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Initial Thoughts On 2010 Election Results

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Well, we know most of this year’s election results. Some of those results are good and some aren’t so good. Here are some initial thoughts I have this morning.

John Hickenlooper is our next Governor, despite running a fairly lackluster campaign and never really developing an image. My hope is Hick doesn’t take his base for granted in the same way that, unfortunately, Gov. Ritter did. But just as was the case for President Obama, one of the most overlooked aspects of executives is who they put into power around them. I don’t think enough of Obama’s economic advisers have average Americans’ best interests in mind. I don’t have any idea of who Hickenlooper will put into place around him, but those personnel choices will be critical in the kind of governing he will do. I’ll talk more about him as I bring up other races below.

Blue Dogs
Rep. John Salazar was beat by his last opponent, Scott Tipton. Salazar was an alright Dem based on his overall voting pattern, but he did vote against key legislative items (global warming bill being the largest in my mind). More importantly, he chose to publicly rebuke his party. Overall, I’m not going to miss him very much.

Rep. Betsy Markey lost by a wide margin last night. This is a Dem Rep. I will miss, association with the Blue Dog caucus notwithstanding. Contrary to Salazar, she actually voted to do something about global warming and more importantly, she decided to show some real courage by defending her vote. She took the time to explain to her CO-04 constituents why that vote, and others she took, were important to them. The right-wing Denver Post editorial board took her to task for being “too liberal for her district”. I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to take Cory Gardner to task for being “too conservative for his district”. This seat was high on the Republican Teabagger hit list and could be characterized as a lost cause in a right-wing wave election. Hopefully a Democratic wave election hits again soon.

Rep. Perlmutter won re-election, which I find interesting. The 7th is a district that is up for grabs and the fact that he held his seat in a wave election speaks volumes about his campaign effort.

TABOR Measures
Thankfully, 60, 61, and 101 lost big time – between 2:1 and 3:1. In context of the other races, this means a lot of Unaffiliateds and Republicans voted against the measures along with Democrats. These measures would have destroyed Colorado’s economy. We at least have a chance to still save most of it, if we’re willing to have honest discussions about the importance of investing in ourselves and our state.
Scott Gessler leads Secretary of State Bernie Buescher 50-43 with some precincts left to count this morning. This is one of the most important offices in the state and it’s going back into Republican Teabagger hands. With a lackluster Senate and Governor race and a Republican Teabagger wave, the low-profile Secretary of State race didn’t break our way.

State Treasurer Cary Kennedy is losing fairly narrowly to Walker Stapleton who thinks that not ever working in a field is essential to getting a job in that field. Another Republican Teabagger in a statewide office, likely as a result of a wave election.

And the trifecta could be won: State Attorney General John Suthers, who enjoys wasting state taxpayer dollars on frivolous lawsuits, is in line to beat Stan Garnett. Hopefully 2014 has different results in store for Democrats.

State Legislature
Republican Teabaggers won back control of the State House but the State Senate remained in Democratic hands. This is one area of concern I have with a Governor Hickenlooper. I fear we’re going to hear too many Teabagger demands that the Gov. yield to their insane policies. How firm will Hickenlooper be in fighting for his base and Coloradans’ best interests? How interested will he be in following the Obama model of pre-negotiation and capitulation in the face of adversity? He did have a good record being the Mayor of Denver, but Colorado isn’t Denver. More on Hick a little later. Democrats need to gain control of the State House back in 2012.

Personhood part deux goes down in absolute flames again 70-30. Do not expect that result, however, to mean the anti-woman forces to stop their crusade to expand government into people’s bedrooms and medical decisions.

Amendment 63, the symbolic effort to … well, I never was sure what this one would do, but it’s failing 53-47. Nothing would have changed with respect to the federal health care laws.

Games of chance (P) and real property tax exemption (R) both lost by 2:1 margins. Temporary seat of government won.

Nearby Results
Colorado looks like an island of blue in a blood-red sea. The closest states with Democratic Governors are California and Arkansas. Neighboring states elected Republican Teabagger after Teabagger. Again, Gov.-elect Hickenlooper is going to have to work with these other Governors to maintain and establish regional efforts. How will these folks treat water issues, energy issues and immigration issues, to name just a few? What will Hickenlooper’s approach be with the asylum’s residents running shows around him? What kind of results can we expect? A relative slow-down of otherwise destructive regional policies? Can we convince his fellows, in an environment which saw 10 Governorships change parties, to make the hard decisions that need to be made to drive this country further into the 21st century or will Colorado be forced back into the 1750s?

Lastly, the Denver Post called the CO Senate race for Michael Bennet within the last half-hour. I’m quite surprised by this result because of the factors I’ve discussed above. I have to sort out my thoughts on what a Bennet win means in context. I’m glad Ken Buck won’t be our next Senator, due mostly to his absolutely ridiculous extremist views on nearly every subject. But I’m not exactly thrilled Sen. Bennet won the race. I don’t think he respects or listens to his base. He isn’t the environmental champion that too many Democratic groups and supporters say he is. I’ll bring up the most important issue facing Michael Bennet in a separate diary.

Cross-posted at SquareState.


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