Poll: Who Will Win The Democratic HD-8 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Strongly Democratic Colorado House District 8, presently held by Denver DA candidate Beth McCann, features a closely-watched primary this year between Aaron Goldhamer and Leslie Herod.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the HD-8 Democratic primary?
Aaron Goldhamer
Leslie Herod
View Result


Poll: Who Will Win The GOP SD-12 Primary?

With the June 28th primary election now just a week away, we’re rolling out informal polls for our readers in a number of key races around the state. Colorado Senate District 12, presently held by outgoing Senate President Bill Cadman, features a competitive Republican primary between longtime former Rep. Bob Gardner and incumbent Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt of HD-15.

As with all of our polls, we’re interested in knowing who you actually think will win this election–not your personal preference.

Who will win the GOP SD-12 primary?
Bob Gardner
Gordon Klingenschmitt
View Result


Primary Turnout At 15%

votebuttonHere are the latest turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for the June 28th Primary (numbers are accurate as of 7:55 a.m. on Tuesday):


Ballots sent: 986,252;
Ballots returned: 145,572;
Percent: 14.76%


Ballots sent: 994,450;
Ballots returned: 151,650;
Percent: 15.24%

How does this compare to 2014? In the June 24, 2014 U.S. Senate Primary, there were 213,746 Democratic ballots cast, compared to 338,324 for Republicans.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF). For comparison’s sake, here’s how the numbers looked on Monday.

Tuesday Open Thread

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

–Mark Twain

Aurora School Board Wants Eric Nelson Out

A member of the Aurora School Board and a candidate for State House in HD-42 continues to rack up calls for his resignation(s) after a series of stories last week revealed that Eric Nelson is a pretty spectacular con artist…but not much else.

Check out this statement from Amber Drevon of the Aurora School Board, as reported by Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman:

Yes, Rep. Janak Joshi Lost His Medical License


We wanted to make sure this report on the cut-throat GOP HD-16 primary from the Colorado Springs Independent from late last week didn’t escape mention–after all, it’s something we’ve been talking about for nearly six years now:

[A] few days ago, a mailer funded by Independent Expenditure Committee El Paso Conservative Forum of Denver hit mailboxes in the House district. The mailer, which cost $2,913.55, according to a campaign finance report, says of Joshi: “Can you trust him? A former patient trusted him … and DIED due to Dr. Joshi’s malpractice! RESULT: Colorado Medical Board revoked his license!”

The mailer provides this link to the agreement in which Joshi agreed to surrender his license.

Unlike the bizarre video circulating of an elderly woman accusing HD-16 GOP primary candidate Larry Liston of physically assaulting her, which is impossible to verify, the fact that incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi was forced to surrender his medical license before he became a state legislator is a matter of public record. We originally noted this fact in 2010 during Joshi’s first campaign for HD-16, and we’ve had numerous occasions to remind you–basically every time Joshi claimed to be “a physician.” It’s even been suggested to us that Joshi continuing to refer to himself as “a physician” after surrendering his license could itself be a violation of law.

In any event, in the nasty battle Rep. Joshi is waging against ex-Rep. Liston to keep his job, what we have here is a highly potent–and accurate–criticism of Joshi that seems to be getting very little notice. We’d say the Republican voters of HD-16 deserve to know that Joshi lost his medical license under a cloud before he was ever elected–and represents himself with no credibility as a “physician” in debates at the state legislature.

Because it’s true. Because unlike so much other mud slung in politics, this one can be proven.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 20)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenTry not to get too crazy celebrating the summer solstice. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Counting today, the Primary Election is just eight days away. If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released updated Primary turnout numbers; both Democrats and Republicans are voting/returning ballots at a similar rate of about 12%.


► Former Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is back on the campaign trail, making national news for a stop in Denver today to endorse Darryl Glenn in Colorado’s five-candidate race in the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. As CNN reports, Cruz took a noncommittal tone toward GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump:

Ted Cruz returned to the campaign trail for the first time since suspending his presidential campaign to stump for senate hopeful Darryl Glenn in Denver — but at least one fan of the Texas senator isn’t ready to let his 2016 bid go.

As the former candidate acknowledged the “unusual” presidential race, the audience laughed, as a man shouted, “Run, Ted.”

“We may all need to run,” Cruz joked, who kicked off his remarks in his trademark way, saying, “God bless the great state of Colorado.”

Without mentioning presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the Texas senator stressed the importance of checks and balances, “regardless of what happens in November.”

Cruz and Glenn were together at a press event this morning in front of about 100 supporters at the Westin Hotel near Denver International Airport. ProgressNow Colorado points out some of the similarities between Cruz and Glenn.


► The Supreme Court has ruled that statewide assault weapons bans are permissible. As the Associated Press reports:

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that upheld laws that were passed in response to another mass shooting involving a semi-automatic weapon, the elementary school attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly turned away challenges to gun restrictions since two landmark decisions that spelled out the right to a handgun to defend one’s own home…

…Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons. The others are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In addition, Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons, the center said.

Still, nobody is coming to take your guns, no matter what the NRA says.


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

Primary Turnout Update: 12% of Ballots Returned

votebuttonThe Colorado Secretary of State’s office has updated its voter turnout (er, uh, ballot turn-in) numbers for the June 28th Primary. Here’s the latest as of Monday morning:


Ballots sent: 986,252;
Ballots returned: 119,614;
Percent: 12.12%


Ballots sent: 994,450;
Ballots returned: 121,183;
Percent: 12.18%

Note that the SOS has made a slight change to how it is reporting turnout numbers compared to last week’s announcement:

The county-by-county chart included in this release reflects a change in how the Colorado Secretary of State reports ballot returns. Last week’s release showed only ballots that already had gone through signature verification; today’s report and all subsequent ones will reflect the number of ballots received by the county, even if they are waiting to be reviewed by election judges.

For more information on turnout based on a county-by-county basis, click here (PDF).

Scott Tipton Stalling Out?

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a troubling red flag for incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton’s campaign:

Though she’s only been in the race for about three months, Democrat Gail Schwartz outraised the Republican she hopes to replace in Washington, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton.

Schwartz, a two-term member of the Colorado Senate whose district included Delta County, raised more than $350,000 since entering the race in early April, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

While Tipton has raised about $445,000 since January, he’s only pulled in about $185,000 since April, according to his pre-primary report.

Based on the performance of Colorado’s Third Congressional District in the last few elections, especially the defeat of 2014 Democratic challenger Abel Tapia by a lopsided margin, Republican strategists might not be so worried about Tipton right now. Especially with a national map looking more and more perilous by the minute as Donald Trump’s train-wreck presidential campaign devours the GOP brand.

The problem with that is at a certain level, Tipton’s seat becomes one of the last lines of defense of the GOP House majority. By the numbers, if Tipton is really in danger, so many other Republicans up the food chain are threatened as well that there might not be enough resources available to protect him. Unless, of course, he has the personal ability to bring in the money he needs.

And it looks like he may not.

The combination of headwinds all Republicans face running downticket from Trump, and the strength of Tipton’s 2016 opponent Gail Schwartz, could be creating the biggest pickup opportunity for Democrats since Marilyn Musgrave’s toppling in 2008 by Betsy Markey. There are too many external variables right now to predict the final outcome in CD-3–but for Democrats, it’s an exciting prospect.

Tipton’s newfound weakness makes it even more exciting.

Trump Fires Campaign Manager Lewandowski

thuglifetrumpDonald Trump’s Presidential campaign announced a big move this morning. As Chris Cillizza explains for “The Fix”:

Donald Trump fired Corey Lewandowski on Monday in an attempt to reset a campaign that has been floundering badly in the seven weeks since he secured the Republican presidential nomination.

The official statement on Lewandowski was epically Trump. “The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican Primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman.

The goal of the move was clear: To end a long-running power struggle between Lewandowski, a Trump loyalist through and through, and Paul Manafort, a professional political hand brought in by Trump mid-campaign to serve as convention director.

As Cillizza notes, picking Manafort and dumping Lewandowski is meant to be a sign to establishment Republicans that Trump understands he needs to change his campaign operation for a General Election. But will it work? Cillizza is rightfully skeptical:

The only way Trump’s campaign changes in any meaningful way then is if Trump himself changes.  He’s rhetorically flicked at the idea of becoming “more presidential” and insisted that if he is elected president he will act with much more gravitas.

In other words, if you were hoping for meaningful change in the Trump campaign…you should probably stop holding your breath.

Denver PrideFest a Politico-Studded Affair

MONDAY UPDATE: CBS4 reports on some trouble at PrideFest yesterday despite all the security:

Vanessa Martinez was waiting for the parade to start at Colfax Avenue and Grant Street when she says a man, yelling profanities, threatened her daughters with gun violence.

“Of course I’m going to protect them,” Vanessa Martinez said. “I jumped in front of her, and that’s when he said that he was going to shoot us, and started acting like he was going to pull out a gun on all of us.”

No shots were fired…

Another show of hate broke out down the block at Colfax and Sherman when someone lit wood chips on fire in the shape of a swastika.


Though certainly not the only studs in attendance (bahdumtish)! The Denver PrideFest Parade this morning was well-attended by both the general public and by Colorado politicians, undeterred by the additional security measures necessitated by the domestic terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida a week ago. If anything, support for the LGBT community by folks who wouldn’t have normally attended a gay pride parade made today’s parade an even bigger event.

As the Denver Post’s Tom McGhee reports:

“Despite all the progress we made, Orlando reminded us that being gay can cost you your life,” Gov. John Hickenlooper, who appeared with a number of other state and city officials, told the crowd.

Gun violence has reached a point where “almost everybody” knows a victim, Hickenlooper said. “If your elected official isn’t doing enough to keep you safe, then fire them.”

To Erica Gould, 25, who has attended PrideFest in the past, the crowd seemed less bent on partying and instead were more emotionally invested in a cause.

Here are photos culled from social media today, in which many of your favorite local political leaders get face time:






State Senate GOP: Colorado Pols Has “No Credibility”

We posted a few examples yesterday of social media responses from Colorado Republican state senators, as well as the official account of the Colorado Senate Republican press office, both blaming President Barack Obama for last weekend’s terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as well as at least one post disparaging LGBT Americans themselves in the hours after the attack. The latter was posted by Sen. Randy Baumgardner:

Baumgardner facebook

Baumgardner’s Democratic opponent in Senate District 8 this year, Emily Tracy, reacted angrily to our blog about Baumgardner’s anti-gay post-Orlando Facebooking:

To which the Senate GOP responded with an attack…on us?

So folks, we can take the heat. But can we ask in all seriousness how our writing about Baumgardner’s social media content “distorts, deceives, or demeans” anyone? If anything, we would say those terms all apply to…well, to Baumgardner’s Facebook post, wouldn’t they? Not to our calling attention to it. Right?

We get that this response from the official Colorado Senate GOP mouthpiece is more of a knee-jerk insult than a thoughtful comeback. But given the very clearly “demeaning” material we called out in our post yesterday, to which we have yet to see any substantive response, this all seems like especially nonsensical bile.

And it surer than hell doesn’t make the one-seat Senate GOP majority look good.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 17)

MoreSmarterLogo-SunscreenIt’s possible that Colorado could see two straight 100-degree days this weekend as campaigns scramble to finish their door knocking before Primary Day. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Remember, friends: If you haven’t yet received a mail ballot, you should check your registration or address status ASAP. Go to JustVoteColorado.org for more information.


Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump may be a bit of a consensus-builder after all…though not in the manner he would prefer. As Politico reports:

In 2016’s race to the bottom, Donald Trump is going to find out if you can become president when two-thirds of Americans don’t like you — and a majority can’t stand you…

…Trump is setting modern records for political toxicity — at least for a major-party candidate this far out from an election. Seventy percent of Americans surveyed in an ABC News/Washington Post poll out this week had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, up 10 points over the past month. The poll showed Trump’s favorable rating cratering at 29 percent, down from 37 percent last month…

…Trump’s unpopularity is without historical peer in the modern era of presidential campaigns. Mitt Romney averaged a 46-percent unfavorable rating in mid-June 2012, according to the HuffPost Pollster database. John McCain’s unfavorable rating four years prior was only 40 percent, and more voters had a positive opinion of the Arizona senator than a negative one. In June 2004, then-Sen. John Kerry had a 58-percent favorable rating, according to Gallup, with only 35 percent viewing him unfavorably.

On the bright side, to whatever extent there is a sliver of light here, Trump isn’t quite as disliked as Congress in general.


► It didn’t take long for Colorado Republicans to un-bite their tongues in reaction to last weekend’s shootings in Orlando.


► If “con artist” were an honorable title, we’d probably say that Aurora School Board member Eric Nelson is producing a masterpiece.


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