Hot Button GOP Issues Don’t Play Well in Colorado

Groups like this might be loud, but they are definitely in the minority in Colorado.

New polling data released this week is confirming something that we have long suspected: Colorado voters are absolutely not on board with conspiracies and contrarian beliefs pushed by Republicans in our state. The latest issue of The Mountaineer — a resource for progressives published by Global Strategy Group and ProgressNow Colorado — shows that the majority of Colorado voters are rowing in the opposite direction from right-wing Republicans in 2022.

We’ve discussed at length in this space the problem that Republicans have in continuing to promote the “Big Lie,” the idea that the 2020 Presidential election was somehow stolen from Republican Donald Trump. The “Big Lie” might be the only truth for Republican politicians in Colorado, but it doesn’t appear to translate to support from voters who aren’t part of the GOP base. Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, for example, lit her own campaign on fire in September when she repeatedly dodged very obvious questions about whether she considered the 2020 election results to be legitimate. According to polling results from The Mountaineer, 67% of Colorado voters believe that “Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.” Furthermore, 64% of respondents say that they have an unfavorable opinion of “conspiracy theorists who insist Donald Trump won in 2020” (including 53% who have a VERY unfavorable opinion of this group of people).

Colorado voters are equally turned off by anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. Voters support various mask and vaccine mandates by solid margins, with 54% expressing an unfavorable opinion of anti-vaxxers. By a 16-point margin, Colorado voters trust Democrats over Republicans on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans who insist on speaking out against COVID-19 safety measures are holding a minority opinion across the board:

Via “The Mountaineer”


Republicans in Colorado who perpetuate these views, as well as support for strict abortion restrictions in Texas, are allowing themselves to be labeled as extremists to the detriment of their political chances in 2022. As The Mountaineer concludes:

A generic Democrat for state legislature starts with a +7 advantage over a Republican, and this lead doubles to +13 after voters learn about the GOP’s “crazy” positions. Democrats make particularly large gains with unaffiliated and white women, as well as suburban voters.

It would seem like an obvious move for Republicans to back away from this kind of messaging, but “very conservative Republican” voters in Colorado are adamant that GOP politicians follow these signals. When winning a Republican primary means securing the support of these voters, Republican candidates resign themselves to alienating the majority of Colorado’s electorate.

This is a reality that hasn’t changed. It has proven itself in “wave years” for both parties. And there’s nothing we see in the Colorado Republican Party’s emerging message for 2022 to suggest that’s going to change.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    What do Colorado and Virginia have in common?

    Biden won each by about 10%. Hillary Clinton won both by about 5%. Obama won both in '08 and '12. Prior to '08, both states had a history of voting GOP.

    But we saw a 12% swing from Biden 10% lead last year to McAuliffe's 2% loss yesterday. Apply that to Colorado and Youngkin-type Republican may pull off a win.

    Here is Polis' secret weapon:  Hiedi Heidi Ganahl. She is not a serious candidate. 

    BUT….. if the CO GOP wanted to give this race a run for the $$$, they would be talking to someone like John Suthers or one of the Coffmans (Taller would be preferable but Shorter would still be a more credible candidate than Hiedi Heidi).

    Hell, they might even consider recycling a retread:  Con Man Cory won one statewide race (during a good election year for the GOP) and lost the other (in a bad election year for his party).


    • unnamed says:

      The one fundamental difference between Colorado and Virginia:  The Republican Party in CO is a hot mess.  There is one, maybe two truly formidable Repugs in this state.  The ones you mentioned would have a steep climb, even in a bad year.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      One big difference is that Polis is the incumbent and eligible for another term.  He is a savvy veteran with deep pockets and will have coattails.  Another difference is that Colorado Republicans have a walking talking disaster in Boebert who will undoubtedly turn off or offend just about everyone at some point in the lead up to the election.  Colorado Republicans are going to have to have some serious mojo to pull off a string of upsets next year.

    • ParkHill says:

      The big difference is that it is super easy to vote in Colorado, and the Governor's race is not in an off-year election. It is really hard to win an election using disinformation to whip up your base, when turnout is at 70-80%.

      I'm actually surprised that the Right Wing didn't win more this year given the lower turnout rates.

      • kwtree says:

        On behalf of the hundreds of volunteers, candidates, and campaign staff who knocked thousands of doors and made hundreds of thousands of calls to Get Out the Vote…’re welcome.

  2. notaskinnycook says:

    Trae Crowder on the Virginia results:

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    There aren't too many half-or-more billionaires who decide they want to run for office and DON'T have a toxic background or a seriously inflammatory set of positions (or friends).  Colorado Democrats are fortunate that one of them wound up being Jerod Polis, who wanted a chance to be a public servant. 

    I don't hang out in those circles, but thus far, I've not heard of a Colorado Republican equivalent to Glenn Youngkin in the offing.  Neither Stapleton or Ganahl are quite that rich, and neither had a blank enough slate to be able to say with a straight face that "teachers should be paid more." Youngkin could promise "better-paying jobs, the best schools, the safest communities" and nothing in his background contradicted the glittering generalities.

  4. Meiner49er says:

    "Democrats make particularly large gains with unaffiliated and white women, as well as suburban voters." There you have the key difference.  Colorado's white women haven't lost their minds as they have in other parts of the country.

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