One of the Conservatives Who Beat Gun Control in Colorado Explains How They Did It

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 11 2013 9:39 AM

One of the Conservatives Who Beat Gun Control in Colorado Explains How They Did It

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The losses are mounting for Mike Bloomberg.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

My new story pronounces the death of Bloombergism, that popular mid-Atlantic elite philosophy that assumes that Americans are crying out for paternalistic policies, if only a Leader would explain them correctly. Bloomberg's preferred successor in New York, Christine Quinn, scored a humiliating third place in the mayoral primary; Bloomberg's backing of pro-gun control Democrats was used against those candidates in successful recalls.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for the recall, emailed me some reasons why her term won.

- Hispanics: In the heavily Democrat, hispanic district in Pueblo, hispanics are strong 2nd amendment supporters.
- Women: There were many women behind this Recall movement, beginning when the gun control bills were heard in the State Legislature. A new radio ad out in the final weekend of the election featured Kimberly Weeks, a victim of rape, who testified in the State Legislature and took Senator John Morse to task on why she would be robbed of her right to defend herself. Other women's groups were the first to run ads against Senator John Morse on the theme of "a woman's right to choose... how to defend herself" which pushed the narrative. And even the Spokesperson for the effort (me) is a woman, and I, too, was one of the first women to testify against the gun control bills back in February. I got in under the wire to testify before they shut down the testimony from the public.
- Blue collar: 3 of the 3 Founders of the Pueblo Recall are blue collar workers.  2 of them are plumbers and 1 is an electrician.  They connected very well with the demographics of Pueblo, which is a blue collar former-steel worker town.  1 of the founding members of the Morse Recall is also blue collar, he wears a hard hat and spends about 100 hours per week out in an oil field in steel toed boots, then would go home at night and work on the Recall.
From the beginning, we had interesting demographics on our side. Again, by the numbers: More Democrats & Independents combined signed the Recall petition than Republicans.  I believe this goes back to #1 above, it struck a populist nerve that appealed to independents. When we saw the turnout on Election Day was spiking with Independent/unaffiliated voters, we were ecstatic because we knew that a majority of those votes would likely break our way.
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One can read too much into this; like I said earlier, many a Democrat was crestfallen by how the 2011 state Senate recalls in Wisconsin failed to lead to the defeat of Gov. Scott Walker. But the pundits who insist that America is crying out for Mike Bloomberg's philosophy should talk to some actual voters!

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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