The Summit Daily’s Rob Allen reports 106 Democrats and 88 Republicans participated in the caucuses in Summit, but with the largest “affiliation” being unaffiliated, turnout could have been better. Summit Republican vice chair Lisa Knobel laid it on the line: “Stand up, be a leader, pick a side and go to caucus.”
And Knobel is absolutely correct. While the caucuses are over, the primary is on August 10, and the unaffiliated can make much more difference with contested elections on the Republican side-for governor and for state Senate. Even libertarian-leaning liberals would be wise to register Republican for the primary, particularly since marijuana laws are currently the topic of major statehouse debate and Summit County voters approved both decriminalization and dispensary operations by margins exceeding 70 percent.
Also, a large percentage of unaffiliated are fiscal conservatives, and with Hickenlooper taking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to comment on taxes or pretty much anything else until the summer, tea party and independent unaffiliateds would be wise to make their votes count in the Republican primary in August if they have any interest in changing Colorado’s economically unsustainable status quo. (Note that “Hickenritter’s” Fifth Amendment ploy is a cheap trick that won’t work with voters with half a brain–his tax and spend tendencies can still be inferred from silence, as Don Johnson at businessword did in a damning summation here). Update-Hickenlooper spoke later today, criticized Ritter big-time, and Johnson covered every detail. I blogged about it above and linked to Don’s piece.
Summit had a very high turnout in the 2008 election, with 5,075 Democrats, 4,268 Republicans and 7,268 unaffiliated voters hitting the polls. The state candidate preference poll for GOP for governor was McInnis 57.95 and Maes 39.77), close to the statewide tally. But Summit Republicans favored Jane Norton overwhelmingly, 44.19% comppared to Ken Buck at 29.07%.
Liberal Democrat House Representative Christine Scanlan, who is running against Summit GOP Chair Debra Irvine for House District 56, gushed “the Democrats are lucky to have two excellent candidates running for U.S. Senate.” I guess. If a narrow choice between Left and Lefter, in Appointed Senator Benet and Andrew Romanoff, is what you call lucky. It would seem Dems and the public would be better off with some surviving Dem moderates in the state, but they seem to be in hibernation.