schoolyard bully to undecided voters and reinforce concerns among GOP elites that he cannot avoid picking unwinnable fights. “It is a beauty contest,” Trump said on Fox News, offering the latest excuse for his misogynistic fat-shaming. “You know, I mean, say what you want, Bill (O’Reilly), I mean, they know what they’re getting into. It’s a beauty contest!”

Trump will try to get back on track next week with campaign stops in Colorado. Trump will appear at events in Loveland and Pueblo on Monday. The GOP Presidential candidate is scheduled to speak in Pueblo at 3:00 pm before an appearance in Loveland optimistically-set for “around 5:00 or 6:00 pm.”


Get even more smarter after the jump…


At Least He’s Not Your President

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

There is something to be said for the strategy of owning the names you are called to defuse the bite of what otherwise might be an insult. But, it is still a stunningly bad idea for a country’s highest elected official, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, to compare himself to Adolph Hitler, because as part of Duterte’s drug war, he wants to emulate the way Hitler carried out the Holocaust by killing several million of his own citizens.

Every now and then, someone compares himself to a Nazi leader to praise some of the arguably good things that allegedly happened during that regime: trains running on time, national pride and unity restored, or a hyperinflation driven economic collapse halted. But, Duterte want to emulate the part of the Nazi regime that is universally condemned. He said:

“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is 3 million, what is it, 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines), there are,” he said in a speech in his hometown of Davao City. “I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

His numbers are several million too small, but his message is nonetheless atrocious. And, apparently, this comment is just one of a long line of controversies that overall paint Duterte as an unbalanced and corrupt leader.

He shot and killed two people accused of kidnapping while he was a Mayor, and has also made many other concerning comments:

He’s joked about not being able to join the gang rape of an Australian missionary, cursed out the Pope, called both US President Obama and the US Ambassador to the Philippines a “son of a bitch,” and told police they can kill drug dealers if they fight back.

It’s a tough call, but Duterte might even be worse than Trump, although the men are cut from the same cloth.

Stupid NRCC Pet Tricks: Colorado Budget Edition

UPDATE: Another damning fact-check of a pro-Mike Coffman ad from 9NEWS today, this one based on false claims we discussed in this space last week:

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman hopes his latest television ad convinces voters his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Morgan Carroll, can’t be trusted.

The four-term incumbent’s 30-second spot claims Carroll – who works a personal injury lawyer at Bachus & Shanker — pushed bills “making it easier to sue doctors, small businesses, even nurses.”

Accusing a lawmaker of pushing legislation to line her own pockets is a serious claim, and the Coffman campaign doesn’t have the facts to back it up…

To support this claim, the Coffman campaign is pointing to Carroll’s vote against an earlier draft of the same good Samaritan bill in a committee hearing February 2006.

Carroll did vote against the bill in committee, but she voted for it when it came to the House floor.

Just like we said when we discussed the same attack on Morgan Carroll in a mail piece last week. But more interesting still is the response from Coffman’s campaign to 9NEWS:

Why no one takes fact checks seriously. [Pols emphasis]

And there’s a quote that needs to be in a mail piece, folks! Original post follows.


tom-mostlyfalseAlan Gathright at Denver7’s Politifact Colorado fact-checking outfit takes a look at a new National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ad targeting CD-6 Democratic candidate Morgan Carroll over…well, it’s a little bit convoluted:

The dark, grainy ad begins with an image of the U.S. Capitol building and the narrator saying, “Washington has a spending problem — and Morgan Carroll would make it worse.”

“In the (Colorado) Legislature, Carroll racked up $11 billion in new spending, nearly doubling the state budget,” the narrator continues…

In this latest NRCC attack ad, the apparent goal is to hit Carroll for being a lawmaker of either party in the Colorado General Assembly. After all, the “$11 billion in new spending” they’re referring to is from the state budget, which is one of the most bipartisan exercises in Colorado politics today:

Lawmakers exercise most of their control over the state’s general fund, which was $9.6 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year — or 38.4 percent of the overall budget.

Yet Carroll did vote for the Senate conference committee’s budget bill, which passed on a bipartisan 31-2 vote. What the NRCC ad doesn’t mention is that Republicans control the Senate — not Democrats like Carroll. [Pols emphasis]

Both Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican Senate leaders praised the bipartisan collaboration on the $25 billion budget that was described as “reasonable, responsible and delivered on time,” by Sen. Kent Lambert, the Republican chairman of the the Joint Budget Committee.

Much like the mail piece we highlighted earlier this week attacking Carroll for voting against a bill she in fact supported ten years ago, this ad depends on the viewer not knowing anything about the state legislature–above all the fact that a majority of the budget is not under control of legislators at all, and the budget passed by Colorado lawmakers Carroll is under attack for was supported nearly unanimously by Democrats and Republicans alike.

In other words the ad is complete bullshit, and very deliberately so. Whoever brainstormed this ad knew enough about the process to find Carroll’s vote, which means they knew enough to know this ad is 100% wrong from letter to spirit. It’s worse when the totality of the falsehood is such that it’s impossible for it be an accident, and that’s the case here.

As always, here’s hoping the debunking spreads as fast and far as the lie.

Fat chance, we know.

Donald Trump is Still His Own Consultant

I'll take this much advice, please.

I’ll take this much advice, please.

UPDATE: The Trump campaign is apparently considering asking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to become Trump’s new “debate whisperer.” From CNN:

Such a move — should it happen — would reflect an understanding by Trump and his campaign leadership that the first debate went poorly. That sentiment was expressed to CNN by multiple sources close to Trump, even as the campaign urged surrogates Wednesday to argue publicly that Trump performed well Monday night.

Leading up to that debate, Trump’s prep sessions included a relatively large group of people, according to a source familiar with the sessions. Campaign chairman Steve Bannon was technically in charge, but in practice, Trump led them, according to sources.

Although Trump pushed Clinton hard on trade in the first 20 minutes of their debut debate, she took control after that, landing clean shots at Trump over his refusal to release his tax returns and his treatment of women — highlighting a former Miss Universe whom Trump had publicly cajoled to lose weight.

Trump was so awful on Monday that there’s really not much his campaign can do that would be strategically worse than how they prepared for the first debate. Still…asking Christie to be in charge here is sort of like hiring an electrician to fix your toilet.


As you may have heard, there was a Presidential debate this week. Democrat Hillary Clinton thoroughly trounced Donald Trump on Monday at Hofstra University in New York in a performance that was so lopsided Trump was trying to drum up a “broken microphone” conspiracy theory on Tuesday morning.

Trump is notoriously difficult to manage as a candidate and is prone to taking his own advice over the suggestions of…well, of anyone else, really. As The Daily Caller wrote in August, echoing a theme we have seen repeatedly this cycle:

Sources who were or are currently close to the Trump campaign tell The Daily Caller that Trump operates essentially free from advice, bringing into question how much — if any — influence these advisors have…

…In March, when asked who he talks to for foreign policy advice Trump replied, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

Trump’s general aversion to taking advice is not new information, of course, but it may really be starting to cost him politically. As Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix”:

I’ve spent the past 20 months or so covering the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.  By now, I thought I had heard it all — from his penchant for insults and bullying to his decidedly unorthodox campaign style. I didn’t know it was possible for me to be shocked by anything he said or did in the context of this presidential campaign.

Then I read this paragraph in a terrific New York Times story headlined “New Debate Strategy for Donald Trump: Practice, Practice, Practice“:

The team had primed Mr. Trump to look for roughly a dozen key phrases and expressions Mrs. Clinton uses when she is uncertain or uncomfortable, but he did not seem to pay attention during the practice sessions, one aide said, and failed to home in on her vulnerabilities during the debate. [Pols emphasis]

Now. Go back and read that sentence again.  Done? Read it once more. It’s that important.

Donald Trump is one of two people who will be president next January. (Sorry Gary Johnson!) Monday night was, inarguably, the most important  day of the general election campaign to date. Every person in politics — and not — had circled the first debate as a major moment in the campaign, Trump’s best chance to fight back against the narrative that he lacks the policy chops and the temperament to be president of the United States.  The audience for the debate was expected to be somewhere between 80 and 100 million, the largest for a political event ever. (It wound up achieving that goal.)

All of these things pointed to the absolute necessity for Trump to perform well. And, what happened?  His debate prep team couldn’t get him to pay attention.  That is, literally, stunning. [Pols emphasis]

The next Presidential debate takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday October 9th. While it would seem obvious that Trump needs to do a better job in preparing for his next rhetorical battle with Hillary Clinton, there is little reason to suggest that he will change anything about his debate style between now and next Sunday. This certainly is weird, but then again, nothing about Trump’s Presidential campaign has had much to do with anything that we might consider “normal” in politics.

BREAKING: Hickenlooper Backs Minimum Wage Increase

THURSDAY UPDATE: Colorado Public Radio’s Rachel Estabrook reports:

In an interview with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner, the Democratic governor said he is concerned that people making minimum wage now can’t afford to live in many parts of Colorado.

“I’m not sure there’s another way to help move more people out of poverty than to raise the minimum wage… I think in this country, if you work 40 hours a week, and you work hard, you ought to be able to afford an apartment somewhere,” Hickenlooper said.


That’s the late-breaking word from Colorado Public Radio via Twitter:

We’ll update with CPR’s interview tomorrow, but we figured readers would want to give feedback as soon as the word was out. Gov. John Hickenlooper’s support for Amendment 70, as a pro-business former bar owner, is a critical boost for the campaign to increase Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

And it’ll be a pleasant surprise to his Democratic base.

PPP in Colorado: Clinton 46%, Trump 40%, Johnson 6%, Stein 2%

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton.

Public Policy Polling finally giving Colorado politics junkies what they’ve been dying to see since Monday night’s presidential debate–post-debate poll numbers.

And the numbers say Donald Trump lost more than the debate Monday night:

New Public Policy Polling surveys in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, conducted on behalf of VoteVets Action Fund, find Hillary Clinton leading in each state. Voters in all five states see Clinton as having been the runaway winner of Monday night’s debate, and they question Donald Trump’s temperament and preparedness for office.

Clinton has solid leads in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Virginia- states seen as important to her path to 270 electoral votes- and modest leads in Florida and North Carolina, where wins would be indicative of a dominant overall victory in the Electoral College. If these results hold up, Donald Trump has no path to victory…

PPP’s full memo shows Hillary Clinton up by six points in Colorado, in a four-way contest including the Libertarian and Green candidates. Clinton is up seven points a head-to-head matchup. Excluding the minor parties puts Clinton over the finish line in Colorado, defeating Trump 51%-44%. It’s true that we don’t have a previous PPP Clinton/Trump poll to plot a trajectory from, but their polling has certainly proven accurate enough in previous elections to take seriously. And it’s consistent with other polls coming out showing a large swing to Clinton following Monday night’s debate.

So with that, the Trump “September Surge” is over. The overall trend toward a Democratic victory in November, disrupted in September by an upswing in indicated support for Trump as Clinton battled pneumonia and the greatest anti-Clinton smear campaign since the 1990s, may simply be back on track.

Assuming so, you’ll want to recalculate down the ballot accordingly.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 28)

Get More SmarterHappy National Drink Beer Day, Colorado! It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► The first post-debate poll of the presidential race shows an undeniable swing in support to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton:

Over the weekend, Morning Consult’s tracking poll put Donald Trump one point ahead of Hillary Clinton. After Monday night’s debate, it has the Democratic nominee leading by three.

In the post-debate survey of a four-way race, Clinton bests Trump 41 to 38 percent, while Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson claims 8 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein carries 4. In Morning Consult’s previous poll, Trump led Clinton 39 to 38.

A large plurality of the survey’s respondents saw Clinton as the winner of Fight Night at Hofstra, with 49 percent declaring the Democratic nominee the debate’s winner, including 18 percent of Republicans. Just 27 percent said that the angry man with the sniffles had carried the day. More critically, 9 percent of respondents said the debate had changed their minds about whom to vote for. Which is a rather large figure, considering the polarization of the electorate.

► Meanwhile, FOX News has found it necessary to issue a memo to their on-air talent reminding them that online “polls,” basically the only polls kind to Trump after Monday’s debate, have no scientific value. Yes, you already knew that. Donald Trump’s campaign and Sean Hannity did not.

► In Colorado, we’re waiting for post-debate polling to observe the extent of Clinton’s post-debate swing in our state. Trump is buying ads here, and Clinton is expected to resume full ad rotation soon.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


AG Coffman Shouldn’t Impede Colorado’s Clean Energy Future

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Yesterday the lawsuit to stop the President’s Clean Power Plan from moving forward began its oral argument in the court. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the EPA rule that seeks to limit carbon pollution from power plants under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

The lawsuit is backed by some 27 state attorneys general, including Colorado’s Cynthia Coffman, and lots of fossil fuel and utility interests. Colorado Public Radio recently gave a rundown on the CPP and the lawsuit.

Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman signed on with about two dozen other states to challenge a key provision of the Obama administration’s fight against global warming. It seeks to reduce carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030.

Climate is in the news for lots of reasons. Based on all the election coverage and sideshow reporting it might be easy to forget that the world goes on, for instance pollution still happens, aside from all this.

Recent news we might tune into includes the conclusion by some scientists that our planet’s atmosphere passed the 400 ppm of CO2 for good—a threshold well past the 350 ppm that some have long tied to a planetary tipping point.

The International Business Times reports:

Now, scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory have revealed another sobering finding. This September — usually a month when the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their lowest levels in the northern hemisphere, the level of the greenhouse gas remained stubbornly above the 400 ppm.


This measurement all but ensures that monthly carbon dioxide levels won’t drop below 400 ppm any time in the foreseeable future.

Still the lawsuit and arguments are taking up a lot of the space for climate news. In the CPR story listeners learn that Colorado’s state leadership is split on the Clean Power Plan:


Trump Dumps Big Bucks On Colorado

Donald Trump.

Donald Trump.

Sandra Fish reports for Colorado Public Radio:

Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump returns to the airwaves this week with two weeks of ads scheduled.

Several Denver stations filed nearly $1 million in ad contracts with the Federal Communications Commission Monday and Tuesday…

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton spent $2.3 million on more than 9,000 ads in Colorado during June and July. But her campaign hasn’t been on the air specifically in the state since, though the campaign aired ads nationally during the Olympics and is running some cable ads nationally.

The recent tightening of the polls in Colorado that provoked Donald Trump’s presidential campaign into a blitz of appearances last week is of course responsible for this new round of spending by his campaign. Polls nationally appear to be swinging back toward Hillary Clinton after Trump’s thumping in Monday night’s debate, but we haven’t seen post-debate numbers for Colorado specifically to know what the effect is here.

Either way, it’s a safe bet the Clinton campaign and supporting groups will follow suit. Game on, swing state!

The local television stations, anyway, are grateful.