The 2016 election will be all over in 54 days. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Colorado Republicans are trying to get excited about Presidential nominee Donald Trump as a new (questionable) poll shows His Hairness leading Democrat Hillary Clinton in our state. John Frank has more for the Denver Post:
Democratic strategist Rick Ridder said the polling trend is a natural phenomenon in Colorado, where party registration is evenly split and independents make it a swing state.
“Anybody who thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the state of Colorado by double digits was dreaming,” said Ridder, a veteran of six presidential campaigns. “The history in Colorado shows that it is difficult for a Democrat or a Republican to get over 50 percent of the vote.”
Meanwhile, Dan Balz of the Washington Post takes a look at Colorado trends from a national perspective:
Make no mistake. Donald Trump is a distinct underdog in Colorado. He’s hobbled by demographic realities here and by a record of statements that have alienated the very groups of voters who will be pivotal in November.
But Democrats here say it’s premature to declare that there has been a permanent shift in the politics of the state. They worry about a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton and warn against complacency born of overconfidence…
…Trump is also potentially hobbled by the absence of a competitive Senate race. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who had a tough race six years ago, appears in a strong position. His opponent, Republican Darryl Glenn, won a crowded primary, but his hard-right conservatism and lack of resources have left his campaign sputtering.
► Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn may very well be the worst statewide candidate in Colorado history. Molly Ball of Atlantic Monthly wonders if we should even still consider Glenn a “candidate” given his lack of movement:
Since winning the primary in June, Glenn has barely mounted a campaign, Wadhams and other Republican insiders told me. He barely speaks to the press, makes few appearances, has few staff, and has yet to run a television ad. Bennet has been on the air with gauzy positive spots touting his bipartisanship since the beginning of the year.
“All he does is go to Republican and conservative events,” Wadhams complained. The deep-red county Glenn hails from is also home to the social-conservative powerhouse Focus on the Family and five military installations, including the Air Force Academy.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) plays a game of political Zika.
► Sorry, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), but Hillary Clinton is not dead yet.
► Donald Trump is playing a “shell game” with his medical records. From “The Fix”:
Donald Trump gave every indication that he would reveal more of his medical history during an interview on “The Dr. Oz Show” being taped Wednesday in New York City. Turns out, well, nope!…
…The abrupt change of plans will lead some to speculate that Trump’s physical didn’t go as he had hoped — and therefore, the release of its findings won’t be coming anytime soon and especially not in such a high-profile forum as Oz’s show. It’s also possible that Trump wants to wait and see what Clinton releases — her campaign had promised to make more of her medical history public this week. That wouldn’t be a bad strategy, but then why tell everyone that the release of the records will be on Oz’s show?
Regardless of whether there is any there there as it relates to Trump’s health, what this swerve affirms (again) is that Trump is something short of a perfect messenger for the transparency argument he and his aides are trying to make against Clinton. Trump regularly insists Clinton isn’t telling the whole truth about her private email server and the way in which the Clinton Foundation operated. His surrogates have suggested that something is more seriously wrong with Clinton’s health than she lets on. And yet, time after time, Trump moves the goal posts on his own transparency.
► What’s the most useful thing about having close political ties to FratPAC? Um, nothing, as Republican Katy Brown is learning.
► A few Denver men connected to Hillary Clinton’s email troubles while Secretary of State declined to speak in front of Congress on Tuesday. From the Denver Business Journal:
A pair of technicians from a Denver firm that supplied information technology services in connection with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton‘s controversial email server system declined Tuesday to testify before a congressional committee investigating the matter.
Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton of Denver’s Platte River Networks appeared before the panel but refused to answer questions, citing their 5th Amendment constitutional right to remain silent.
The men were then excused from the hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Associated Press reports.
Last month, Republican congressional leaders subpoenaed Platte River Networks and two other companies after they declined to provide information on Clinton’s email system voluntarily to lawmakers. The company has said it cooperated earlier with the FBI and other agencies.
And you thought your last business trip was a waste of time; imagine traveling all the way to Washington D.C. to sit in a room and not say a word.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Republican challenger Darryl Glenn will participate in a 9News debate on October 11 (assuming Glenn actually shows up). As the Denver Post notes, even Republican pollsters don’t see much of a chance for Glenn to defeat Bennet this fall.
► Tim Phillips, President of the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity, is coming to Colorado to personally knock on doors on behalf of Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora). From the Colorado Independent:
The race for Congress taking place there is the only one in the country where the Koch brothers-backed AFP, a tax-exempt social welfare nonprofit, is expressly calling for a candidate’s defeat. In this case, that candidate is Morgan Carroll, a Democratic state senator who is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Coffman…
…“This is only the second time in 10 years in Colorado that we have decided to advocate for someone’s defeat,” AFP state director Michael Fields told The Colorado Independent. The first was Democrat Mark Udall in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, which Udall lost.
AFP’s work in the race shows how nationally significant the election is. The 6th is a swing district in a swing state. With Donald Trump topping the ticket for the GOP this year, Democrats are hoping he’ll be a drag on down-ballot Republicans like Coffman, who has already worked to distance himself from Trump in his race.
Americans for Prosperity has taken a keen interest in Colorado in recent years, and has gotten more involved at the state level, especially at the state legislature.
► North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law continues to harm the state’s economy.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► House Speaker Paul Ryan looks silly after some remarkably ill-timed comments regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
► Conservative lawmakers are trying to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. It’s not like they have anything important to do instead.
► A study from the University of Denver shows that increasing the minimum wage in Colorado would be a boon to the state’s economy.