Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hickenlooper and Duran – Colorado Democratic Headliners

John Hickenlooper
Governor John Hickenlooper and House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran have speaking positions at the Philadelphia Convention and as such are being recognized as Colorado’s top Democrats.

Hickenlooper’s clearly ready to move on. Reports out of D.C. make clear he lobbied for consideration as VP and more realistically to be recognized as a national player in what could be a new Democratic administration. He has a prime speaking slot on Thursday night.

Crisanta Duran
Duran is on the way up in Colorado if Democrats hold the State House (very likely). She will become the Speaker, a powerful role with significant visibility. She could jump into a statewide primary in three years or run for Denver Congresswoman DeGette’s seat should DeGette decide a couple of decades of service is enough.

Speaking in Philadelphia should contribute to both Hickenlooper’s and Duran’s next career moves.

Hillary Clinton’s old friend and long-time DNC member, Wellington Webb, also got a little early facetime Monday. Webb backed Clinton in 2008 against President Obama based on his relationship with the Clintons since the 1980s and throughout President Bill Clinton’s presidency.

See DNC speaker’s list here

Colorado is No Longer a Battleground State

In 2016, Colorado will not be a battleground state. Nominee Donald Trump has shifted his attention to the Midwest, the Rust Belt and Northeast (early targets: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin) appealing to working and middle class White voters.

Colorado moved out of battleground status for several reasons.
  • Due to the last two presidential races, Colorado became a presumed “lean Democratic” state. The latest polls confirm the presumption with Hillary Clinton up 8 points and Senator Michael Bennet ahead 18 (see NBC/WSJ Claims Clinton Up 8 Points in Colorado and Darryl Glenn Wins Convention Spot, But Losing in Race With Michael Bennet ).
  • Colorado is not a blue collar, depressed manufacturing state. Its growing Hispanic and Millennial population makes it a much more diverse and likely to vote Democratic.
  • The Colorado Republican Party is not Trump friendly. Ted Cruz dominated the Republican base in the state (he won the nomination ballot, got his Senate candidates nominated with a third of vote). At the just completed Republican Convention, it was the Colorado delegation that was the most obstreperous.
The implication of this shift are not good for Colorado Republicans, local TV stations and people who would like to see Donald Trump between now and the election.