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July 25, 2018 10:54 AM UTC

Republicans Betting Big on Colorado Into California Message

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) came out this week with its first General Election advertisement for 2018, attacking Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis by saying he “wants to turn Colorado into California.” The ad is…well, it’s not very good, but how about that message?

We’ve heard this “turning Colorado into California” narrative from Republicans since at least the beginning of the year — GOP nominee Walker Stapleton used it regularly during Republican gubernatorial debates — and it continues to get a lot of use. Critics of new vehicle emissions standards being pushed by Gov. John Hickenlooper have been taking a similar approach in their finger-wagging responses.

Republicans no doubt have some kind of polling and/or focus group data telling them that “turning Colorado into California” is a winning message in 2018. They seem determined to push this narrative at all costs, though it’s unclear how effective it might become. Sometimes these cute slogans can be winners, but just as often they fizzle because they are too overdone. The “Frontier Fairness” slogan that Mike Johnston briefly promoted in early 2017 was probably tested and re-tested, but once you get outside of focus groups where you don’t have the luxury of providing more context, the words lose meaning in a hurry.

Maybe we’re completely wrong here and “turning Colorado into California” is a home run of a message. It just sounds a bit…silly.

You can check out the ad yourself below:


23 thoughts on “Republicans Betting Big on Colorado Into California Message

  1. Colorado Republicans have decided No Message is better than their message.  4 years ago, it was "Bob Beauprez has a plan".  What was the plan?  Now it's "Jared Polis wants to turn Colorado into California".  How?  Yeah.  They are aiming their messages at their base when they have their base sewn up.  I don't see how this message resonates with anybody outside their base.

  2. I love Goober whistling in the background.  Also, the extended finger underlining the "radicolorado" line doesn't seem to express much respect for the intellect of their audience. Although, in fairness, if they were pointing it out to WalKKKer, that makes sense.

  3. I'll take CA over a lot of states–Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Walker Stapleton's CT, among others



  4. Brought by the political party that just announced (through Trump) that it would be supporting socialism for farmers (including, one would think, Colorado farmers) to mitigate the costs of Trump’s trade “adventures”.

    So basically the GOP’s message is socialism is bad unless they do it.  

  5. California, the 5th biggest economy in the world?

    California, where the most recent budget "makes record investments in schools and universities, eases the crisis of poverty and homelessness, and begins the process of fixing our long-neglected streets and highways – in addition to boosting our reserve, the so-called Rainy Day Fund, to $14 billion."

    California, that under unified Democratic control, moved from being in the red by $42B to be able to add to a rainy day fund and bring it to $14B — all within 10 years.

    And we are supposed to be afraid of that?

      1. Yep, Schwarzenegger pioneered the GOP's pixie dust economic policy by mortgaging the state's properties to pay for urgently needed current funding priorities.

        Just like our own GOP legislators (and Jon Caldera) for transportation, borrow now, pay me later by cutting the lifelines to our elderly, sick and poor, and our children’s futures by cutting education and healthcare.

        Republicans are just jealous that Democrats/Socialists/Commies(they like them now)/far left radicals have made California the 5th largest economy in the World after voters kicked Republicans in the ass and out of office so they couldn't do any more damage.

    1. California is ranked #43 currently in ranking by fiscal condition while Colorado is ranked #30. California receives an F rating in State Data Lab accounting while Colorado receives a D. If you have a struggling student would you put them with the failing group or the passing students?

      Not to mention nearly a Trillion in unfunded pension liability. 

      Or the net outmigration of 1.2 million. They come here because its like Tijuana to them – cheap housing (in comparison) low taxes, similar playground. 

      Californians come here because its better than California. Making CO like CA is a downgrade that should resonate well with most Cali transplants and locals alike. I don't think you should be afraid of trying to be like CA, but ashamed. 



      1. Outmigration numbers from an article in 2016? And focused only on the distinction of those in and out of states in the United States?  More importantly, overall population of California is rising, from both birth rates and from immigration from abroad. Further offset — numbers leaving include large numbers of retirees.

        And rankings of "fiscal conditions" are a matter of what criteria are used. As are a bunch of other state rankings. In Thrillist's rankings, Colorado is #10, California is #9.  That doesn't mean a great deal. Nor does the visualcapitalist's list, with California #2 and Colorado #6.

  6. Walker's message so far is that he can magically fund everything that Colorado needs on the current revenue. So – the same message Republicans have been using on Coloradans since TABOR was enacted (at least).

  7. What really causes Republicans to soil themselves is the prospect that Colorado will go DEEP BLUE and find out that they really don't need Republicans to tell them how to live.  Imagine a state with no state level or congressional Republicans.  Must scare the beejebus out of them.

      1. No.  But it could go the way of Washington or Oregon where rural regions are red but cities and tourist areas are blue, or at least purple.

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