What Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls "the worst election you've never heard of" is now only a few days away. Early voting is well underway in both Senate District 3 (Pueblo) and Senate District 11 (Colorado Springs). Although the ads are still blaring, most attention has now turned to the field campaigns underway to actually turn out voters. And that's where the fight will be won or lost in both cases.
We are hearing more and more cautious optimism from Democrats as Election Day nears. In Pueblo, all news reports show Democrats still way out ahead in terms of ballots returned, though Republicans in this heavily Democratic district are likely to have a high turnout. Although you can't be certain of a 1:1 Democrat/recall "no" vote ratio, especially in fractious Pueblo, organizers on the ground seem confident they will not just win for Sen. Angela Giron, but run up the score a little to shore her up for the 2014 general election. The reason they're not already celebratory, they say, is they don't want to encourage any kind of complacency–and that makes very good sense.
In Senate District 11, the extremely expensive and contentious fight between Senate President John Morse and ex-Springs councilman Bernie Herpin is virtually certain to be a closer race than Giron's–perhaps very close. Both sides have worked very hard to personalize this high-profile race, and Morse's campaign believes they have done what they needed to drive up Herpin's negatives. Overall, the candidates personally have mattered more to this race than in Pueblo.
The biggest factor now, though, is the high degree of professional organization in both sides' field operations. That reflects the high stakes of this one recall, compared to the two that have already failed and in Pueblo where it's increasingly likely the GOP will lose. This is the race where Republicans have basically placed all their chips, pouring massive nationwide resources into this tiny state Senate district and obliging Democrats to do the same. The national proxy battle that the Senate District 11 recall represents at this point cannot be overstated.
To Democrats' credit, we can tell you the very best and most experienced field operatives in Colorado are working the canvassing operation in Senate District 11. These are the same people who oversaw and participated in the groundbreaking Democratic field campaigns of 2004-2012, one of the major reasons why Colorado is considered a blue state today. On the other side, don't let the diversionary incompetence of recall spokesperson Jennifer "CAPartyGirl" Kerns fool you–there are smart people working to turn out the vote for the GOP, too.
Rather than a poll, use this space to tell us long form what you think will happen Tuesday and why.