What You Need to Know from the First Gubernatorial Debate

Governor Jared Polis and Republican challenger Hiedi Heidi Ganahl squared off on Wednesday night in Pueblo for the first gubernatorial debate of the 2022 General Election. To the extent that there were any fireworks, they were more like mini sparklers than anything that went ‘boom.’

Wednesday’s forum was missing much of the suspense and build up from debates in prior years, in large part because the race for Governor is a foregone conclusion at this point. Recent polling from Fox 31/Emerson College/The Hill shows that Polis is well ahead of Ganahl (+17 points, in fact), which isn’t likely to change all that much considering that Ganahl doesn’t have the resources to run television ads (her campaign is completely dark) and isn’t going to get any national financial support from Republicans.

You can read more about the debate from The Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio, and The Colorado Sun. To watch the debate yourself, CLICK HERE and skip ahead to about the 1:13:00 mark and avoid the excruciatingly-long introductory period. The very short version of Wednesday’s debate went something like this:


Ganahl’s campaign stacked the room in Pueblo with supporters in an effort to create the appearance of interest in her campaign, which came off sort of like when a large family cheers obnoxiously at a high school graduation. Ganahl aggressively attacked Polis from the start; in her opening statement, for example, Ganahl rattled off a few biographical sentences before launching into a rapid-fire barrage of one grievance after another about Polis. It was not an unexpected strategy, but Ganahl rarely got around to saying anything about her own campaign as the forum moved along. When she did talk about her vision for the office, Ganahl was characterteristically vague.

As The Colorado Sun noted:

“I am going to take Colorado to zero income tax,” Ganahl said, touting a pledge she unveiled months ago but still has not explained how she would do so without decimating the state budget.

Colorado Public Radio noted the same problem:

Ganahl reiterated her campaign promise to eliminate the income tax, which brings in more than $13 billion a year to the state and supplies more than half of the general fund. She also wants to cut the gas tax in half…

…Cutting more than $13 billion from the budget would require finding savings equal to the state’s current general fund spending on education, health care, human services and corrections, combined.

Ganahl said that she wants to cut the size of the state government by 10 percent each year, and claimed that she could find extra money amounting to at least 5% of the state budget which she calculated “might be a billion or two right there.” Throughout the evening, Ganahl threw out random numbers like she was emceeing a game of keno.

There are several more gubernatorial debates planned between now and Election Day — many more than we really need to see. If the rest of the forums follow the same script, Ganahl is going to need to come up with some new tricks to keep them from just turning into re-runs.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Ganahl is so out of her depth it isn't even funny.  Well, it's kind of funny.  I will be happy to see her go down in flames.

    • Genghis says:

      It's downright hilarious. I saw Polis in action multiple times when he was the congressman in these parts, and he's exceptional at this sort of thing. At this point the only question is, what's the over/under on how much time it'll take until Hiedi gets so dominated that she starts gibbering about "furries" shitting in litterboxes and clawing students in public school?

  2. Moderatus says:

    Has Colorado Pols ever declared a Republican the winner of any debate, ever?


  3. Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

    If she mentions one more time "I'm a mom," I'm going to barf. There are, quite literally, billions of women on this planet who are moms. I only listened to the first half of this show, but I don't recall Polis repeatedly crowing about the fact that "I'm a dad." 

    It may, or it may not, qualify you as a good parent. Remember, Joan Crawford was a mom too. What the hell does that have to do with her being qualified to be governor?

    As for her experience as a regent, what, if anything, has she done to lower to costs tuition at CU?

    Nice attempt at rehabilitating her wack-job running mate, "Danny" LNU.

    When she said, "I'm a mom on a mission," my mind immediately jumped to Sarah Palin. But that wasn't fair to Heidi. Sarah Palin was Roseanne Barr while Heidi is more like one of the women on Desperate Housewives.

    All in all, I don't regret having voted for Heidi in the primary but there was, and there remains, absolutely no way in hell I would vote for her over Jared Polis.

    And by the way, Wo war Frau Neuschwangler?


  4. davebarnes says:

    How many people will actually watch more than 30 seconds of this “debate”?

  5. Sunmusing says:

    this heidi person is nothing without her lies…face it folks…republicans are our common enemy…they are willing to put people like this, up for election…when they should be arrested for supporting insurrection and treason…all of these republicans cannot be allowed to get into power…reject them…do not elect them…

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.