Did Colorado's Liberal Experiment Pave the Way for Gov. Tancredo?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 14 2013 2:49 PM

Did Colorado's Liberal Experiment Pave the Way for Gov. Tancredo?

The 2010 election in Colorado was a mess for Republicans. While their comrades in Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona waged brilliant comebacks, Colorado Republicans accidentally nominated their least electable candidates for governor and U.S. Senate. The governor's race turned into a fait accompli for John Hickenlooper, the mayor of Denver, after conservatives abandoned their nominee and embraced the third party candidacy of Tom Tancredo. Hickenlooper still nearly lost, and had to spend two years negotiating with a Republican legislature.

This made him look good. The Democratic brand shined in 2012 in Colorado; defying some polls, Barack Obama won the state by 5 points. Democrats swept back into power in the legislature. Hickenlooper could work with liberals again.

Colorado voters say 69 - 24 percent that the death penalty should stay on the books and not be replaced by life in prison with no chance of parole, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. At the same time, Gov. John Hickenlooper finds himself running neck and neck with possible challengers in the 2014 governor's race.
Advertisement

One of them's Tancredo! Tancredo's only down by a point! But how flukey is this? Republicans want to credit Hick's drop to the raft of liberal bills he's signed, starting with the only background checks bill to make it through a "purple" state. Quinnipiac didn't poll that, and its general quality-of-life questions are of the sort incumbents should like. By a 34-point margin voters say the economy's improving; by a 12-point margin they're "satisfied" with the state's direction.

No, probably too early to say "Hickenlooper went too far left and destroyed himself. And that's stupid anyway, because why win power if not to ram your changes into place? But there's been a strange tendency to pronounce change Done in states captured by the left, and Temporary in swingy states that have gone right, like North Carolina, which has turned into a libertarian petri dish. In Connecticut this week, a low-turnout state legislative race went to the Republican, the first time a Republican won the district since the Nixon presidency. It was the first election since the state passed post-Newtown gun measures. Republicans made sure people noticed.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.