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August 15, 2023 05:53 AM MDT

Trump Makes 2024 Another Lost Cause for Colorado GOP

  • by: Colorado Pols
Ex-President Donald Trump with Colorado GOP chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams.

Former President Donald Trump already held the record of being the first current or former U.S. President to be indicted for a crime. Trump has probably now put that record forever out of reach after Monday’s big indictment in Georgia marked his FOURTH in just the last four months.

Yet as Peter Baker explains for The New York Times, Trump’s unthinkably-long list of alleged crimes might have gotten…boring?

The novelty of a former leader of the United States being called a felon has somehow worn off. Not that the sweeping 98-page indictment handed up in Georgia accusing him of corruptly trying to reverse the state’s 2020 election results was any less momentous. But a country of short attention spans has now seen this three times before and grown oddly accustomed to the spectacle.

Multiple prosecutors have now cumulatively laid out an alleged presidential crime spree of epic proportions, complete with tangled intrigues, mysterious co-conspirators and intersecting subplots. The Georgia indictment went further than previous ones by charging 18 others with joining a criminal enterprise with the former president, including associates like Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman.

Yet most Americans made up their minds about Mr. Trump long before prosecutors like Fani T. Willis or Jack Smith weighed in, polls have shown. He is, depending on the perspective, a serial lawbreaker finally being brought to justice or a victim of persecution by partisans intent on keeping him out of office. The Georgia indictment, powerful as it is in its language, has been priced into the market, as the Wall Street types would put it.


It is true that many diehard Republicans have shrugged off Trump’s indictments for the most part. Most of the other candidates seeking the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024 have played along as Trump and his MAGA base brush off his various alleged crimes as “witch hunts” or whatever nonsense is uttered by diehard supporters such as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

We also know that Trump (the candidate for President) gets a bump from his base every time he gets indicted, a strange phenomenon that moves him closer to the Republican nomination for President in 2024. But as we wrote last week, every Trump indictment also moves him further away from the rest of the American voting population who will cast ballots in the 2024 General Election.

Don’t get lulled to sleep by any of this news, because Trump’s indictments DO matter quite a bit — particularly in Colorado.

Before we dive into that, let’s consider what makes Trump’s latest legal troubles a little different than the rest. As Philip Elliott writes for TIME magazine:

…the Georgia case may be the most durable, most threatening, and most important headache facing Trump because he can’t pay a fine or pardon himself. Georgia’s alleged crimes are beyond the scope of federal pardons, and they may set up a collision course over whether state laws can compel a President to face the music, even if he’s busy prosecuting wars, negotiating trade deals, or just trying to keep Americans’ national security safe.

America has never faced a scenario of asking whether someone in the clink can also have the nuclear codes or have visiting hours limited by local wardens. This is no longer some academic exercise. Voters—especially GOP primary voters—would do well to just take a beat with that remote possibility. [Pols emphasis]

Or, as Baker writes for the Times:

Still, even if the surprise value has faded, the outrage surely has not for a sizable part of the country, which sees this as a much-deserved comeuppance. And while the indictments have bolstered rather than eroded Mr. Trump’s support among Republicans, no one can predict for sure what might happen if and when he goes on trial after trial after trial. [Pols emphasis]

Indeed, check out Trump’s potential trial schedule in 2024, via The New York Times:

Via The New York Times (8/14/23)


It’s one thing to talk about Trump’s indictments in the abstract; it’s a different story when the man himself is sitting in a courtroom for a good portion of 2024.


Colorado Doesn’t Want What the MAGA Base Wants

[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”50%”]“We are the party that elected Donald J. Trump, and we are not going to apologize for that anymore.”

— State Republican Party Chair Dave Williams (3/11/23) [/mantra-pullquote]

Since this is a website about Colorado politics, let’s talk about the impact of Trump’s various indictments on…Colorado politics.

Trump remains very popular with the Republican base in Colorado. As Dave Williams proved again in March, you can’t get elected as the Chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party unless you support Trump without question. Trump repeated the favor in early August with a video message shown at the Republican Central Committee Meeting:


The majority of Colorado voters, however, do not share this sentiment. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Colorado in 2016 by 5 points. Democrat Joe Biden upped that margin to more than 13 points in 2020. Should Trump win the GOP nomination in 2024, it’s a good bet that this margin will grow even wider by next November.

There’s plenty of recent evidence to support this claim. Trump isn’t the sole reason that GOP Senate candidate Joe O’Dea or GOP Gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl were crushed by Democratic incumbents in 2022 (by 15 and 20 points, respectively), but the candidates’ inability or indifference about separating themselves from Trump were absolutely a significant problem. The graphic used by Ganahl’s campaign ahead of the June Primary Election might have helped her secure the GOP nomination for Governor, but it was an albatross around her neck from that point forward.

We also know that the main premise of Trump’s legal defense in his various charges related to attempting to overturn the 2020 election rest on a strategy that is death to Colorado Republicans; talking about the 2020 election in 2024 is the surest way for a Republican candidate to turn off a Colorado voter, just as it was in 2022.


So, How About 2026?

Dick Wadhams

It’s hard to overstate how problematic Trump and his MAGA base are to Republican hopes of winning elections in Colorado. Republicans can’t begin to crawl back into power in this state until they leave Trump’s burning orange corpse behind them, but that’s not going to happen until AT LEAST 2026.

Former State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has regularly spoken out about how Trump is at the root of the Colorado GOP’s historic lows. He did so again in a recent column for the Colorado Springs Gazette. The problem, of course, is that Wadhams has also long admitted that he voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, so he’s standing on a pedestal of moldy cheese. Nobody who voted for Trump TWICE has any business commenting on the inherent problems associated with supporting the felonious former President.

To be sure, Trump’s multiple indictments are an absolute disaster for Republicans in Colorado. The GOP’s only bit of luck in 2024 is that there are no major statewide races on the ballot for them to lose; things can’t really get THAT much worse for them next November. But in the meantime, every Republican leader in Colorado — from the State Party Chair to the loudest members of the state legislature (we’re looking at you, “DeBottoms”) and Congress (yes, you, Lauren Boebert) — are fully committed to whatever path Trump lights on fire in front of them.

Colorado Republicans SHOULD have dumped Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection or after his second impeachment trial in 2021, but they didn’t. They SHOULD have supported anyone else for President in 2024, but they didn’t. Even if Trumpism eventually collapses under its own weight, the Colorado GOP will either need to figure out how to keep its MAGA overlords engaged and willing to play nice with other Republicans in the state…or find a way to move forward without them while also re-engaging with the non-MAGA group of Republicans who have been waiting for the fever to break.

The Trump indictments have almost guaranteed that 2024 is another wasted election cycle for Colorado Republicans. The real question now is whether the Colorado GOP can get its collective shit together by 2026.

Z Tivi MgsJw ZUI


9 thoughts on “Trump Makes 2024 Another Lost Cause for Colorado GOP

  1. "The real question now is whether the Colorado GOP can get its collective shit together by 2026"

    If Fat Donnie from Queens wins nationally in 2024, then the Colorado G卐P will double down on MAGAt shit that Colorado voters don't like.
    If Fat Donnie from Queens loses nationally in 2024, then the Colorado G卐P will double down on MAGAt shit that Colorado voters don't like.

    1. One benefit of the slavish devotion to Trump is to separate the sheep from the goats. By collecting all the magats, christianists and racists in the Repulican Party, they can't screw things up in the Democratic Party.

      The second benefit is that they are forever associating the Republican and the Conservative Brand with Trump. 

  2. The MAGA overlords are certainly an issue for the Colorado GOP.

    But don’t forget the slimy denizens of the religious right; whether it’s the “pro-lifers” or authoritarian groups like the mis-named “Moms for Liberty.”

  3. We here on Colorado Pols sometimes forget we're in, well, Colorado. In 2024, we probably ought to worry about CD8, probably ought to steel ourselves for a close one in CD3, and we need to hold the statewide Regent seat. Beyond that, no worries here, mates.

    But nationwide, if we get overconfident just because TFG might set a universe-wide record for indictments, sad indeed could our future be. Relative handfuls of votes in battleground states could still flip the White House, the Senate's going to be tough to hold, and the House won't flip without a fight. Hear me now, and act accordingly!

    1. Yes, a very important point.

      The Ratfucker Party intends to run only in battleground states, i.e. states where the billionaires funding it think they can pull enough votes from Biden to tip the election to Trump.

    2. The statewide Regent seat shouldn't even be something to worry about imo. The former two, yeah. If CD8 is lost, I hope CD3 at least flips. Other way around would be fine too but ideally, CD8 and 3 go to the Dems. If the Colorado GOP choose a far-right nut (which is likely), CD8 should be much easier to keep for the Dems. Considering the awful shape Colorado Republicans are right now, I doubt they can even gather enough change money to help their candidates. Voters also hate the MAGA brand (even including a not so small minority of conservatives) and the state GOP tripling down will also be their unmaking. 

  4. Colorado Republicans SHOULD have dumped Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection or after his second impeachment trial in 2021, but they didn’t.

    They found out how many Congressional Republicans were implicated.

  5. Well, it could be that Trump won't weigh down the entire Republican slate.  CREW pointed out

    In fifteen cases overseen by nine different judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents, courts have not minced words in declaring that Trump was the central cause of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, echoing the findings of the bipartisan January 6th Select Committee. Time and again judges have found that Trump inflamed his supporters with the lie of a “stolen” election, urged them to “fight” to take back their country, and sent them to the Capitol to “stop the steal.” Trump used violent rhetoric to whip his supporters into a frenzy and do illegally what he had tried and failed to do legally: stop certification of the election for Joe Biden.

    I doubt there will be direct court verdicts showing Trump is guilty of acts leading to insurrection — but on the other hand, he will not have any decision exonerating him to offset the existing findings by all those federal judges.

    Then, we have "Constitution bars Trump from presidency, 2 conservative law profs conclude in upcoming article" according to the ABA Journal [my emphasis]:

    • Section 3 is “legally self-executing,” meaning that it doesn’t need legislation or a court decision to bar someone from office. The disqualification “may and should be followed and carried out by all whose duties are affected by it,” including state election officials and state and federal lawmakers.
    • Section 3 supersedes prior constitutional provisions with conflicting terms, including First Amendment protections for free speech.
    • The disqualification required for people who “engaged in” insurrection is sweeping, reaching Trump and others for attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

    In the abstract to the actual article, the two explain

    Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.” It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.

    So, Secretary of State Jena Griswold could decide (or have a judge instruct her) to NOT certify the candidacy of Donald J. Trump on Colorado ballots.  Then, the outcome of the 2024 elections would not be determined by Trump on the ballot.

  6. It's insane that the Colorado GOP still thinks being far-right MAGA worshippers who also wanna ban abortion in the state is a safe strategy in now deeply blue Colorado. They seem to think acting like they operate in Alabama or Idaho is surely going to win them majorities in the near future. Also, the state GOP don't really have any credible centrists or center-right recognized political figures that can actually win statewide elections (think of politicians like Larry Hogan, Charlie Baker or Phil Scott). I can't think of anyone and this coming from someone who is way to interested in every damn politician in the state.

    The Democrats in places like Kentucky or West Virginia run as centrist or even center-right and while they still have little power in those states, they at least have some Democrats win statewide elections here and there rather consistently. The issue is that the Colorado GOP still seem to think Colorado is very purple and will swing back to them any time now (they should of payed attention since 2004 because those chances has slipped further away since). They need to admit that the state no longer politically favors them they will be in the minority for the foreseeable future, and that they need to moderate their beliefs and candidates and hopefully snag some victories here and there even if brief. There's no other alternatives. Well… there is but it's not working out for them at all.

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