BREAKING: Jon Keyser Fails to Make Primary Ballot

UPDATE #3: The clock is ticking for Keyser to make this challenge. The deadline for the Secretary of State to finalize the Primary ballot is April 29th:

Last day for the Secretary of State to deliver the Primary Election ballot order and content to county clerks. (No later than 60 days before the Primary Election)

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UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews:

Keyser fell short by 86 votes in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State, which verifies the signatures. The district is represented by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and has 145,778 registered Republicans to 124,007 Democrats.

Keyser’s campaign is expected to appeal the decision and has five days to do so. The 16,067 signatures he submitted overall allowed him to clear the threshold in the six other districts…

If Keyser’s challenge is unsuccessful, his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., will end weeks before a single vote is cast in the June 28 primary — throwing an already chaotic race for Senate into further disarray.

Liberal group ProgressNow Colorado says it’s time for “Liar Keyser” to hang it up:

“We wouldn’t put anything past Jon Keyser, including dishonesty,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “This is the same Jon Keyser who claimed as a House candidate that he had received ‘two ballots’ for an election, when the truth is Keyser was lying–and he knew it the whole time. Keyser can’t blame our Republican Secretary of State for his own incompetence. It’s time for Keyser to do what he seems to have the most trouble doing: play by the rules, and respect our election system even when it doesn’t go his way.”

“Jon Keyser is the biggest nothingburger in Colorado politics, and it’s time to throw in the towel,” said Franklin. “Keyser promised to clear the field with his Washington, D.C. insider support, but he could barely raise enough money to keep the lights on. Now we learn his pay-to-play petition campaign also came up short?”

“In hindsight, Jon Keyser should have held on to his House seat,” said Franklin. “Keyser has a long way to go before he’s ready for prime time.”

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Jon Keyser will have plenty of time to spend with his young family now that he's no longer a Senate candidate.

Jon Keyser will have plenty of time to spend with his young family now that he’s no longer a Senate candidate.

UPDATE: Keyser campaign says they will challenge, but this is a complete disaster regardless. Keyser came up 86 signatures shy in CD-3, and just barely got enough signatures in CD-1 (Denver) to get over the 1,500 threshold (he made it in CD-1 by just 20 signatures).

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Just in from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office:

Former state Rep. Jon Keyser’s petition to appear on the Republican primary ballot for U.S. Senate has been declared insufficient, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today.

Keyser was required to gather 1,500 valid signatures from Republican voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts for a total of 10,500 signatures. He came up 86 signatures short in Congressional District 3.

Keyser submitted 16,067 petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, which began a line-by-line review of the signatures. Of that 11,436 were deemed valid.

His campaign has five days to protest the decision.

We had a feeling this might happen after Republican Jack Graham made the ballot last week with a meager 56.6% “validity rate” on his signatures. Keyser’s campaign never did release a number on how many total signatures they collected — every other GOP candidate made sure to reveal a rough number when they first submitted signatures prior to the April 4th deadline. With four candidates competing to collect 1,500 signatures from each of seven congressional districts, there was always a strong possibility that at least one Republican would fail to qualify for the ballot.

Keyser can certainly challenge this decision, but as we wrote over the weekend, the former half-term state representative had an awful fundraising quarter and his campaign is running on fumes already.

Keyser’s campaign has been a raging dumpster fire since the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) first started flirting with the idea of making him their top recruit back in December. Perhaps it’s better that everyone just cut their losses on Keyser now.

Woods Clears Up Trump Support Question (Damn Right She Will)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods (R-RMGO) takes aim.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods (R-RMGO) takes aim.

In an email update yesterday from Sen. Laura Waters Woods of Arvada, headed into Colorado’s most hotly contested state senate race this election season, we have the clearest attempt yet to sort out conflicting statements about her support for GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, Colorado’s disastrous GOP caucuses, and the resulting push to return the state to a presidential primary election.

Fasten your seat belt:

I have been widely criticized for voting against a presidential primary bill that was being proposed last year by former GOP chair, Ryan Call. The reason I voted against that bill then was because the grass roots activists didn’t like it, and neither did the State GOP Chair, Steve House. We voted against the bill in May of 2015, which was some six weeks before Donald Trump announced he was running for President.

My vote had NOTHING to do with Donald Trump or any other presidential candidate.

rmgolaura2Because, gosh darn it,

Down through the fall and winter months, I have consistently said that I will support whichever Republican gets the nomination. I have liked Trump and Cruz, and at times I have disliked them both. It is not true to say that I am a “Trump hater” or that I’m on the “NeverTrump” train. I am NOT. [Pols emphasis]

We get no more detail in this message about exactly what it is she “liked” about Donald Trump or his rival Ted Cruz, or what she may have disliked–a fairly important thing to be specific about. She also doesn’t disclose how she might vote on a bill to restore the presidential primary. But the one thing Sen. Waters Woods does want you to know is this:

I do believe that our nation won’t survive either Hillary or Bernie, and it is my hope that we will unite behind the candidate that survives the Republican National Convention. Whether it is Trump or Cruz, I will support him. [Pols emphasis]

rmgolaura3We can’t help but get a little uncomfortable about the choice of words here: does Sen. Waters Woods really believe our nation won’t physically “survive” if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are elected President? Would this be worse than if Trump wins, an event at least some well-adjusted people believe would be pretty bad on a national survival level? Should we assume she doesn’t mean anything, you know, apocalyptic, or do we take her words at face value?

Sen. Waters Woods cleared up the burning question of whether she would support Donald Trump, but now we’d say there are some more questions for her to answer.

Get More Smarter on Monday (April 25)

Get More SmarterEnjoy the weather today; the sun is going on hiatus for the rest of the week. 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…

► Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich say that they have formed some sort of alliance in hopes of preventing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump from capturing the GOP nomination for President. As our friends at “The Fix” explain, this isn’t likely to turn out well:

When most of the country — including me — was watching the season 6 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich announced a major strategic alliance. Kasich would stop campaigning in — and trying to win — Indiana’s primary on May 3. Cruz would do the same in Oregon on May 17 and New Mexico on June 7

…This is a massive gamble born entirely of desperation. What likely became clear to the Cruz campaign and, to a lesser extent, the Kasich campaign, is that they weren’t going to beat Trump in Indiana’s winner-take-most primary and, by losing, would put the real estate billionaire on a reasonable path to the GOP nomination.

And so, they acted. Which they deserve credit for — since most of the time politicians in unwinnable/untenable situations continue to cling to the idea that everyone else is wrong and they are right, right up until they lose.

But, action doesn’t always produce the desired results.  And, I think that’s what is going to happen here.

As “The Fix” notes, there are a number of strategic problems with this so-called alliance, not the least of which is the general lack of overlap between Kasich voters and Cruz voters (i.e., if you like Kasich, you probably don’t like Cruz, and vice-versa). The other big problem here is that this “alliance” feeds directly into Trump’s narrative that the entire process for selecting a Republican nominee is rigged against him.

 

► The race for President takes another big step on Tuesday with the “Acela Primary” as voters go to the polls in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island to cast ballots in both the Democratic and Republican Primaries.

There is also a big Democratic Primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, where Katie McGinty hopes to use endorsements from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to defeat former Congressman Joe Sestak. The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a General Election that is expected to be one of the most expensive of the 2016 cycle.

 

► Campaign finance reports are a good indicator of the state of a political campaign, and the details of these reports can be particularly revealing. In the case of Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser, his Q1 fundraising report tells the story of a campaign that is barely functioning from a financial perspective.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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How to protect Colorado’s “non-prime population” from being exploited as a “market opportunity?”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Reporters have done a good job informing us that most people who sign up for predatory loans are struggling.

But there’s a media gap in pointing out just how important the “struggling” part is to the business model of OneMain Holdings, the company backing legislation that would allow it to charge 36 percent interest on more and larger loans.

In a presentation a couple months ago, OneMain boasted to investers about its “Market Opportunity” in the personal loan business.

After noting that “Americans have $3.3 trillion in consumer debt,” and then identifying its “target market” as the 100 million Americans with low credit scores, the company pointed out where its pay dirt lies:

OneMain Holdings: “Large non-prime population with limited liquidity–63 percent of American households do not have at least $1,000 in savings, more than 40% have no emergency savings.” [Emphasis added by OneMain Holdings, not by the BigMedia Blog.]

“Non-prime population?” That’s an unfortunate phrase for this company to use, but it spotlights the point.

A lot of poeple are struggling with debt problems, and they need loans. But they obviously need protection from a big company that targets them as a “market opportunity.” How much protection from interest-rate hammering is appropriate?

We’re never going to know exactly how much money OneMain Holdings is really making in Colorado.

We’re just going to get shards of information, like the company representative confirming 30 percent growth in Colorado during the last four years.

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What Campaign Finance Reports Don’t Say About Candidates Like Jon Keyser

Jon Keyser

Jon Keyser’s fundraising has been a bit…upside down.

On Monday we wrote about the “Winners and Losers” from the Q1 fundraising period in Colorado’s two marquee federal races: U.S. Senate and CO-6. The numbers we compared were those that were made publicly available to media outlets, but as we’ve said before, those numbers often look much different when you get a chance to see the details of the fundraising report. Sometimes, they tell a completely different story altogether.

Take the case of U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser, for example. Last Friday, Keyser’s campaign claimed to have raised “about” $300,000 with “about” $200,000 cash-on-hand (COH),  thanks to a $100,000 personal loan from the candidate himself. One week after Keyser’s fundraising “announcement,” a couple of things jumped out at us when we saw the details of the actual Q1 FEC report filed by the Keyser campaign (look it up at FEC.gov).

Keyser’s campaign didn’t invent the art of financial, uh, stretching, but they do it well. A quick look at Keyser’s finance reports reveal all of the little half-truths that built one sorta-truth so that they could claim to have raised more than $300,000 in Q1 (and avoid the bad press that would come with a figure only in the $200’s).

The oddest of these maneuvers appears at the end of the cycle, on March 31. Keyser’s report appears to show both a $5,062.71 “in-kind” donation to his campaign, as well as a $5,062.17 expenditure for reimbursement of funds to…Jon Keyser. If this report is correct, Keyser’s campaign surpassed $300k only with his last-minute donation, which is technically (probably) accurate. Overall, his campaign basically took a net loss of $5,062.71 on the transaction, which leads us to the cash-on-hand problem.

It is standard practice for campaigns to avoid making big expenditures until one or two days after the end of the fundraising quarter so as to inflate the numbers on their official quarterly report. Keyser’s campaign isn’t doing anything new here; but when you have a weak fundraising quarter, you have to play around with the numbers to make it look better. Keyser reported $200,000 COH at the end of March 31…but on April 1 (or soon thereafter) his campaign had several other expenses coming due.

Keyser-Q1-Fundraising3

As you can see from the chart above, Keyser’s bank account was getting pretty thin at the end of the fundraising period. Of his $300,000 in reported contributions, $61,300 are from donors who wrote a maxed-out check; in other words, this money should be “set aside” for the General Election and is technically not available for use in a Primary (a maxed-out donor is essentially donating to two campaigns — the Primary and the General campaigns). That leaves Keyser with about $238,909 in available Primary campaign money.

Keyser’s campaign lists $200,099 in expenditures for Q1, but we estimate that the campaign has at least another $81,500 in outstanding expenses. When you add it all up (and subtract some of it), Keyser’s campaign was damn near broke at the beginning of April. His campaign reports about $200k COH, but might have had as little as $18k in the bank at the beginning of the month.

Of course, Keyser would likely still be raising money during this period, so the balance probably swung higher, but that’s not really the point here. Most truly competitive Senate campaigns should have close to $1 million stored away by nowWith eight weeks to go until ballots are mailed to Primary voters, Keyser’s campaign has so little money that it is likely struggling just to keep the lights on.

 

Shark Attack: Who’s Taking Loan Shark Money in Colorado?

sharkattack

As another late bill, Senate Bill 16-185, to allow subprime personal lenders to charge higher interest rates on bigger loans makes its way through the Colorado Senate–debate of the whole chamber on the bill was scheduled for yesterday but punted to Monday–Colorado Ethics Watch released a detailed report on the influence of the subprime personal lending industry over both parties in the Colorado General Assembly. It’s a must-read: if you have the stomach for it, that is.

Because if you’re a liberal Democrat, you’ve got some friends on the list.

While the initial increase that would be permitted if SB 16-185 passes is smaller than the increase House Bill 15-1390 would have authorized, lenders would be able to continually increase loan sizes subject to 36% APR because the cap number would be indexed to inflation. As a result, the effective interest rate for loans greater than $1,000 would continue to increase as inflation increases, trapping greater numbers of Coloradans in the cycle of debt.

Spurred by these incidents, Colorado Ethics Watch investigated lobbying spending and campaign contributions by the major proponents of House Bill 15-1390, Springleaf Finance and Independent Bankers of Colorado, along with other organizations known to be involved in subprime lending from their participation in lobbying on the 2010 payday lending reforms. These lenders and their associated PACs spent more than $730,000 on lobbying from fiscal year 2012 through 2015…

The big sum spent on lobbying is what funded the efforts of Democratic-friendly lobbyists like former Deputy House Communications Director Megan Dubray–who were key to successfully rushing the 2015 bill through the Democratic-controlled House without the scrutiny it deserved. Studies by the Center for Responsible Lending and others have identified a deliberate strategy of courting Democratic support for predatory lending bills, under the pretense of providing “access to credit” for persons who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a loan.

And be assured, Colorado’s strict campaign finance limits have not cut off the direct flow of campaign cash to lawmakers–just spread it out a little:

In addition to lobbying, subprime and payday lenders gave $126,925.01 in contributions to various candidates and committees between 2012 and 2015. For example, industry participants and associated groups such as political action committees gave $32,526.32 in contributions to legislators in the 2016 Colorado General Assembly. Even though political contribution amounts were not large due to Colorado’s strict campaign contribution limits, they were widely distributed among members of the 2016 legislature. More than two-thirds of the 2016 legislature, including 37 Democrats and 31 Republicans, [Pols emphasis] received contributions from industry participants or their associated PACs…

Here are the top 12 recipients of predatory lender cash in the Colorado General Assembly, listed with their vote on House Bill 15-1390:

loansharkdonations

The underlying point here is that Republicans can be fully expected to receive support from predatory lenders, and to reciprocate freely with votes that support the industry’s legislative agenda. But in Colorado’s divided legislature, support of at least some Democrats is necessary to pass anything. Consequently of the top six recipients of predatory lending cash on this list, four are Democrats. The top recipient just so happens to have been a Democratic “no” vote on last year’s bill.

It’s important to recognize that nothing we’re describing here is out of the ordinary for an industry seeking favorable treatment in the legislature. Lobbyists with good relationships with lawmakers work their connections. People and companies make perfectly legal donations. Lawmakers vote on stuff. There’s no conspiracy.

The problem is that, while legally operating, these lenders are objectively bad actors. Their products do not help people, they hurt them by strapping them with unaffordable and often inescapable debtby design. The extreme and in many cases hidden costs of borrowing money from predatory lenders is a moral as well as an economic problem, and the decision to regulate interest rates and keep loan terms fair is a moral judgment also made with the demonstrable best economic interests of consumers in mind.

So yes, there’s a lot at stake. And legislators–especially self-professed progressive Democratic legislators–who side with these loan sharks over their constituents should pay their own price.

Hot Mic, Asshole! Tensions Spike As Session Nears End

UPDATE: Via 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman:

A “no comment” for the weekend to chill out is probably a good idea.

—–

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso.

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso.

As the Denver Business Journal’s Ed Sealover reports, debate today in the Colorado House over House Bill 16-1388, the “ban the box” bill to disallow questions about a job applicant’s criminal history on the initial application, took a turn for the ugly:

House Bill 1388, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, would ban employers from asking people to check a box on job-application forms if they have a criminal record.

It would not ban those same companies from checking applicants’ criminal histories independently or from asking during in-person interviews about such histories…

Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, however, said that the boxes on these application forms are no different than boxes that asked people about their age and disability status and were used to weed out older and disabled candidates before the federal government put a stop to that several decades ago. Those who oppose the bill “are on the wrong side of history,” he said.

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, shot back that people don’t have a choice on how old they are or whether they suffer from a disability — unlike felons who have criminal histories because of their chosen actions.

From there, things got a little more, uh, personal:

MELTON: Thank you, Madam Chair, and wow, Representative DelGrosso. You gave me so much material. Where do I start…

I don’t know if you read the bill, but turn to page 3 line 6, and it talks about how this does not apply if federal, state or local law prohibits employment of a person with a specific criminal conviction. Read the bill!

…If you don’t understand the bill, take five minutes and read it.

COURT: I think Representative Buckner was next, Representative DelGrosso, and then you’re next after Representative Buckner.

DELGROSSO: But that asshole called me out, I just… [unintelligible]

COURT: Oh, Shh Shh Shh Shh Shh.

(Pause)

COURT: Shh Shh Shh Shh Shh. Representative Melton, you did make an error in what you just said, it was inappropriate to insult people by suggesting they haven’t read the bill. And I do want to point that out.

We’re pretty sure House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso did not realize there was a microphone in close enough proximity to pick up his calling another representative an “asshole” on the floor of the Colorado House. We’d call that a fairly substantial breach of etiquette, though it’s true also that Rep. Jovan Melton really isn’t supposed to suggest that his colleagues haven’t read a bill in a floor debate.

Every year as the legislative session nears its end, but especially in frustrating split-control years when just about everybody’s bills are unceremoniously killed, things get kind of tense. Oftentimes, the annual “Hummer” sketch comedy routines break the tension–except when they get cancelled because things are, you know, too tense.

Assuming they’re not cancelled, this will make for a fine “Hummer.”

“Really Small Government”–Abortion Ultrasound Bill Dies

To wit–government small enough to fit in, well…as NARAL Pro Choice Colorado’s Karen Middleton memorably described yesterday:

Karen Middleton HB 1218 Press Conf April 21 State Cap

Places you probably don’t want it.

Here’s the press release from NARAL Pro Choice Colorado on the defeat yesterday of House Bill 16-1218, a bill that would have required ultrasounds and non-medical waiting periods for women seeking an abortion:

For the second straight year, a bill introduced by anti-choice legislators that would mandate transvaginal ultrasounds, a 24 hour waiting period, and non-medical propaganda being read to women seeking abortion care has failed in Committee. HB 1218 was defeated in the House Health Committee on an 8-5 vote. All the Democrats on the Committee are women.

According to Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, “HB 1218 is designed to shame and humiliate women who seek abortion care and to trap doctors in red tape and regulations. It crosses a line for Colorado women and I am glad legislators saw it that way as well.”

Dr. Aaron Lazorwitz, a Denver Ob-Gyn, testified in opposition to the bill. According to Dr. Lazorwitz, “There is no medical reason to mandate a 24 hour waiting period or to force a woman to view an ultrasound. HB 1218 would also introduce non-medical language such as ‘unborn child’ into legislation that could be used to establish fetal personhood, an idea that has already been rejected by Colorado voters three times.”

HB 1218 is yet another “model bill” from the national anti-choice group Americans United for Life, as detailed in NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s report, “Against Our Will: How National Anti-Choice Groups Are Targeting the Pro-Choice Majority in Colorado.”

As everyone knows, this legislation was never going to get far in the Democratic-controlled House. The decision to introduce this legislation in the House instead of the GOP-held Colorado Senate was deliberate, part of the delicate balance Republicans try to achieve between pleasing their fervently anti-choice base and remaining viable in general elections where anti-abortion bills become significant liabilities.

What we can tell you about House Bill 16-1218, despite the fact that it was killed in committee yesterday, is that it was sponsored in the House by Reps. Lori Saine, Patrick Neville, Steve Humphrey, JoAnn Windholz, Kevin Priola, Justin Everett, Clarice Navarro, Dan Nordberg, and Kim Ransom. In the Senate, the bill was sponsored by Sens. Tim Neville, Laura Woods, Chris Holbert, Kent Lambert, Kevin Grantham, Vicki Marble, Kevin Lundberg, and Randy Baumgardner.

In short, many of the sponsors of this bill to require a highly invasive ultrasound for nonmedical reasons of women seeking an abortion are running in some of 2016’s most competitive legislative races. Races where the last thing you want to have is an extreme record on wedge issues. We can’t honestly tell you if they have evaluated the full political consequences of sponsoring a bill like this, or if that have done so, you know, realistically.

But if it’s not used against them with swing voters to devastating effect between now and November, we’ll be very surprised.

Get More Smarter on Earth Day! (April 22)

GetMoreSmarter-EarthAs of today, Denver’s light rail system actually goes someplace we do! 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…

► A must-read story from the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews and John Frank today sums up the dismal state of the 2016 GOP U.S. Senate primary, where nothing that should give Republicans any real hope of unseating Sen. Michael Bennet in November is taking place:

“It’s almost anyone’s game,” said Jennifer Duffy, an elections analyst with the non-partisan Cook Political Report. “The next 60 to 90 days is about who puts together a campaign and starts running a professional organization.”

That the race remains this wide-open has fueled debate in Republican circles about one specific candidate, Jon Keyser, and whether the decorated combat veteran and former state lawmaker is falling short of expectations.

It’s also raised questions about how well the eventual winner will do against Bennet, who has $7.6 million in his campaign warchest. This week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee reserved $28 million in airtime in five battleground states. Colorado was not among them.

► In the GOP presidential race, Colorado GOP chairman Steve House is reportedly demanding police protection at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the backlash against Ted Cruz’s backroom sweep of the state’s delegates continues. Meanwhile, an apparent major falsehood from House over the party’s swiftly-deleted “#NeverTrump” Tweet on the day of the convention, first reported on this blog yesterday, has gone viral among Trump supporters nationwide.

Sorry about that.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Forget Moe Mentum. Ground rules decide elections.

(Good analysis from a local who knows stuff – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton.

The late quarterback/broadcaster Don Meredith often mused that “Old Moe Mentum is a fickle friend.” If nothing else, the 2016 political season suggests it is time to retire the concept from the ranks of the political chattering class and banish it to the even more hackneyed vocabulary of sportscasters.

Old Moe did put in an early appearance when Bernie Sanders did his “better than expected” photo-finish second place in the Iowa caucus. That validated his campaign and he roared to a big win in New Hampshire. But while the chatterers burbled about “Moe Mentum,” every contest since – beginning with Clinton’s second, and last, caucus victory in Nevada, appears to have followed two basic sets of political predictors: demographics and ground rules.

In terms of ground rules, Hillary has fared poorly in caucuses and open contests — those that allow voters who aren’t registered as Democrats. But she does well in primaries or closed contests.

So far, the New York Times Upshot column estimates she has done about nine percentage points better in primaries than in caucuses, and three points better in closed contests than in open ones. Unfortunately for Bernie Sanders, there is only one state caucus left,  a closed one, in North Dakota on June 7. And Sanders has never beaten Clinton in an closed primary.

Demographics have also been key as African-American voters favor Clinton by wide margins, as do Latinos by somewhat narrower ranges. Affluent voters also lean to Clinton. Sanders has never beaten Clinton in a primary where more than 25 percent of the voters are minorities.

(more…)

It’s Official: The Colorado GOP Lied About #NeverTrump Tweet

Two weeks ago this coming Saturday, a Tweet from the Colorado Republican Party’s official Twitter account sent aggrieved local supporters of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump into an outraged tizzie:

nevertrump1

Colorado GOP chairman Steve House.

Colorado GOP chairman Steve House.

Eli Stokols, local political correspondent now writing for Politico, was quick to report the party’s denial of any responsibility for the Tweet, but the moment it appeared the damage was done:

Even though it only existed in the ether of cyberspace for a few minutes, the optics of such a tweet coming from the neutral arbiter of Saturday’s delegate selection process amidst a hard-fought trench war between Cruz and Donald Trump to secure the Republican presidential nomination rankled a number of Colorado Republicans.

In the immediate aftermath, the party claimed to have insight into the Tweet’s origin, as 7NEWS reported at the time:

House wouldn’t say how many people on staff have access to the account, but said they “had a process going on to find out who actually knew the password to the account.” House added “it’s only a matter of time,” before they find out who sent that tweet, as they knew the IP address the tweet went out from. [Pols emphasis]

But as the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning reported yesterday (paywalled), that’s not true.

Saying that the state GOP “has been engaged in dialogue with Twitter in an attempt to identify the source of the Tweet,” Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House wrote in an email sent Tuesday evening that it appears Twitter will require state Republicans to “initiate a lawsuit and issue a subpoena” before the social media company will reveal more information about where the #NeverTrump tweet originated…

“Because of the seriousness of this matter, the party intends to pursue such legal process to compel Twitter to produce the IP address from which the tweet originated,” the email reads. [Pols emphasis] “The Colorado GOP is confident that once it has the IP address it will be able to identify the individual or company that issued the tweet. It will then seek recovery from the individual and/or company that issued the tweet for the cost associated with its investigation, legal efforts and the harassment of its officials and staff.”

So…they were lying when they said they had the IP address the first time? These statements can’t both be true. But wait, there’s more!

According to the email — sent to individuals and companies who “have had access to the @ColoGOP Twitter account” — the state GOP has turned up “evidence this tweet was sent via Twitter for iPhone” [Pols emphasis] but is unable to determine more without filing a lawsuit and obtaining a subpoena.

Now, where do you suppose they obtained “evidence” the Tweet was sent via an iPhone?

Oh, wait, never mind. It’s in the Tweet.

nevertrumpiphone

In short, the Colorado Republican Party has learned absolutely nothing about the origin of the #NeverTrump Tweet, and lied when they claimed to have the IP address. We’re not sure what the grounds would be for a legal action for compel Twitter to produce that information, but it should be noted that the IP address of the sending device may not help identify the sender at all–more likely simply identifying what cellular carrier was used, or if they’re lucky, maybe the IP address to a hard-line internet service provider. Presumably, another legal action would be necessary to compel that company to produce its logs.

The fact that the party demonstrably lied about what it knew regarding this Tweet, with this admission that they don’t have the IP address, is just another blow to the Colorado GOP’s credibility with Trump supporters who already deeply suspect foul play. It’s possible that the party’s legal action (if any) will at some point bear fruit, and belatedly reveal the identity of the person with access to the party’s official GOP account who committed this “unauthorized” action.

If and when that ever happens, there’s a good chance nobody will care. Because they’ve seen enough.