Get More Smarter on Monday (September 26)

Get More SmarterApparently there is some sort of Presidential debate taking place tonight. 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.


► Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump is going down! If you don’t have cable TV, you’ll likely be watching the first Presidential debate because you won’t have much of a choice in the matter; the 90-minute, commercial-free battle will be carried live from Hofstra University in New York by every major television network in the country. First pitch argument is scheduled for 7:00 pm Mountain Time. Tonight’s debate is widely expected to be among the most-watched television events in American history, as CNBC explains:

With estimates of up to 106 million tuning into Monday night’s debate, the first faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may be one of the most watched presidential debates. Thanks to live streaming, it’s also going to be the most widely available ever.

ABCCBSCNN, C-SPAN, FoxNBC and MSNBC will be broadcasting the debate on TV, while several others have announced plans to stream it online through various social media platforms. Facebook and ABC have announced a partnership, Twitter will run Bloomberg’s feed and YouTube said it will be showcasing feeds from Telemundo, PBS and The Washington Post.

Prior to tonight, the most-watched Presidential debate in history occurred in 1980, when 80.6 million people tuned in to watch Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan. The most-watched television event in American history was Super Bowl XLIX (49) in 2015, when 114 million viewers tuned in to see the game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

Meanwhile, debate previews are as prevalent as online porn today. Here’s a short list: The New York Times, the Washington Post, “The Fix,” CBS News, NBC News, and PoliticoAs then-Presidential candidate George W. Bush once lamented, Trump seems to be entering tonight’s debate behind “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

We’ll also be live-blogging the festivities tonight here at Colorado Pols.


► No, it’s not just you: False statements and flat-out lies seem to be more common in Colorado politics than ever before. In CD-6, Democrat Morgan Carroll is being attacked for opposing legislation that she actually supported.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is cashing in every last chit he owns in an attempt to stave off Carroll as we enter the final six weeks of the campaign. Carroll reportedly told Arapahoe County Democrats over the weekend that internal polling shows her with a 5-point lead over Coffman…a claim that Coffman’s campaign angrily denounced as a “lie.”


► Presidential campaigns use lots of different surrogates to spread their message at this point in the race, but we can’t envision a scenario whereby it would be beneficial to have former Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt stumping on your behalf less than a year after he was recalled by Jeffco voters. Remember, Witt did an absolutely terrible job while campaigning for himself last fall.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► The well-funded “Yes on 106” campaign (end-of-life medical options) is up with its first television ad of the 2016 cycle.


► Two of the 21 proposed names that Donald Trump is floating for potential Supreme Court nominees have roots in Colorado.


 Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet remains well in control of Colorado’s U.S. Senate race. As John Frank writes for the Denver Post:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet “appears to be cruising to re-election,” according to a new poll that gives him a nine-point edge against Republican rival Darryl Glenn.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Friday showed Bennet at 52 percent compared to 43 percent for Glenn. The latest numbers suggest the race is narrowing from the pollster’s Aug. 18 survey that gave Bennet a 16-point advantage against Glenn, an El Paso County commissioner…

…It contrasts with a Colorado Mesa University-Rocky Mountain PBS poll released a day earlier that gave Bennet a 13-point lead, 45 percent to 32 percent for Glenn. The margin in the poll, which which took place Sept. 14-18, has a 6.3 percentage point margin of error.

Even though the polls used different methodology, a breakdown shows Bennet winning key groups. The Quinnipiac survey suggested Bennet holds a definitive advantage with independent voters, women and minorities, three swing constituencies. Glenn’s campaign is focused on appealing to his Republican base voters.

For his part, Darryl Glenn is focusing on having conversations with literally dozens of people on Facebook.


► Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence was in Colorado Springs last week, where he lamented the idea that someone could even suggest that some police departments in America could be dealing with problems of institutional racism. The best way to make a problem go away, according to Pence, is to just pretend it doesn’t exist!


► In an interview with Jason SalzmanDenver Post Editorial Page Editor (and former Politics Editor) Chuck Plunkett didn’t make much of an effort to even pretend that he is not an unabashed supporter of Congressman Mike Coffman. Here’s how Plunkett responded to Salzman’s analysis that years of editorials in the Post point to an obvious pro-Coffman bias:

“I think this is an election year stunt, not a genuine analysis,” he told me, arguing that there was no news hook for my blog post and I was not focusing on The Post’s treatment of other elected officials. “You’re picking Mike Coffman, when Morgan Carroll is struggling. [Pols emphasis] Why is that? It looks like you’re trying to aid Morgan more than you are legitimately trying to critique an institution.”

There is no evidence that Carroll is indeed struggling in her race with Coffman; in fact, there is reason to believe that Carroll is surging ahead. Regardless of the accuracy of that statement, it’s not something that a newspaper editor should be saying out loud.


► Former Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz inexplicably endorsed Donald Trump for President on Friday with statements that could prove troublesome for Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman:

“A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment.”

In February, a Coffman spokesperson told Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman that Coffman would “obviously” support the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016. Coffman has not retracted that statement, nor has he said publicly that he will not support Trump for President.


Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) is pushing legislation that would require companies to purchase insurance policies to cover large-scale data breaches


► The Denver Post helps break down the 9 statewide initiatives that will appear on Colorado’s ballot in a couple of weeks.


► Jim Tankersley, a former reporter for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, is covering economic issues for the Washington Post…including Donald Trump’s complicated economic policies:

A new, 30-page analysis of Trump’s economic proposals, penned by two of his senior policy advisers and issued Sunday evening by Trump’s campaign, provides the most detailed look yet into how Trump envisions his economic plan boosting growth, wages and wealth — through policies that together defy partisan convention.

It demonstrates, in quantifiable terms, that trade policy is as important to Trump’s economic promises as tax cuts — and that if he fails to change the terms of globalization, he will face a huge budget shortfall.



► The Eagle County Board of Commissioners is urging Congress to take action on a critical funding mechanism that is set to expire. From Vail Daily:

In an effort to support the county’s strategic goals, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners is urging Congress to approve immediate and long-term funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program which is set to expire on Friday.

PILT provides payments to counties and other local governments to help offset losses in tax revenues due to substantial acreage of federal land. The program helps fund services such as road and bridge upkeep, public safety and emergency medical services to residents and visitors of federal public lands.


► Donald Trump is clearly losing one important segment of opinion-makers as the 2016 election enters its final stage. Newspaper editorials across the country have not been shy about expressing serious concerns about Trump’s candidacy.



► Kudos to Fox 31 Denver for taking time to cover the most important state Senate race of 2016: SD-19 in Arvada.


Don’t forget to check out the Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook

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