A huge frustration of Personhood USA folks is the familiar pattern of Colorado Republicans building their political careers and winning primary elections with the help of hard-working anti-choice activists and then buckpedaling away from the “pro-life” loyalists once they face the frowns of general-election voters.
See, for example, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in 2014 and Republican senatorial candidate Ken Buck in 2010. Buck lost anyway, but Gardner (and Rep. Mike Coffman) buckpedaled their way to victory in general elections.
But now Republicans have a candidate who’s breaking free and saying he’s pro-choice from the get-go.
That’s former Colorado State University athletics director Jack Graham, whose website states:
Graham: Although I would never personally support an abortion as a way to deal with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, I do not believe I have the right to impose my choices on others. I support and I believe in a woman’s right to choose; and that our government does not belong in this decision.
It’s hard to imagine Graham buckbedaling on that pro-choice stance if he miraculously wins the GOP primary Tuesday. Why would he? A huge majority of Coloradans support abortion rights.
But Graham’s problem is, can he survive the GOP primary, where anti-choice activists join forces with Tea Partiers and actually win primaries. (See Buck and Maes.)
Graham’s competitors won’t be worrying about losing votes from anti-choice GOP voters because, as I outlined in a post for Rewire today, they’re all pro-life in varying degrees, with Darryl Glenn on top of the heap with the official approval of Colorado Right to Life, meaning he opposes all abortion, even for rape and incest. And he’d give legal rights to fertilized eggs (zygotes).
“I am an unapologetic pro-life American,” Glenn said during a recent televised debate. “I don’t agree with the decision of Roe v. Wade.”
Graham and his campaign manager, long-time friend Dick Wadhams (See them them together here.), are probably hoping that the “pro-life” vote fragments among Glenn, Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier (Listen to Frazier here.), and former state Rep. Jon Kyser, leaving Graham to snare the three GOP primary voters who are pro-choice.
But, unfortunately for Graham, he already won over the three pro-choice Republicans with his other stands, like his support of gay marriage. And if choice is so important Republicans and determined who they’d vote for, they’d be Democrats! Or marginalized Republicans who aren’t voting in the primary.
So it’s hard to see how Graham wins politically with his pro-choice stance. But if he does, it will be great not to have to see the Buckpedal again. It’s such an ugly dance.