August, 14th 2007

Further proof of Colorado's libertarianish views?

– Liz Mair

Colorado Pols has some interesting data up today about the Presidential race. Citing a Rasmussen report, they note that:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a ten-point lead over New York Senator Hillary Clinton in race for Colorado's nine Electoral Votes . It's Giuliani 50%, Clinton 40%.

Arizona Senator John McCain leads Clinton by just three points while the former First Lady is essentially even with former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. However, Clinton doesn't attract more than 45% support against any of the GOP hopefuls. No Democrat has earned more than 45% of the vote in Colorado since 1964.

Readers will know that I watch politics in the West fairly closely (and Colorado, more closely than the rest of the region). And I consider this poll to be significant.

Colorado has been trending blue when it comes to Governor, Senate, House, and State Legislature elections since at least 2004, and arguably, even as early as 2002. However, I do not believe that this is because the state has been becoming more liberal, per se, but rather that it's become less conservative and more libertarian-ish (which some may confuse for liberal, but is quite a different thing). Meanwhile, the Colorado Democratic party seems to have realized that by running socially moderate (as opposed to Nancy Pelosi-level liberal) Democrats, who like to spend a bit less money than their friends in Massachusetts, don't want to grab everyone's guns, and aren't tax happy nuts like, say, Charlie Rangel, they can win-- specifically because a lot of those who think libertarianish would rather vote for a party that is fiscally decent, and leaves people alone to be as gay or non-God-fearing as much as they want while owning as many guns as they want than they would vote for the party of, oh, say, Marilyn Musgrave.

A lot of Republicans haven't figured out yet that there is a big element of truth to the notion of the libertarian West. But if you look at the above poll results, evidently neither has the Democratic party on the national level when it comes to presidential nominees.

Hillary continues to run in first place within the Democratic party, across the country. Yet, the numbers above tell us that she who is regarded as being to the left of her husband on trade, taxes, spending (as well as the odd social issue, though as she proved to Mike Gravel at least last week, gay marriage isn't likely among them), she who was the architect of HillaryCare, is not going to prove popular with fiscally conservative, socially moderate Coloradans-- at least not when matched against fiscally conservative, socially moderate Giuliani. Or fiscally conservative, socially moderate McCain. Note that Romney, who from what I hear seems pretty well-known in the state, probably as a result of his fame for running the Olympics next door, who's been doing the "family values" and "I'm really, really, really pro-life and really, really, really anti-gay marriage" thing for weeks now, comes basically even with Clinton-- something that Romneyites who think he can win nationwide against her might want to pay attention to, since Bush only just won Colorado last time, and the tide has gone further against Republicans there in the three years since.

Getting back to the point, the message both parties should be getting loud and clear by now (and this poll result is just more evidence of its veracity) is that if you want to win in places like Colorado with any ease (i.e., disregard Sen. Wayne Allard's pretty crap 2002 51% win), you had better look something like Ken Salazar or, even better, Bill Richardson if you're a Democrat, and McCain, Jim Kolbe or Rudy if you're a Republican.

At the moment, the Democrats aren't heeding that lesson when it comes to their Presidential contest. But fortunately, it looks like Republicans are. Now, if they'd just start doing that when it comes to Senate, House and other races, too, we'd be laughing.


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