The Most Pivotal Debate of 2016: Carroll v. Coffman, Round 3

Rep. Mike Coffman (R) and state Sen. Morgan Carroll (D) debate for the third and final time on Thursday.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R) and state Sen. Morgan Carroll (D) debate for the third and final time on Thursday evening.

The final Presidential debate of 2016 takes place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Republican Donald Trump, whose campaign has been in a seemingly-bottomless free-fall for the last two weeks, has one final chance to try to gain some positive momentum as he stares down Democrat Hillary Clinton on Primetime television.

You could certainly make an argument that Trump is out of time to re-shape the Presidential race, regardless of what happens tonight. For Colorado voters, the most pivotal debate of the 2016 election now looks likely to come on Thursday, when Democrat Morgan Carroll takes on incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in a half-hour showdown that 9News will air live at 7:00 pm.

Coffman is stumbling badly as he nears the finish line in an effort to win re-election for the fifth time in CO-6. On Tuesday, Coffman turned in an absolutely brutal performance in an interview with Kyle Clark of 9News that was widely discussed throughout the next 24 hours. Check out what 5280 magazine’s Luc Hatlestad wrote today for


Criminal Complaint Filed Regarding “Knowingly False” Attack Ads

UPDATE: Denver7 (home of Politifact Colorado) follows up, and they appear to be kind of pissed:

A state Senate candidate filed a complaint with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office over a political mailer with claims that Denver7 PolitiFact has already deemed “Pants on Fire.”

Democratic State Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger is now asking for the district attorney’s help in alerting the voting public to the violation and preventing the group behind the flier from continuing activity during the election. That group is Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government…

On July 5, Denver7 PolitiFact checked the facts of a mailer from “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” that was sent in opposition of Zenzinger.

That mailer read, “Rachel Zenzinger voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China…”

“While serving in the city council, Rachel Zenzinger voted to use tax dollars to take a taxpayer funded junket to China,” the mailer said.

Denver7 PolitiFact rated the mailer, “Pants on Fire,” the worst rating because the statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

At this point, what else can she do? Calling in the law seems to be the only recourse against an assailant immune to shame.


We’ve been discussing in this space on a regular basis what we’ve called “The Most Knowingly False Campaign Advertisement” of the 2016 election cycle. Democrat Rachel Zenzinger has been the target of these false claims — for two years — as she seeks to unseat state Sen. Laura Waters Woods in SD-19:


The Democratic Senate Campaign Fund announced in a press release moments ago a criminal complaint against Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government over the mail piece we wrote about yesterday–falsely alleging that Democratic SD-19 candidate Rachel Zenzinger had “voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China” while serving as an Arvada city councillor. Republicans have continued to make these false caims even after a July fact-check by Politifact Colorado that rated the allegation “Pants on Fire.”

Supporters of Sen. Laura Woods could be facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge after the group sent out a mailer in which they falsely claim that Rachel Zenzinger took a personal trip to China using taxpayer money.

Zenzinger has brought charges for the false ad to the District Attorney’s office for investigation. Woods supporters, who have knowingly dispersed a false statement about a candidate for public office, could face a first-degree misdemeanor according to CRS 1-13-109. The flier is a revival of a two-year-old, thoroughly debunked fabrication, but this latest flier contains discriminatory imagery against Asian Americans.

“Laura Woods and her backers know Rachel Zenzinger voted in opposition to public monies being used for any trip of this kind. But now Laura Woods and her backers are using racially-charged imagery, sinking to a level that would make Donald Trump proud. Laura Woods needs to disavow this ad, and apologize to the people of Senate District 19. Period. Full stop,” said Andrew Short, executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund.

“We are confident the District Attorney will investigate this mailer as a first degree misdemeanor against Laura Woods’ backers for producing and dispersing a knowingly false statement about a candidate for public office, which is pursuant to CRS 1-13-109,” Short continued.

In addition to the offensive imagery that includes a photoshopped traditional conical hat on Zenzinger’s head, this misleading piece actually cites Politifact — the publication gave the ad a “Pants On Fire” rating — in their assertion that Zenzinger voted to use taxpayer money to take a trip to China. The latest flier pushes even deeper into the realm of falsehood, referring to “… her trip to China”: Zenzinger has never been to China.

Laura Woods and her backers have a history of lying in political mailers, but this edition of the lying ad by Laura Woods’ backers takes the cake, with racial imagery that has to remind one of when Donald Trump used a broken English accent to mock Asian businessmen.

It’s anybody’s guess whether the Republican DA in Jefferson County will take up this investigation, but the facts of this situation point very strongly to the likelihood that this is a “knowing” false statement intended to affect an election, a crime under Colorado law. We’re not aware of a Colorado campaign persistently using a false claim like this after the fact-checkers have ruled it false, certainly not over the course of two election cycles. The long-debunked nature of this allegation, combined with this latest mailer’s use of quotes from the July fact-check debunking the previous mail piece, make it a much stronger case than any we can remember to which this law has been applied.

We’ll update with coverage as it comes in; it looks like this will be blowing up uncomfortably for local Republicans very late in the game.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (October 19)

Get More SmarterOn this day in 1781, the Revolutionary War came to an end; it’s fitting, perhaps, that the final Presidential debate of 2016 takes place exactly 235 years later. 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.


► Your 2016 ballot may be sitting in your mailbox at this very moment; election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.

If you have received your mail ballot, please let us know; we’re doing a little crowdsourcing to get a sense of when and where ballots are landing.


► The final debate of the 2016 Presidential campaign takes place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the Washington Post explains, the Supreme Court is likely to be a major topic of discussion contention:

The Supreme Court is one of six main topics that will be covered during tonight’s final debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The late Antonin Scalia’s seat continues to sit empty. An evenly-divided court has begun its new term under a cloud of uncertainty. Assuming Hillary Clinton wins, it remains unclear whether Republicans will try to confirm Merrick Garland during the lame-duck session to prevent her from putting up someone who is younger and more liberal next year.

The debate took on new significance this week when John McCain boasted during a radio interview that Republicans would automatically oppose whomever Clinton nominates. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” the Arizona senator said. “I promise you!”

Donald Trump will certainly try to convince voters tonight that Hillary Clinton intends to fill the courts with rogues and ruffians, but there may be a broader message problem for Republicans as Trump lashes out at Clinton. Again, from the Post:

Republicans, who have struggled to convince voters that they are capable of governing, talked a big game in years past about the need to be more than just “the party of no.” That messaging is gone now. The prospect of four more years in the wilderness suggests that they will move back toward unapologetic obstruction.

Right now, however, they are in damage control mode. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who is up for reelection in Iowa, promised yesterday to not automatically “stonewall” any Clinton pick. “If that new president happens to be Hillary, we can’t just simply stonewall,” Grassley said on a conference call with local press.

McCain’s obstructionist comments earlier this week makes it difficult for Republicans to disassociate themselves from whatever monkey wrench rhetoric Trump will use in tonight’s debate. The more that Trump tries to scare voters about the Supreme Court under a Clinton administration, the more harm he is going to cause the entire Republican Party.

Meanwhile, if there is a poll for President in any battleground state these days, it’s a good bet that Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump.

Tonight’s debate is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. If, for some reason, you would prefer to watch the debate in a movie theater, you now have that option.


► How’s this for “knowingly false?” Republicans continue to attack Democratic state Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger over a fictional trip to China…but it’s getting so much worse (and, now, racist to boot). In a new mailer, “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” cites a Politifact Colorado story as backup for their “China Girl” attacks, which is odd, since the Politifact piece makes it clear that this entire story is complete nonsense.

Let’s say that again: The factual basis for the “China Girl” attack is a link to a Politifact Colorado examination that explicitly finds this entire story to be untrue. How on earth is this legally acceptable? This is akin to pointing in the air and declaring, See, there it is — proof that the sky is green!


► Democrat Morgan Carroll is out with a new TV ad in CD-6 that hammers Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) over his litany of false fact-checked advertisements in 2016. Carroll has been hitting Coffman hard throughout this campaign, through paid ads, earned media, and in debates with the incumbent Coffman; Carroll’s aggressive campaign, along with Republican problems at the top of the ticket, are causing increasing levels of anxiety in Coffmanland.

Elsewhere, Coffman displayed his leadership acumen in a 9News interview by declaring that he might not even cast a vote in the race for President. This wasn’t even the worst part of the interview for Coffman.


Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Mike Coffman Hammered By 9NEWS Over Birther History, Trump

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Yesterday, 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark aired an in-depth interview with incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora on a range of topics–chief among them being the upcoming election, in which Coffman has tried everything imaginable to escape the toxic cloud enveloping the Republican Party as Donald Trump leads them to increasingly likely ruin. You might think you know where this is headed, but you won’t believe how bad it gets for Coffman.

As 9NEWS reports, Rep. Coffman took another step toward abdicating political responsibility for the 2016 elections he is running for re-election in, declaring that he may not cast any vote for President at all:

In another sign of just how unusual 2016 is, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado says he may skip voting in this year’s presidential race.

“I don’t know if I’ll cast a vote for president,” Coffman told 9NEWS in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I’m struggling with it like many other Americans.”

…Coffman said he didn’t know whether he might vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, but agreed that Johnson has said “dumb things” on foreign policy.

Speaking of saying dumb things, the interview turned to a subject we’ve been waiting for someone to broach with Coffman ever since he began distancing himself from Donald Trump! And it’s fitting, since Clark is the reporter who so famously cornered Mike Coffman over this issue four years ago:

Clark asked Coffman if he bore responsibility for Trump’s rise, given Coffman’s past suggestion that he wasn’t sure President Barack Obama was born in the United States. [Pols emphasis]

Here’s the full transcript of this positively epic exchange:

CLARK: I have one more question that involves Donald Trump, but it’s actually a question about you. Donald Trump started promoting the birther lie in 2011, and then in was 2012 when you said that you didn’t know if President Obama was born in the United States but he wasn’t an American at heart. You told me that you misspoke and you apologized, said it several times. [Pols emphasis] My question is, did you and other elected Republicans who kind of flirted with this birther nonsense, help put Donald Trump on the map?


CLARK: No responsibility at all?


CLARK: Why do you say that?

COFFMAN: Well, first of all, I, first of all it was wrong, it was boneheaded, I said it was, thought it was a private conversation I was having, it was being, it was taped…

CLARK: You were speaking on stage with a microphone. [Pols emphasis]

COFFMAN: That’s no excuse, that’s no excuse, that’s no excuse, it was to a private group, it was not a public event, but that’s no excuse. I said I was wrong. Uh, and so, uh, I’ve never taken that position publicly. It was a mistake, I didn’t say that he wasn’t born in the United–I said I didn’t know, but that wasn’t the issue, there was another issue and that was inflammatory. So, absolutely not.

CLARK: So you didn’t give any cover to the TV personality Donald Trump who was saying this because you were Mike Coffman, elected representative…


CLARK: You don’t see any tie between those, and…


CLARK: Okay.

Safe to say, this is a minute and a half of video that Coffman hopes undecided voters in CD-6 never see. Coffman’s excuses that he didn’t know his on-stage remarks at an Elbert County GOP fundraiser were being recorded, then trying to make a distinction between “not knowing” if Barack Obama was born in the United States and “knowing” he wasn’t like other birthers, are absolutely painful to watch. We’re honestly surprised that in the intervening four years, Coffman has never developed a better response–which might help explain why his campaign limits these kinds of press appearances.

We would call it protesting one’s own guilt, but Coffman didn’t even manage a decent protest.

He just looks guilty.

Got Ballot?

votebuttonColorado is an all-mail ballot state this election cycle. Ballots began going out in the mail on Monday, so many of you might be able to vote as soon as today.

Have you received your ballot yet? Please let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to include your city or county of residence.

We’re curious to see when and where ballots are starting to arrive, and we know Colorado Pols readers are certainly paying attention.

Wednesday Open Thread

“You can’t separate desperate politicians from violence and trouble.”

–Bamigboye Olurotimi

When Donald Trump Jr. Yucked Up The Aurora Theater Massacre

UPDATE: The Denver Post’s John Frank:

Sandy Phillips, the mother of Jessica Ghawi, who died in the attack, issued a statement saying “this recording shows the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“This recording goes beyond politics — it’s disturbing and painful,” Phillips said in a statement released by Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“We’ve already known that his father is a crass, blustery billionaire who cares zero about other people’s struggles or pain,” she added.


Donald Trump, Jr.

Donald Trump, Jr.

CNN broke a story yesterday about Donald Trump Jr., who was in town yesterday campaigning for his dad, that is just now starting to trickle down into local media–and it’s outraging pretty much everyone in our state who hears it:

On shows like “Opie and Anthony,” the now-defunct “The Six Pack,” and “Opie with Jim Norton,” the younger Trump made a joke about the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, expressed regret he could no longer mock overweight people, invoked Arab stereotypes, and joked about child beauty contestants being abused by their parents…

In July 2012, on the same day a gunman killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Trump Jr. joked about still giving the movie “two thumbs up.”

Trump Jr. made the comment on “Opie and Anthony” after soundbites were played of witnesses speaking about the tragedy.

“Everything was going good until, uh, we saw gas and sparks, and sounded like really strong fireworks, uh, and then you just hear people yelling and actually just a few, uh, rows away from me a girl gets up holding her jaw. I guess she had got shot,” a witness said.

“Overall I give the movie two thumbs up,” Trump Jr. exclaimed in reaction.

Among the first to respond to this story was Morgan Carroll, longtime representative of the vicinity of the Century Theater in Aurora and now a candidate for Congress:

She released a statement about Trump Jr’s comments saying, “The tragic Aurora shooting happened just five minutes from my house, in the district I was elected to represent. Donald Trump Jr. should apologize immediately to the families and victims affected by this terrible tragedy. The loss of life, and horror faced by this community and all in that theater that day, is no joke.”

Through his spox, incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora also expresses a measure of displeasure:

Coffman’s spokeswoman, Cinamon Watson, said of Trump Jr.’s comment, “That’s a filthy, disgusting, lewd, awful thing to say. He should be embarrassed and ashamed.”

We haven’t seen any evidence that Junior is in fact ashamed–or any reports about him at all since yesterday’s abortive whistlestop at The Sink in Boulder, which was moved after The Sink’s owners informed the Trump campaign that they need to have permission to invade their restaurant for a campaign event:

But as you can see from these crass remarks about the Aurora theater shooting and the dozens of our neighbors killed and wounded there, Donald Junior doesn’t just say the word “deplorable.”

He lives it.

2016’s Most Knowingly False Accusation Takes Nasty Racist Turn

We’ve talked a number of times about a specific line of attack targeting Democratic SD-19 candidate Rachel Zenzinger, falsely alleging that Zenzinger had “voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China” while serving as an Arvada city councillor. As Politifact Colorado and every other objective look at this accusation has found, it’s completely false: not only did Zenzinger never visit China, she introduced the motion barring the use of taxpayer dollars on any such trip.

The “China Girl” attack on Zenzinger was thoroughly debunked by in 2014 when it was originally used, which made its recycling in 2016 much more arguably a case of making a knowingly false statement in a political ad–a crime under Colorado law.

Regardless, this week the organization responsible for the ad ruled “Pants on Fire” by Politifact Colorado, Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government,  sent another mail piece to SD-19 voters making the same false charge:


Now, the first problem with this mail piece is the eye-poppingly racist Photoshopping of a traditional Vietnamese straw hat, known as a non la, onto Rachel Zenzinger’s head. We shouldn’t even have to point out that this ad is about an alleged trip to China, which is not Vietnam, and they in fact wear different straw hats in China.

We assume nobody at Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government could, you know, tell the difference.

But as bad as the racism in this latest mail piece is, that may not even be the worst part. Looking closely at this ad, you can see they quote the Mayor of Arvada, Marc Williams. The citation for that quote on this mailer is “Channel 7 News, Denver, 7/5/16.”

Understand this, folks: that’s Politifact Colorado’s fact-check! The one that ruled this claim “Pants on Fire” false! The mailer conveniently omits the rest of Williams’ statement in that story:

[Williams] stressed that she also made the subsequent successful motion “with the explicit direction that no city funds be used.” [Pols emphasis]

This mail piece was produced after Politifact Colorado’s July 5th fact-check of CCAG’s previous mailer on the same subject. That means that Sen. Laura Woods’ allies at CCAG read that fact-check, disregarded its conclusion, and used a hacked-up quote for it to further mislead voters about the same completely debunked charge.

The only reasonable conclusion with all these facts in mind is that CCAG knows they are lying, and are overtly contemptuous of the media’s ability to correct the record. They have concluded that more voters will see their false accusation than will ever see the debunking, and they simply have no sense of accountability to anyone. We can’t imagine what Alan Gathright and the folks at Politifact will say about being given this brazen middle finger by a major Republican 527, but that’s obviously what they’re doing.

If that is not outrageous to every voter on an objective level, we don’t know what is. And if there was ever a case ripe for prosecution under Colorado’s much-debated law against knowingly lying in our elections, this has to be it.

Darryl Glenn Holding Onto 18-Point Deficit in Senate Race

Darryl Glenn in his most accurate campaign metaphor.

Darryl Glenn (R-Rear)

If you are a Republican or a supporter of Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, here’s the good news: Glenn isn’t losing by 20 points (yet).

Just one week after Glenn laughably claimed that he was running in a “virtual tie” with Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver), Quinnipiac University released new polling data on Colorado’s Senate race that pretty much confirms what everyone else already knew:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet leads El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, the Republican challenger 56 – 38 percent, widening a 52 – 43 percent lead September 23…

…Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has a 62 – 30 percent lead among independent likely voters. He gets Democrats 95 – 1 percent, while Republicans go to Darryl Glenn 90 – 9 percent.

Bennet also leads among men, women, white and non-white voters. [Pols emphasis] 

Sure, Sen. Bennet may have a lead among people of every sex and race, but there’s no indication that Glenn has lost support among asexual reptiles.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 18)

Get More SmarterIf the 2016 election is as rigged as Donald Trump claims, can we just go ahead and declare Hillary Clinton the winner and save everyone a few weeks of yammering? 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.


► Your ballot is in the mail (probably). Election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday, which means Coloradans could be casting their 2016 votes as soon as Wednesday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.


► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is in Colorado today, making campaign stops in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, just as a new poll shows Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton maintaining a healthy lead in our state thanks in part to a big boost from Unaffiliated voters. Trump will have to deal with plenty of questions today about his absurd claims that the election is being rigged against him; election officials (from both political parties) across the state condemned Trump’s fraud allegations in no uncertain terms.

Why is Trump so freaked out? Perhaps because he is on pace for an historic beatdown on Election Day.

Elsewhere on the top stump, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will be making a stop in Durango on Wednesday. On Monday, Clinton’s former Primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrapped up a two-day visit to Colorado aimed at encouraging GOTV and voter registration efforts.


► Democrat Gail Schwartz seems to have the momentum in her CD-3 challenge of incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Durango). Schwartz doubled Tipton’s fundraising haul in Q3, and has picked up endorsements from the Durango Herald and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Here’s an excerpt from today’s Sentinel endorsement:

Republican Scott Tipton wants a fourth term in the U.S. House representing the people of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District.

We think Democrat Gail Schwartz is a better alternative.

That should say something. In the past three general elections, we’ve endorsed Tipton twice, along with Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in 2014 — all Republicans.

But in an era of unprecedented partisanship and gridlock on Capitol Hill, we need lawmakers who can put the needs of the district over party interests — or their own…

…We think Schwartz leans left far less than Tipton leans right. We think it’s time a more moderate representative got a crack at advocating for the interests of the district.



Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Tuesday Open Thread

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

–Bill Gates

“Even Quinnipiac” Shows Clinton Pulling Away in Colorado

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton.

New polling numbers out today from oft-questioned national pollster Quinnipiac University show what everyone expects to see right now: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expanding her lead over Republican Donald Trump:

Independent likely voters shift to Democrat Hillary Clinton, giving her the lead over Republican Donald Trump in the critical swing states of Colorado, Florida, and Pennsylvania and moving her into a tie with Trump in Ohio, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Clinton also has double-digit leads among women likely voters and leads of 28 to 76 percentage points among non-white voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Four-way races which list both presidential and vice-presidential candidates, show:

Colorado: Clinton tops Trump 45 – 37 percent, with 10 percent for Johnson and 3 percent for Stein. Clinton had 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent September 22…

“Secretary Clinton has held or increased her lead following the second debate,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Obviously the allegations by a number of women about Donald Trump’s behavior have taken a toll among some of those who had been in his column.”

Our experience with Quinnipiac’s polling is that they seem to frequently post outlier results early in the election cycle, often favoring Republican candidates, only to track back closer to polling averages as Election Day approaches. Setting aside scientific variables, there’s a definite PR advantage to announcing dramatic game-changing numbers early in the season–but you don’t want to be the outlier on the day of the election.

This election, perhaps Q-pac has decided not to get caught with their britches down.

Trump’s Rigged Election Claims Backfiring in Colorado

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump may have realized finally that he isn’t likely to be the next resident of the White House, which is why he is busy trying to create a soft landing for himself in three weeks. Trump can feel better about losing to Democrat Hillary Clinton if he can convince people that this whole thing was rigged against him from the start…except, it’s not.

Colorado political reporter Ernest Luning has been dutifully keeping up with various responses from Colorado election officials regarding Trump’s increasing claims that the 2016 election is “rigged.” Lynn Bartels of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office wins the quotation battle today, responding to Trump claims of voter fraud by saying, “I can say on Twitter I’m a super model, but that doesn’t make it so.”

The Colorado County Clerks’ Association is equally adamant that there is no anti-Trump conspiracy at play in Colorado:

If you’re looking for some sort of factual basis on which Trump is relying in order to push his “rigged election” narrative, you’re going to be disappointed. If you have your heart set on believing any of this nonsense, you can have fun with this chart from the Washington Post.

Get More Smarter on Monday (October 17)

Get More SmarterThe ballots are coming! The ballots are coming! 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 end (of this election cycle) is near. Mail ballots will start going out today, which means some lucky Coloradans could be voting as soon as Wednesday. As John Frank explains for the Denver Post:

This week, the 2016 election gets real.

Colorado election officials will begin mailing ballots Monday to more than 3,125,300 active voters, and the initial wave of votes is expected by the end of the week.

The first mail-ballot presidential election marks a fundamental shift in how elections are managed in Colorado and introduces significant variables to the political calculus that will determine the winners.

“Election Day is really a misnomer,” said Eric Sondermann, a Colorado political analyst. “All Election Day is now is the day the ballots are counted. It’s no longer the day ballots are cast.”

The new math is forcing the candidates to revamp their strategy and make their final push weeks earlier than other states as the campaign moves to the “ballot chase” phase.

For voting information or to check your registration, go to If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location.


► Former Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders finishes up a quick visit to Colorado today with rallies in Boulder and Ft. Collins. Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren were in Denver on Sunday for a GOTV rally in support of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.


► On the Republican side, Donald Trump, Jr. is campaigning for his father in Boulder today, though a potential campaign event at iconic restaurant The Sink was nixed by the establishment’s owners (Junior was also scheduled to speak in Centennial Monday morning). The Big Orange Candidate himself will be in Colorado on Tuesday, with planned visits in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.

Donald Trump continues to lay out a nice bed of failure in advance of Election Day, amping up his claims that the 2016 election is going to be rigged against him. As Ernest Luning notes via Twitter, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is not amused:

Trump is very angry that his fellow Republicans aren’t buying his “rigged election” theory.



Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Donald Trump Junior Grabs Boulder By The P – – – y

UPDATE #3: Via the Boulder Daily Camera:

Donald Trump Jr.’s campaign appearance in Boulder this afternoon has been moved from The Sink to a commercial space on Pearl Street after the owner of the University Hill restaurant complained he had been unaware of the event.

The event is now scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. at 714 Pearl St., an unoccupied commercial space owned by developer Stephen Tebo.

Somebody get Junior a new advance man.


UPDATE #2: Junior’s event in Boulder is still on, somewhere:


UPDATE: The Sink’s owners put the kibosh on Junior’s campaign event inside their restaurant:

Donald Trump Jr. is welcome to visit the The Sink, but not to hold a campaign event on the restaurant’s premises, owner Mark Heinritz said today.

“If he wants to come in and be a guest, that’s fine,” Heinritz said. “We do not discriminate and we will not discriminate. If he wants it to be a campaign event, he can do that outside.”

Guess he should have asked permission.


Donald Trump, Jr. holding an elephant's tail.

Donald Trump, Jr. holding an elephant’s tail.

As the Boulder Daily Camera reports, Donald Trump Jr. is making a campaign stop in the People’s Republic on behalf of his pa this afternoon:

Donald Trump Jr. will travel to Boulder on Monday to speak with supporters of his father’s presidential bid and campaign volunteers, the Donald Trump campaign announced Sunday morning.

Trump’s son is scheduled to appear at 4:30 p.m. Monday at The Sink, 165 13th St., following a morning campaign appearance in Centennial, according to an email from the campaign.

Junior’s campaign stop at The Sink appears to be news to…well, The Sink:

Laura Thoman, a manager at The Sink, said Sunday afternoon that no one from the Trump campaign had contacted the restaurant.

“We’ve had a lot of famous people here, but we usually get some advanced warning,” she said.

No other details of the Boulder event have been released.

Contacted later Sunday afternoon, Lydia B. Blaha, the Trump campaign’s Colorado communications director, said the event is expected to take place inside The Sink.

The Sink released a statement that makes little attempt to hide their displeasure over the Trump campaign’s presumptuousness:

The Sink would like to thank the Denver Post and the Daily Camera for making us aware of the Trump campaign’s plans to use our restaurant as a campaign location while Donald Trump Jr. is in Boulder, Colo. Normally, organizations ask permission to use our property–we would like to make clear that the Trump campaign has not asked for our permission or made any attempt to contact us. We did not organize or encourage this event to happen. [Pols emphasis]

The Sink says they will nonetheless accommodate Junior’s unsanctioned presence, because “discrimination is still a primary issue in our society”–and they hope Boulder residents will respect The Sink as “an organization that is willing to remain accessible to all political and personal viewpoints.” Zing!

Why didn’t Trump’s campaign feel the need to even ask permission? You already know the answer, Boulder:

Because when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.