Update on Petitions from Denver Candidates

FRIDAY UPDATE: Kudos to Fry for her classy response on failing to make the ballot. From an email sent today:

1000 valid signatures were needed,
5,000 doors were knocked,
926 signatures qualified;

I am proud to say, not one signature collected, or door knocked, was done by paid staff or paid canvassers.

My campaign was grassroots through and through. Powered by me, my family and many, many volunteers.  My gratitude runs deep and I continue to be greatly humbled by the support I received over this last year.

I will not dwell on what could have been, but instead thank each and every one of you for the trust and confidence you placed in my candidacy.

Speak up, speak out loud, speak often

—–

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced today that two candidates seeking to make the Primary ballot in Denver ended up with different results.

Erin Bennett had her petition signatures certified today, which means she will be on the June 28th Primary ballot in SD-31 (State Sen. Pat Steadman is term-limited). Bennett joins Steve Sherick and Lois Court on the SD-31 ballot (Sherick and Court made the ballot via the caucus process).

Things did not work out as well for Michele Fry, a Democrat seeking to fill the HD-6 seat of Rep. Lois Court (who is term-limited, which is why she’s running for SD-31). Fry submitted 1,013 signatures — just a tad more than the 1,000 required for ballot access — but 87 of her signatures were rejected, thus keeping her off the June ballot. Democrat Mark McIntosh is also attempting to onto the ballot but has not yet had his signatures verified by the Secretary of State’s office. Democrats Jeff Hart and Chris Hansen made the HD-6 ballot through the caucus process.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (April 14)

Get More SmarterStock up now, Coloradans; we could get “up to” 35 feet of snow this weekend. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump are pretty angry about what took place in Colorado last weekend, when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz captured all 34 delegates at the GOP State Convention. We can understand their frustration to a degree, but death threats against State Party Chair Steve House are completely absurd. Besides, anybody who follows politics in Colorado should know that House is having a hard enough time just keeping the State Party functioning at all (just ask Cynthia Coffman.)

Meanwhile, as our friends at “The Fix” explain, His Hairness is actually making some pretty smart political moves lately.

 

► El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn has indeed taken control of the Republican race for U.S. Senate. Now, can he hold on through the June 28th Primary?

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Flip-flop exposed. Thank you journalism.

(Then again some folk’ll – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. J. Paul Brown (R).

Rep. J. Paul Brown (R).

You hope that the weakening of journalism doesn’t translate into politicians thinking they can flip flop to their hearts content, without being asked to explain themselves in proverbial print. But you fear fewer reporters means more politicians getting off the hook.

So you’re gratified when reporters, in our diminished media environment, continue to hold politicians accountable, for example, when they vote the opposite way this year than they did last year.

The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus noticed that J. Paul Bown (R-Ignacio) had voted last year for a program offering contraception to low-income women and teens, but this year he voted against it.

Last week, Marcus asked the question everyone wants journalists to ask, even if they don’t want to pay for it. Why?

Brown: “I still feel that it prevents abortions, but there’s a difference of opinion, and I just felt like I ought to stick with the caucus today with that amendment. There’s a lot of money needed in a lot of different places, it’s tough making those priorities. It’s a tough decision. We have to make some tough priority decisions up here.”

To his credit, Marcus reported that “supporters” of the program, which is credited with reducing teen abortions and pregnancies by over 35 percent, point out that “for every $1 invested in low-cost contraception, Colorado taxpayers save about $5.85 in Medicaid costs.”

Those are actually state government figures, from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The next time he interviews Brown, Marcus might as him –or others who’ve opposed Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative on budget grounds–if they believe the state figures.

Despite Brown’s opposition, Colorado’s House and Senate passed a budget bill last week with $2.5 million for the Family Planning Initiative, marking the first year Colorado has funded the program, assuming the budget bill is signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The initiative was funded the past six years with private dollars.

State GOP chair fires back at Trump campaign

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

houseforgopchairColorado GOP State Chair Steve House fired back at Donald Trump’s presidential campaign yeseterday, saying campaign staffers know they were treated “fairly” in Colorado, but are attacking state Republicans anyway because they want to advance a “narrative” that “typical politics” is “unfair and improper.”

“Alan, [Colorado Trump Campaign Director] Patrick [Davis], even [Senior Trump Advisor] Stephen Miller, who visited us out here, they know I didnt send out the tweet,” House told KNUS 710-AM yesterday. “They know that’s not who I am. They know I didn’t treat them unfairly.

“They also know they weren’t in a great position to win delegates here, but at the same time they have a campaign to run and there’s sort of a narrative out there about the system and typical politics being unfair and improper. And they are trying to keep that narrative up, and it’s going to come a little bit at my expense.”

cogopnevertrumpHouse is referring to a tweet stating, “We did it. #NeverTrump,” launched on the state GOP Twitter feed Sunday, after it was clear Trump didn’t win a single Colorado delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

On the radio, House again denied that the state party was responsible for the tweet, and he said an investigation is underway.

House said on air his office is “very, very close” to figuring out who sent the tweet, and he promised he’d announce exactly what happened as soon as he knows.

In response to the GOP anti-Trump tweet, and other issues, the Trump campaign tweeted, “This will not be allowed,” implying that Colorado might figure into a challenge of the outcome of the Republican National Convention.

Trump’s attack on the Colorado GOP exploded across all media platforms yesterday, generating death threats and 3,000 calls to the state party, House told KNUS afternoon hosts Steve Kelley and Krista Kafer yesterday.

Give Me Night or Give Me Blucher

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Hard pressed by Napoleon at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington cried: “Give me night or give me Blucher!” In the end, Blucher’s hard-marching Prussians fell on the French rear and won the day for the allied armies.

Hillary Clinton can be forgiven for voicing similar sentiments as she reels from a string of seven Bernie Sanders victories that have eroded, though far from erased, the lead she ran up in Southern primaries capped by her one-day sweep of Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, followed by a convincing win in Arizona.

But as the venue shifted to the West. Sanders showed his mastery of the caucus process where, after losing the first pair in Iowa and Nevada, he swept the next ten, including his recent wins in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii. This weekend, he also won a symbolic 55-44 percent win in Wyoming, although the two rivals split the 14 pledged delegates 7-7, according to the Washington Post.

(more…)

Woods: “We are concerned about the abortions behind the tissue”

(Laura Waters Woods: she doesn’t mince words – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Last week, Colorado Senate Republicans inserted an amendment in the budget bill prohibiting the use of state funds to purchase fetal tissue for research—even though state funds are already barred from being spent for this purpose.

But the sponsors of the amendment, state Senators Tim Neville of Littleton and Laura Woods of Westminster, wanted to “clarify” things in the wake of discredited videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

The tissue, as university researchers in Colorado have pointed out, is used to help find cures for terrible diseases. It’s obtained under strict federal guidelines that include a consent form from the donor of the tissue authorizing its use in research. A processing charge is allowed but money making on such sales is illegal.

“This is an important issue,” said Woods on the Senate floor (here at 445:30) “We were horrified by the videos that we saw. And the callousness that was associated with those videos. And it deserves our attention…”

“We are not just concerned about Planned Parenthood. We are concerned about the abortions behind this tissue that is being used for research.”

Officials at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Colorado State University rejected demands by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) last year that all fetal-tissue research be halted. They noted that funds for such research come from NIH or private sources, not state dollars.

Richard Traystman, the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Director of Research, said it was “not acceptable” to stop research using fetal tissue.

Traystman said at the time:  “[Fetal cells]  are very often used in research on diseases of the central nervous system, the brain, the spinal cord, a variety of diseases that involve brain abnormalities and diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, for example. They are also used in research on the heart and cardiac tissue and to create vaccines. I could go on.”

Traystman emphasized that researchers who use fetal tissue “must go through the Institutional Review Board process, get consent, and follow all the rules and regulations related to human consent forms.”

All this does not persuade Woods or Neville, whose fetal-tissue amendment is expected to be deleted from the budget bill by a conference committee, sources say.

“We do have moral opportunities,” said Neville. “And I look at this as an opportunity to do the right thing.”

Correction: A previous version of this post stated that the fetal-tissue amendment had been deleted from the budget bill by a conference committee. It has yet to be deleted.

Colorado may play role in possible Trump challenge at national GOP convention

(There will be metaphorical blood – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: CNN via FOX 31:

By Sunday, the Trump campaign had voiced a litany of complaints about Colorado’s complex process, even though it was obvious on the ground that it had not done the aggressive leg work to court Colorado delegates that the Cruz team had done.

“I win a state in votes and then get non-representative delegates because they are offered all sorts of goodies by Cruz campaign. Bad system!” Trump tweeted Sunday…

He also retweeted a link to a Facebook post where one of his supporters burned his Colorado Republican Party registration over anger at the process at the Colorado state convention.

—–

thuglifetrumpRepublican Donald Trump is hopping mad at Colorado Republicans:

“The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!” Trump posted on Twitter.

In his story about the comments, The Denver Post’s John Frank reported:

The problems with Trump’s ballots [as Frank put it, “riddled with errors”] — and the candidate’s comments — raise questions about whether Colorado will figure prominently into a challenge at the national convention about the state’s delegates.

Another issue that could lead to a challenge by Trump is the fact that Trump actually won at least one straw poll vote earlier this year, and these results could be binding.

National Republican rules state that if Colorado held a straw poll, delegates would be bound to the candidate for whom they voted. That’s one reason Colorado Republicans decided against having a straw poll–in addition to concerns that too many people would show up.

But some Colorado precincts held straw polls anyway, arguably flouting the rules, calling the straw-poll votes symbolic. But straw polls are arguably by definition. And holding them could have violated GOP rules.

Trump didn’t win all of the straw polls held in Colorado, but he won at least one of them, in Adams County, according to a report in The Denver Post.

So Trump’s possible challenge at the national convention could also include questions delegates he should have won due to the symbolic straw-poll process.

Republican State Convention Roundup and Updates

UPDATE: 6:30 pm: The Twitterverse is abuzz that Darryl Glenn may have won the top ballot spot.

—–

UPDATE 6:16 pm: As the Colorado Independent reports, Darryl Glenn may have shifted the outcome of voting for Senate candidates with a blockbuster of a speech.

—–

UPDATE 5:58 pm: Voting continues as delegates try to select their U.S. Senate nominees. It sounds like there could be a tight race between state Sen. Tim Neville and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn in a battle for the top spot on the ballot. Delegates are being discouraged from leaving as ballots are still being counted, though many have bailed already; another round of voting may be necessary in the Senate race.

Here’s a Twitter update from Tyler Sandberg, former spokesperson for Rep. Mike Coffman and now a consultant in Colorado:

—–

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dominates in Colorado thanks to a strong on-the-ground campaign. Cruz captured all 21 delegates awarded earlier through congressional district assemblies and apparently sweeps up a total of 34 out of a possible 37 delegates.

Get More Smarter on Friday (April 8)

Get More SmarterToday is the home opener for the Colorado Rockies. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

 

► Colorado will indeed get through the week without a visit from Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, which appears to make more and more sense as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz locks up more Colorado delegates. From the Denver Post:

Ted Cruz added to his lead in Colorado, winning three more national delegates Thursday to boost his total to nine.

The Texas senator found deep support at the 7th Congressional District convention in Arvada among pledged and unpledged delegates, much like he did  Saturday when he swept all six slots award at two conventions

…Donald Trump supporters organized a slate of three candidates for the 7th District convention — the first overt signs of organization from the campaign in Colorado — but still struck out.

According to the folks at Red State, Trump may have failed to pick up support in CD-7 because some of his supporters didn’t pay the proper fees to be listed as candidates. The Post also reports that veteran GOP strategist Patrick Davis is now working for Trump’s campaign in some capacity. Davis has been playing a top role supporting Robert Blaha’s bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Elsewhere, as the Washington Post reports, the fate of Donald Trump’s Presidential hopes could be in the hands of just 200 people. His Hairness has hired Paul Manafort as his “convention manager” to help him prepare for a potential “brokered convention” scenario in July.

 

► For several months we have listed Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) as a 90% favorite to win re-election in CO-3 (check “The Big Line“). Thursday’s news that former state Sen. Gail Schwartz (D) has filed to run against Tipton convinced us to drop Tipton’s re-election odds to 60%. The Cook Political Report also wasted little time in moving CO-3 from “Solid Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Gordon Klingenschmitt embarrasses himself on national TV

(Meet “Dr. Chaps,” America! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On April 6th’s episode of Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Jessica Williams absolutely destroyed “transpanic” LGBT discrimination bills like those passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi. And Ms. Williams figured out the perfect interview to expose the illogic of the bigots by finding Colorado’s own (somehow elected official) Gordon Klingenschmitt.

The frankly bizarre interview even features Klingeschmitt “transitioning” into I guess his Dr. Chaps persona and talking about how the transgendered are possessed by demonic spirits. Definitely check out Williams’ great feature that not only embarrasses Klingenschmitt (if that is possible anymore), but of transphobic people generally who unfortunately are in positions of power that can be used to discriminate against  an already victimized group.

To Each His Own: Why the Petition Process Could Get Messy for Republicans

Jack Graham may have been one of the last GOP candidates in the Senate race, but he was the first to submit signatures for ballot access.

Jack Graham may have been one of the last GOP candidates in the Senate race, but he was the first to submit signatures for ballot access.

The list of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate was, at one time, as many as 13-names deep. This is a completely absurd number, of course, but the odds of 13 names making it onto a Primary ballot are about as likely as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio showing up for work on the Senate floor.

Monday (April 4) was the deadline to submit petition signatures for access to the Primary ballot, and four Republican candidates are making that attempt (Jack Graham, Jon Keyser, Robert Blaha, and Ryan Frazier). No more than three Republicans can make the ballot through the GOP State Assembly on Saturday (April 9); because a candidate must reach a minimum of 30% of the vote at the convention, it’s not mathematically possible for four candidates to sneak through. State Sen. Tim Neville is the odds-on favorite to capture the top ballot spot through the convention, with Darryl GlennPeg Littleton, and Jerry Natividad battling it out for second place.

All told, the June 28th Republican Primary ballot for U.S. Senate could contain as many as seven different names…or as few as three, depending on the viability of the signatures submitted by Graham, Keyser, Blaha, and Frazier. Graham was the first of the candidates to submit petitions to the Secretary of State’s office — his campaign claims to have turned in more than 20,000 signatures on March 28 — followed by Keyser, Blaha, and Frazier, in that order.

In order to gain access to the Primary ballot, GOP U.S. Senate candidates must submit 1,500 valid signatures from registered Republican voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, for a minimum total of 10,500. As a general rule of thumb, candidates usually try to collect double that amount to make up for any invalid signatures, which are inevitable to some degree. Blaha and Frazier each claim to have submitted more than 17,000 signatures; curiously, Keyser’s campaign has not indicated a total number of collected signatures.

The Secretary of State’s office has until April 29th to verify the petitions of all four candidates, and here’s where things get sticky: There is a sizable advantage to being the first candidate to submit petition signatures because no registered Republican voter can be counted twice. All four candidates could submit petitions that include many of the same names — there’s nothing illegal about signing multiple candidate petitions — but they are only verified in the order in which the petitions were first submitted. It makes no difference when the petitions were first signed — only when they were turned in to the Secretary of State.

Because he was the first one through the door, Graham will be the first GOP candidate to have his petition signatures verified by the Secretary of State’s office. Once a signature is confirmed as valid, that name cannot be counted again for another candidate. Keyser’s campaign will thus need 1,500 valid signatures (per district) that have not already been submitted by Graham. Blaha will need 1,500 signatures that have not already been submitted by Graham AND Keyser. You can see how this becomes a problem for Frazier; as the last candidate to submit petitions, there are at least 4,500 registered Republican voters in each congressional district that cannot be counted toward his petition total. Frazier doesn’t just need 1,500 valid signatures from each district — he needs 1,500 different names.

For a rough analogy, consider the NFL Draft that will be held at the end of this month; if your team has the fourth selection in the draft, there are three collegiate players who will be off the board before your team gets a chance to pick a player. You cannot select a player who has already been chosen by another team, obviously, and the petition process works in a similar fashion.

As we mentioned earlier, Keyser’s campaign has not publicly indicated how many total signatures were collected before the entire batch was submitted on March 31. If Keyser did not collect enough extra signatures to make up for any names already turned in by Graham’s campaign, he’s not going to make the ballot (though perhaps Keyser can come up with a bunch of “extra ballots petitions”). Blaha and Frazier, meanwhile, must keep their fingers crossed that they have enough extra signatures to make up for any duplicates collected by both Graham and Keyser.

It’s entirely possible — though probably unlikely — that only one of these four candidates will end up with enough valid petition signatures in order to make it onto the Primary ballot. It would certainly not be a surprise, however, if one or two candidates don’t make it. In 2006, for example, Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holzman saw his campaign come to a screeching halt after more than a year of work when he came up short in the petition process, which gave Bob Beauprez a clear path to the GOP nomination (Beauprez would later get trounced by Democrat Bill Ritter in the General Election).

While petition signatures are being verified over the next 3-4 weeks, Graham, Keyser, Blaha, and Frazier will continue to campaign for the GOP Senate nomination. For any one of these four candidates, the 2016 election cycle might already have ended.

Woods and Neville Go Down in Flames on Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

(As bad as it sounds – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

On a voice vote late yesterday, the Colorado Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and Laura Woods (R-Westminster) that would have deleted funding for a state-run program credited with decreasing the teen pregnancies and abortions by over 35 percent.

It was a watershed moment for backers of the program, whose efforts to procure state funding were killed last year by Senate Republicans–as chronicled by national news outlets and lowly blogs alike.

But the watershed moment was nearly eclipsed by the water cooler discussion of why in the world Woods would go out of her way to oppose an astonishingly successful teen pregnancy prevention program, given the spectacular bipartisan allure of lowering teen pregnancies and abortions?

Woods doesn’t return my calls, so someone else will have to ask her, but the stakes are about as high as they can get, as control of state government likely depends on who wins Woods’ swing senate district in November.

Politics aside, Woods has been consistent in standing up for her anti-choice and Tea-Party positions, from the day she started running for the legislature until now–as opposed to other state Republicans who’ve essentially re-invented themselves (Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Mike Coffman) when faced with tough election campaigns in moderate districts.

Woods didn’t speak at last night’s senate hearing, leaving her co-sponsor Sen. Tim Neville to explain their hostility toward reducing abortions and pregnancies among teenagers.

Neville started out by saying he was concerned about the “widespread and temporary use of sterilization products on women and girls in Colorado.” Arguably, you can describe the program that way, if you must. Under Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative, which has been privately funded, low-income women and girls receive free or reduced-cost long acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).

State Sen. Tim Neville.

State Sen. Tim Neville.

Neville, who’s the leading GOP contender to defeat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, went on to say (Listen here at 535:35).

Neville: These IUDs and other issues do nothing to prevent the spread of STDs [sexually transmitted diseases]. There is nothing to suggest that the psychological and medical risks and costs associated with the increased sexual activity will be managed or addressed by these funds or this legislation.

The use of IUDs has never been shown to encourage more sex, as you might suspect. So the psychological risk-benefit analysis should focus on the mental-health impact of being a teen parent or having an abortion versus avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.

Neville, who was bothered by lack of parental notification in administering the contraception under the program, argued that the LARC program isn’t necessary because “birth control is already provided, free, to anyone who needs it who qualifies” under the Affordable Care Act.

(more…)

Sabato: Colorado Senate Race Moves to “Likely Democratic”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Well-known political pundit Larry J. Sabato has updated his regular “Crystal Ball” forecast of U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races throughout the country, and there’s a significant change in Colorado. From the Center for Politics:

Colorado: Coming into the 2016 cycle, it was pretty clear that the Republicans would largely be on the defensive. Only two Democratic-held seats stood out as ones the Republicans could hope to win, one of which was Colorado (with the other being Nevada, now an open seat on account of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s retirement). Sen. Michael Bennet (D) has proven to be more resilient than some might have thought…

…At the outset of this cycle, Bennet appeared a slight favorite to start, but now it looks as if he may hold a stronger edge. Bigger-name GOP politicians — including Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R), and Rep. Scott Tipton (R) — declined to challenge Bennet in a presidential cycle. Instead, the Republican field is a logjam of double-digit proportions, though only five candidates officially filed petitions to get on the primary ballot. Other candidates will try to get on the primary ballot by getting at least 30% of the vote at this weekend’s state Republican convention. Whoever wins the GOP nomination on June 28 will have a serious financial deficit to overcome as Bennet had $6.7 million in the bank at the end of 2015. More importantly, just as the circumstances at the presidential level have weakened the ratings for a number of GOP Senate incumbents, they have improved Bennet’s odds as the only potentially vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbent. The Centennial State race shifts from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Quite frankly, this change isn’t a huge surprise. The Republican Senate field is crowded with seriously-flawed candidates no matter how you slice it. We’re still waiting to hear about any Q1 fundraising numbers from the candidates, and rumor has it that every major GOP candidate has been careful in recent weeks to keep the expectations bar set very low in terms of money raised in the last full quarter before the June 28th Primary.

Unless at least one of the GOP candidates are able to come up with a strong fundraising haul — or anything, really, that could begin to separate one candidate from the rest of the Republican field — the trend lines on Colorado’s Senate race are likely to continue moving in favor of incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver).

Your Choice Colorado Begins Collecting Petition Signatures for 2016 Ballot

(This post was authored by the Your Choice Colorado campaign. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Your Choice Colorado will begin collecting petition signatures this week, moving ahead to change Colorado’s antiquated laws to allow sales of full strength beer and wine in neighborhood grocery stores. Over the next several months, Your Choice Colorado will collect the necessary number of signatures from residents around the state in order to put the initiative on the ballot, allowing Coloradans to vote yes in November 2016.

“As we’ve traveled the state over the past several months, the support we’ve received from people who are interested in expanding the sale of beer and wine to grocery stores has been overwhelming positive,” said Your Choice Colorado Campaign Manager, Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa. “Collecting petition signatures is an important next step of putting this issue in front of Colorado voters who want to see a change in our state’s Prohibition-era law that caps consumer convenience and small business growth.”

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (April 6)

Get More Smarter‘Tis a mighty blustery day outside, Pooh Bear. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The Wisconsin Primary concluded on Tuesday evening in a manner that was largely expected, with Ted Cruz winning the day for the Republicans and Bernie Sanders picking up another victory on the Democratic side. We’ve got two weeks to wait until the April 19th delegate-rich New York Primary, followed a week later by contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

We tend to agree with Chris Cillizza at “The Fix” that Wisconsin was not quite the defining moment of the Republican race for President that Cruz supporters would have hoped, but it nevertheless complicates things for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. Perhaps the biggest loser in Wisconsin was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who wasn’t even competitive in a midwestern state in which he should have performed fairly well. Both Cruz and Trump are pushing hard now for Kasich to exit the race altogether.

 

► Eight of the Republican Senate candidates in Colorado took to the stage on Tuesday for the first televised debate of the campaign cycle. We handed out debate grades last night, with Robert Blaha appearing to be the big winner (the Colorado Statesman argues that Ryan Frazier performed best on Tuesday, with Blaha on his heels). The debate did not go as well for Jon Keyser and Peg Littleton, the latter of which somehow managed to botch an answer about whether or not she was “Pro-life.”

 

► We passed a significant milestone in the 2016 election cycle this week with Monday’s deadline to submit petition signatures for ballot access. The Secretary of State’s office announced that 20 candidates across the state submitted signatures before the deadline.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)