Ken Buck: Reality is Dumb

The unofficial slogan of the Colorado Republican Party.

Two years ago, Democrats absolutely demolished Republicans up and down the ballot in Colorado. To just about anyone with functioning eyeballs, the 2020 election looks equally bleak for the State GOP.

In 2020, the top of the ticket for the GOP — President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner — is about as popular as leprosy in Colorado. Most national pundits agree that Colorado is a lost cause for Trump, and Gardner’s unraveling since the June 30th Primary is perfectly in line with public opinion in our state.

Democrats continue to gain momentum toward taking majority control of the U.S. Senate, and a Republican resurgence in the House of Representatives is about as likely as Trump admitting that he made a mistake (on anything). Locally, Republicans aren’t likely to make much headway in either the State House or the State Senate, where chaos is the operative word.

So it is that Ken Buck finds himself selling blind optimism nowadays.

The Congressman who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chairman (or vice-versa) is apparently bullish on Republican chances in Colorado in 2020. In a recent interview with Newsmax TV, Buck went the “fake news” route when asked about a July 1 poll showing Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden by 17 points in Colorado.

As Buck told Sean Spicer, “[Colorado] is trending our direction, and I think this state is going to be very competitive.”

Uh, okay.

We get that Buck is trying to be optimistic here, and he’s not wrong that Republican Presidential candidates have trended slightly better than in previous elections in Colorado. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain by 9 points in Colorado. Mitt Romney lost to Obama in 2012 by about 6 points, and in 2016 Trump dropped Colorado to Hillary Clinton by a 5-point margin.

Of course, this argument cuts both ways; Republican George W. Bush carried Colorado by nearly 6 points in 2004 following an 8-point margin in 2000. If you include 2000 and 2004 in your trend comparison, Republicans are down 15-20 points in Colorado from where they were at the beginning of this century. Regardless, relying on a multi-year comparison of Presidential results in Colorado is like predicting that the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl because they were successful in their last game of the 2019 season.

The reality that Buck chooses to ignore is far more ominous for Colorado Republicans. That July 1 poll that Buck is disputing above was not an outlier; two previous polls in Colorado showed Biden ahead of Trump by 18 and 20 points, respectively. The same July 1 poll had Democrat John Hickenlooper leading Gardner by 11 points, even after Hick was on the receiving end of millions of dollars worth of negative advertising ahead of the Primary Election. When you look at other federal races in our state, Republicans have no hope of picking up a Congressional seat and may even lose another one in CO-3 — despite the fact that this Western Slope/Southern Colorado district has a net GOP favorability rating of +6 based on the last two Presidential elections.

As Ernest Luning wrote last week for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, “Colorado isn’t widely considered a presidential swing state this year.” Psychologists would call Buck’s spin “self-deception.” A less-charitable description is “hucksterism.” We’ll just call it “nonsense.”

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    How about Bucksterism?

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Pshaw. All it’ll take is a miracle-cure vaccine, a yuge overnight V-shaped economic recovery, another few weeks finishing the wall, and another Boebert or two, and everything will be sunshiny orange-red in Buck country — it’ll just all happen overnight, someday Moderatus will be right!

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Buck has a delightful ability to find one positive trend that can provide hope.  I am impressed.

    However, he's also overlooking the most recent statewide election, the 2018 General.   In the seven US House races, the statewide votes were

    D-2.686,690  R-2,159,544. 

    In the Governor/Lt.Gov race, the statewide votes were

    D-2,697,776, R-2,161,602

    That's about an 11% gap in each statewide tally.



  4. Meiner49er says:

    Lending a whole new meaning to: Bucking the trend. laugh


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