Earlier today, David Sirota tweeted from Colorado, suggesting that our Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, is gearing up to be a pivotal figure in the coming election.
When Scott Gessler becomes the 2012 election's version of Katherine Harris in 2000, don't say I didn't warn you. Consider yourself warned. — David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 28, 2012
He’s right. In 2010, I was close to the Betsy Markey (CO-04) campaign, and heard regular polling information which showed two different things. Some data showed that challenger Cory Gardner was up solidly. Other data showed that the race with neck-in-neck. The difference between the polling was the “likely voter” models that the polls used.
I also heard a lot about how disappointed many liberals and long-time, activist Democrats were in Colorado’s 4th district. Lots of people were unhappy that President Obama and the Democratic Congress didn’t pursue Single Payer, or they caved on Banking Reform, or they didn’t close Guantanamo Bay, or some other issue. Andrew Romanoff even led a challenge to appointed incumbent Senator Michael Bennet, based on these thing.
All of this added up to the Republican wave in Colorado, which was only broken by Sen. Bennet’s effort to paint Weld DA, Ken Buck, his opponent, as anti-woman. Bennet won by about five-votes-per-precinct in Colorado. But, it was otherwise a horrible year for Democrats in the state, as we lost the state House, Treasurer, Attorney General, and two Congressional seats.
Basically, the GOP polls were right. Those polls indicated that many left-leaning voters were disaffected and would stay home. They did.
Fast forward to today. Sirota’s point that Gessler is in a position to play a pivotal role in our election, and possibly a nefarious one, is obvious.
What is not obvious is that the fact that Democratic-leaning voters stayed home led to Gessler’s success in 2010, and his positioning himself to be able to play a role in 2012’s Presidential election. And this illustrates a significant difference between the bases of the two parties in Colorado (or at least the 4th CD). The Republicans handle their angst in their primaries. The Democrats handle it in the general. If a Republican doesn’t like the incumbent Republican, they primary him/her, and then support the winner in the general. If a Democrat is unhappy with the incumbent Democrat, we stay home for the general.
And we let people like Scott Gessler get elected.
So, when Gessler is in a position to hand Colorado to Romney, please remember: you - the guy who didn’t vote because Obama or Bennet or Markey wasn’t liberal enough - helped elect Mitt Romney POTUS.