Different Year, Same Mountain: GOP Plants Flag on Denial

UPDATE: In his column for The Denver Post, soon-to-be-former District Attorney George Brauchler explains that there was no blue wave in Colorado because Republican Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was elected to a Congressional seat that Republicans already held and Democrats only won one extra battle in the State Senate:

The Blue Wave redux appears to have only dampened Republican socks.

Ah, yes, “2020: The Dampening.”

Democrats had another successful election cycle in Colorado, winning a U.S. Senate seat, expanding on their majority in the State Senate, and maintaining a massive advantage in the State House. As Ian Silverii writes for The Denver Post, there was not a lot of suspense last Tuesday after the polls closed at 7:00 pm:

At 7:01 p.m. on Election Day our state was called for Biden and U.S. Senator-elect John Hickenlooper. Most of the statewide ballot initiatives were declared quickly, and most competitive legislative races were called right away as well. Our nationally-renowned and bipartisanly-lauded system of all-options voting with universal mail ballots delivered a doubtless result once again, and our Democratic, unaffiliated, and Republican county clerks and recorders, as well as our secretary of state, Jena Griswold, should be applauded for another competent administration of an incredibly high-stakes election.

Colorado Democrats will continue to dominate state government, as I predicted, possessing the most power Democrats have held in our state since FDR was president. They picked up a seat in the state Senate and held a massive 41-24 seat majority against a demoralized state House Republican minority who only after another punishing defeat grasped their previous leadership was leading them into the abyss.

Republicans currently hold only 24 seats in the State House, which is the lowest number since 1965. Actually, it’s the lowest number since 2018, when the same thing happened.

How are Colorado Republicans reacting to their troubles? As The Colorado Sun reports:

It took only an hour after the first election results posted for Colorado Republicans to start seeing the disaster ahead…

…For the party, the examination about how to move forward centers on a fundamental question: Was it President Donald Trump or was it us?

Oh, wait. Those two sentences were written in 2018.

The Republican bench in Colorado

Here’s the 2020 version:

Republicans in Colorado are facing a real crisis as the state moves further to the left. The bench of future GOP leaders the party hoped to build now is looking thin, one that could rival the Broncos’ injured list…

…No Republican running statewide has won more than 45% of the vote in the past two election cycles.

So, again, how did things get this bad for Colorado Republicans? That’s a question that the GOP asked itself after 2018 but never bothered to answer…and it doesn’t look like much has changed after another drubbing at the polls. This section from the 2020 Colorado Sun article is particularly enlightening:

Colorado House Democrats spent big money aiming to expand their majority this year, including in the Republican stronghold of Douglas County, only to see it maintain the status quo.

“That tells me a lot about the voters in this state,” said McKean, the House Republican leader. “We hear all this talk about how blue Colorado might be getting. I don’t believe it for a second.”

You could say that the recently-named House Minority Leader is looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but that would be overly generous. In reality, McKean is looking at the Colorado political world through glasses covered in black felt. What he’s doing here is essentially celebrating the fact that Democrats only have a 17-seat majority after the 2020 elections.

Did Republicans hold the line this year? Or did Democrats just finally run out of competitive seats that could be flipped? The answer is closer to the latter than the former. After all, there’s no scenario whereby either political party is going to gain 100% of the seats in the state legislature.

It matters not whether McKean and Republicans “believe” that Colorado has turned blue, because this is not a subjective question. What matters is what Colorado Republicans are going to do about it.

If past is prologue, the answer is obvious: Not much.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    “We hear all this talk about how blue Colorado might be getting. I don’t believe it for a second.”

    It was all a big hoax. Trump won Colorado. Gardner was re-elected. Stay the course, senator! Lock her up!!! Error 404 

  2. PKolbenschlag says:

    Its 3 dimensional chess. The Colorado GOP is winning by losing. Just like Dear Leader. 

  3. unnamed says:

    Dems maxed out in the House.  HD38 was the only gettable seat that didn't flip blue in 2018, and it barely stayed GOP.  We did get HD47 then, which was fairly Trumpy and Walker Stapleton carried it in 2018.  So, it flipping back to the GOP while Dems picked up 38 making it a wash was not surprising.  It seemed that the GOP, nationwide did well in areas where Trump did well and Dems did well where Biden did well.  Granted, there are exceptions, but it seems like that's what happened.

  4. unnamed says:

    The Republican Bench in Colorado:  Kevin Priola

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      22 years worth of trying to stuff big government into our bedrooms. One would think they might have learned something by now.

      Wonder if Ken Buck, Jeff Hunt, Bob Enyart are listening?

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        "Wonder if Ken Buck, Jeff Hunt, Bob Enyart are listening?"

        They subscribe to the School of Thought that says, "If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, eventually you'll get a better result."


  5. Honorable Nasty Woman says:

    The Colorado republicans started down the hard core anti-everything except white males and no choice in the 90's.  They purposely drove everyone else away, including conservative women.  So today they are the party for the nation to look at as the ultimate result of anti-world.  A party of people so dumb they do not live in the real world, just some alternate world where the sky is brown and has the stink of a stock yard.

  6. Meiner49er says:

    I suspect it's much the same way as Trumpists see "Merica". The parts that voted blue aren't the "real Colorado," just some Californicated version. Guess that's one way to define away the problem, but it doesn't win seats. McKean will be "MINORITY" leader for the rest of his time under the dome.

  7. Blackie says:

    Am surprised at all the blue along the southern Mississippi River.

    • Duke Cox says:

      That region contains many largely black communities. It used to be the core of the Southern Democrats, but the racist whites began flipping to the Republicans when Nixon implemented the Southern Strategy. 

      There was a huge number of former Democrats who abandoned democracy on behalf of Ronald Raygun but Dems still have a solid presence there.

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