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Looking at quadrennial changes in certified voter registration totals in Colorado gives me pause. In other analyses I have done here on DKos (i.e., for FL, IA, MI, NH), the trend has either been a slight boost in the two-party share of Democratic registrants, or a rise in independents, or both.

In Colorado, neither is the case. That may bode well for party resurgence, and I'm all for that. But, to summarize the data, in 2000 the final registration totals showed 35.4% Republican registrants; 29.9% Democrats; and the remaining 34.6% (with rounding) either third-party or independent. Four years later, the movement is slightly Republican: 36.4%-GOP; 30.6%-DEM; 33.1% other.

Yes, what county-level registration gains the Dems have made have come mostly in the bigger, more densely-populated counties that should thusly be more efficiently mobilized (Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Jefferson & Larimer). Still, the two-party statewide share of all registrants has nudged ever-so-slightly Republican: from 54.2% statewide in 2000, to 54.3% now. What's most curious to me is that independents and others have not gained relatively, as is happening elsewhere.

So, cutting to the chase: Can Kerry get it done in CO?

I'm fully aware of the hopeful notion of a "reverse coattails" effect from Ken Salazar's senate campaign on Kerry's candidacy; no doubt Mr. Salazar will draw new voters, especially Latinos, to the polls. But will this effect, coupled with resources from Kerry and Dems that Gore did not invest four years ago, be enough to swamp registration stagnation that provides little reason to suspect Kerry can erase Gore's 8.4% margin of defeat in 2000? I'm not too confident, although I've been wrong before and hope I am again. (Keep in mind: "Colorado" is a butchered, Anglicized derivative of the Spanish "color rojo" -- a "red color" reference to the state's famed red rocks...and thus hard to make blue?)

And so, based on my game theory training from grad school days (courtesy of Mike Munger and Emerson Niou, thanks!), my strategic recommendation to Colorado Kerry supporters is to vote Kerry and vote "aye" on the proportional-electors ballot initiative. If it passes and Kerry wins, it will cost him four electors. But if Kerry loses, as is my hunch, ballot passage still guarantees the senator four more electors than Gore won in 2000. (At least, that is, until Brett Kavanaugh and the Federalist Society goons get involved.)

P.S.: The final, 2004 registration data are here:

(The 2000 data are not online, however; my thanks to the SecState's office for speedy faxing.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  KERRY WINS (none)
    Colorado in a Land Slide
    •  What? (none)
      I'm all for Kerry, but Colorado is one state I want nothing to do with.

      "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"
      -John Maynard Keynes

      by Dragonchild on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:57:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Energy Is HUGE in CO (4.00)
      Early voting lines are out the door in Dem strongholds.  It is going to be about voter turnout, voter turnout, voter turnout.

      It will be close, no doubt, but you have to believe this will be the best steal in the nation.

      •  I'll second that (none)
        Energy is huge out here in CO.  At least in downtown Denver.

        I did the early vote thing last Sat.  Stood in line for nearly an hour in a part of Denver that will go heavily for Kerry.  I live in the city (Capital Hill for any who know Denver).  This area is awash with Kerry signs and stickers.  Very few cars with Bush stickers, few enough that they look like they are just passing through.  I've only see one house with a Bush sign, and the more I look at it I'm starting to think it may be part of a Halloween House-of-Horrors type gag.

        I tend to be to the left of the Democrats, and among people I hang out with, everyone has been registering to vote and looking forward to voting Bush out.  Among the same crowd four years ago, a quote that would signify their feelings was "If voting could change things, it would be illegal."  People have been registering voters for two years straight.

        Plus, if I remember correctly, CO was a state where Nader did pretty well last time (I'm thinking around 6% with no numbers to back it up).  This time, no one on the left is voting for Nader.  A recent Denver Post poll showed that where Nader is getting 1% in the polls, its almost all coming from registered Republicans.

        Yes, I'll repeat that for emphasis for the Nader-bashers.  A recent Denver Post poll showed Nader with 1%.  0.0% from registered Democrats, and 1.2% from registered Republicans.

        I voted for Prop 36 (proportional electoral votes).  I wasn't sure how the state would go, and the more I thought about I figured I'd vote for it on principle.  I think the Electoral College should be abolished.  If I can't do that, then doing electoral votes proportionally would be the closest we can get to that.

        But I think CO will surprise people on election day.  Turnout on the left is going to be huge.  Plus, I think the old-school western conservative types aren't real thrilled with Bush.  A pResident who runs up big deficits, goes to war on false pretences and wants to play world policeman isn't exactly what they believe.  Now that they don't have Clinton to hate, I think turnout might be slightly down from that group, and some will vote for Nader or Badnarik.

        CO will be very close on Election Day.  And I think Kerry could very well win it.

        What I keep telling people is a) CO is close, and b) if Bush loses CO, he's gone.  If that message gets around, that by upsetting Bush in CO that we could the be straw that breaks the elephants back and gets Bush out of office, then that adds just that more emphasis to GOTV.

      •  The Force is strong with this one (none)
        I'm a supply judge in Boulder County, and I can tell you this: Early voter turnout has been so phenomenal that they did not have enough ballots left for the supply judges to pick up on Saturday. Instead, our pick-up date was postponed to Sunday.

        Woot for early voting! Hey, does this mean my precinct's polling place will be less of a madhouse on Tuesday? ;)

  •  I'd Recommend No on Proportional (none)
    It seems like a BAD idea overall.  We don't really want to sell 25 CA Electoral Votes every election for 4 this election (and I think we very well may win Colorado).
    •  Well (none)
      They keep pushing the Electoral College as a way of avoiding tyranny of the majority, except right now we have tyranny of the minority.

      Furthermore, one in three voters in the Deep South have almost no voice at all.  How do you think it feels to be a Kerry supporter in Texas?  Might as well use your ballot for toilet paper.  Same goes for a Bush supporter in New York.  So Colorado's initiative makes sense.

      (Yes, this is the same rabid anti-Bible-Belt poster that's been spamming the boards lately.)

      "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"
      -John Maynard Keynes

      by Dragonchild on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:45:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bingo (none)
      If every state simultaneously followed Colorado, that would be a good thing.

      This proposal is a progressive one.  Thus, California Republicans (who are mathematically numerous) along with California idealists could easily pass such a ballot initiative out here.  Easily.

      Then it becomes a matter of game theory - why on earth would Alabama (9) ever voluntarily throw away 3 EVs?  Why would Mississippi (6) ever give away 2 EVs?  Texas (35) - why would it every give away 14 EVs?  Ever?  These proposals would have no chance there because you wouldn't get a majority by getting red state Democrats to link up with "Republican Progressives" insofar as this species doesn't exist.

      So all the red states keep the winner takes all approach and some blue states have a progressive+disenfranchised Republican coalition to chop up the blue states, most notably California.

      I.e., Colorado passing this thing and getting other states such as California to take a good look at it in some misbegotten fantasy that all states will follow suit is totally fucking stupid.

      So it had better fail.

      •  That's not game theory (none)
        That's plain old liberal progressivism vs. wingnut power-grab.  Liberals believe in giving everyone the right to vote; wingnuts will fight like hell to keep power concentrated in the hands of the people who least deserve it.

        The argument is correct, though.  While I believe Californians are generous enough to give their Republicans a voice, no way would any red state follow suit.

        Still, this is Colorado, not California.  Maine, I believe, already splits its EV's.  If you guys are really worried about the "domino theory", I've got a Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to sell you.

        "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"
        -John Maynard Keynes

        by Dragonchild on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 07:04:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maine (none)
          It's not the same thing - it's not proportional.  But it is a similar case.  However, Maine and Nebraska's scheme can be opposed on other grounds; gerrymandering.  Gore won the popular vote last year, but Bush won the congressional districts 239-196.  Congress is gerrymandered out the wazoo in the GOP's favor.
          •  That's right. (none)
            What if Pennsylvania had it set up like Maine/Nebraska?  Kerry could win the state--winning big in eight Congressional "concentrated Dem" districts, and end up with fewer electoral votes than the losing Republican!

            "And I would've got away with it...if it wasn't for that meddling Kos!" --George W. Bush, 11/3/04

            by AdmiralNaismith on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 08:01:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  proportional one for one (none)
        how about an initiative among states that they would only switch to proportional voting if other states did simultaneously so the proportional to the blue-red vote this year? In other words for example my Washington 11 EV's would go proportional as soon as, say, the 11 ev's of combined Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska went proportional. Washington's 11 EV's go to 7 D and 4 R. The other states 11 EV's go to 4 D and 7 R. It's complicated but something like this could go.
  •  Vote for the Proposition, Get Nothing (none)
    The EVs will probably all get thrown out by the SCOTUS.

    Remember all the hue and cry about how the rules have to be set before election day in the GOP briefs for Bush v. Gore?

    They'll be back.

    "I'm voting for the candidate who would flip-flop on sending my son to die, rather than the one who'd do it without hesitation." ~ The Onion

    by JimTXDem on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:47:28 PM PDT

  •  Munger and Game Theory (none)
    Where did you study with Munger?  He's a legend around Duke these days.  -Ben

    Duke University, Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Class of 2007. Go to hell Carolina, go to hell!

    by RangerKeeper on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:47:34 PM PDT

  •  Colorado (none) Spanish is another word for "red".  It can also mean "colored".
    •  colorado (none)
      To agree and amplify, colorado is a legitimate Spanish word in its own right -- my online dictionary defines it as follows:


      1. adj. Que tiene color.

      2. De color más o menos rojo: tienes las mejillas coloradas.

      Roughly translated:
      1. Something that has color.
      2. Of a color more or less red, to have red cheeks
  •  Proportional Electoral Votes... (4.00)
    BAD idea.  Before you know it, this will be all the rage in CA and NY but never see the light of day in TX, the Carolinas, Georgia, or... well, any other red state.  A nationwide basis would be great.. doing away with the EC, even better!  But state-by-state proportionality will kill somebody (and i'm willing to bet it will be us.. with Schwarzenegger's posse throwing the first punch [well, after CO, obviously]).
  •  Not a game theoretician.... (none)
    ... but seldom have I seen a game theoretic model where one actor makes more than one choice simultaneously...

    just saying.

    "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality." I have a blog!

    by Marshall on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:55:00 PM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    I don't know if voting for Amendment 36 is going to be in Kerry's or Colorado's best interests. If it passes, and Kerry wins, there are a few scenarios where it could come back to haunt us. And, regardless of who takes Colorado, it will result in making Colorado politically meaningless, as the Denver Post writes. I know that the Denver Post's editorial board is swayed by the publisher's political agenda, but I agree with them here. Anyways, our GOTV is in full effect here, and I still think we might take this one.
  •  Colorado (none)
    According to my dictionary (Velazquez, 1962) the Spanish meaning of "colorado" is "Ruddy, florid, red." It isn't a butchering of "color red" but rather means "colored" as in "his face was colored (red)" and takes its meaning from blood rushing to the face which is the source of its other meaning "indelicate, smutty." Ponerse colorado means "to blush with shame."

    "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

    by Christopher Day on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:55:15 PM PDT

  •  Etymology of "colorado" (4.00)
    Colorado is actually a legit Spanish word, not a corruption, meaning a rusty shade of red:

    •  "Colorado" is legit, you are right (none)
      Thanks for pointing it out. We use that word constantly in the Spanish Caribbean.

      Let's call them by their correct name: fascists!

      by hidalgo on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:43:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um (none)
      I think he meant that the current pronunciation is corrupted.
      •  But it isn't. (none)
        It doesn't come from "color rojo," it's the past participle of "color." It's the exact Spanish equivalent of the English word "colored." It's not corrupted at all. It's been a word for hundreds of years AFAIK.

        Total nitpick, apropos of nothing, but still. :-)

      •  No (3.50)
        He was obviously unaware of the word. It's a real and common word in all Spanish-speaking countries.

        The state takes its name from the Colorado river which runs south of it, through the Grand Canyon. The river used to be rust-colored before the dams were built, hence the spaniards named it "Colorado". "Rojo", which means red, would imply a bright blood-like color.

        Nevada is also a real Spanish word.

        Florida is also a Spanish word, but in Spanish the accent is on "ri", not on "Flo".

        Ohio is not a Spanish word. It's kind of neat though, and it looks good on scale model trains.

        Unfortunately the comment leaves a certain impression that Tom doesn't like Colorado. I like it. It has a turbulence near the airport, and I like turbulence.

        Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States.

        by M Aurelius on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 10:02:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No on 36 (4.00)
    I'm working hard for all 9 electoral votes and will settle for nothing less.
    •  Yes, (4.00)
      and so are Kerry, Edwards, Teresa, Elizabeth, Wes, etc.  They all say they want 9 votes.  They've been campaigning here recently like crazy.  DNC is still advertising on TV as is MoveOn.

      I am voting no on the amendment.

      I don't too much appreciate the original front page post.

      Independents lean Dem?
      Many Republicans are voting for Kerry.

      It still may be close, but I'm sure not ready to say "Kerry will probably lose, let's get him 4EVs."

      •  I'm with you. (4.00)
        Vote no on the amendment.  Not only will it get tossed by the Supremes (in my opinion), but the long term trend for Colorado is probably STILL going to be Democratic, despite what the recent stats say.

        There are a heck of a lot of registered Republicans here that vote Dem.  A LOT.  I'm not willing to give up on the 9 EVs, either.  Interesting front page post, but my gut says no.


    •  And what if Shrub (none)
      ends up with all 9, and gets 270 EV's?

      We will wish we had those four EV's from Colorado.  

      I say vote for the proportional distribution.  

      Then again, I don't live in Colorado.  What the hell do I know.

  •  What is the outlook for Conti? (none)


    Can any one of them win?

    If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

    by Mimikatz on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 05:59:34 PM PDT

  •  Vote for the proportional representation in EC (none)
    Doing so guarantees JK 4 EV's.  

    A bird in the hand is worth two in a word that is forbidden on this site without the word "fuck" in front.  

    I gotta believe that the proportional representation initiative will pass; anyone seen polling on it?  

    BTW this changes the CW on the EV total.  Schneider on CNN gave JK 250 EV's today, thinking that JK needed Wisc and Minn to win (I think those are gimme's anyway; Kerry win will these.)  But the 4 EV's in CO means he could win Iowa and still lose either Wisconsin or Minnesota.  

    Finally, I think Bush's play in Michigan and Minnesota over the last weekend smells of desperation.  He must think he is going to lose Penn and either Ohio or Fla.  

    Lots of interesting scenarios (haven't even talked about Arkansas!), but the R's seems scared.  

  •  Kerry wins ├žolorado (4.00)
    I have to call it for Kerry here. Never have I seen so much energy and optimism for a Dem. candidate.He is so winning the bumper sticker and yard sign war. Even when you see Coors and local county commisioner signs you do not see a Bush sign. I think they are embarrassed to put them up. Even in Colorado Springs heart of the Right wing there are lots of Kerry signs and Denver is overwhelmingly for Kerry. Remember that Colorado has a rich tradition of Demms, Roy Romer was gov. before our present loser.. .And in my county in a rural vacation area the repubs have no Bush momentum and we have a serious GOTV here.Yes the eastern plains go for Bush, but we give Kerry 9 EVs.
    •  CB Senator, (none)
      Isn't Colorado home to a strong evangelical population?  I have to believe that they are motivated and pushing the party line pretty hard for the other guy.  And a large military presence... even though JK has made inroads here, aren't they still solidly Repub?

      Just trying to sort it out.  

      I want to believe, I really do!

      •  That's what scares me (none)
        There's a HUGE religious right-wing movement in Colorado Springs, which is also home to Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, and NORAD. I'm a third-generation Colorado native, and I've been amazed at the changes in the past 10 years. I moved away from from Colorado in 1994. When I left we had a Democratic governor and Ben Knighthorse-Campbell was a Democrat. I came back seven years later to find this big religious right movement, a Republican governor, and a state that voted for Bush in 2000.

        I feel a bit more optimistic this election, though. I do think there's a movement toward Kerry (at least I hope so!). I registered as independent this time, but I vote Democratic across the board most of the time (with an occasional Libertarian or Green Party vote thrown in).

        I voted for the EC split, BTW. I thought long and hard about it. I'd like to see the EC abolished, and I'm hoping that if Colorado goes for it, it will help momentum for a movement in that direction.

        •  FotF (none)
          There's a HUGE religious right-wing movement in Colorado Springs, which is also home to Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, and NORAD.

          Don't forget Focus On The Family. They have a welcome center and their very own zip code in northern Colorado Springs.

          Ick. "Focus on your own damn family!"

      •  Yes but (none)
        Colorado is also "the new west" . Lots of new voters from across the country looking for a piece of paradise.This group when they are Repub. tend to be enviros, and unaffiliated I believe will swing for Kerry. Also the "valley" is largely hispanic and will come out with 2 Salazars in the race. The spirit I saw in Pueblo last weekend with 12,000 cheering folks screaming Kerry has me thinking we can do it. I have never seen our base so excited and the repubs I know, not evangelicals, are voting Kery or just disgusted.Yes we have the Christian right but we also have "right thinking here".
    •  Colorado Springs (none)
      I am in Colorado Springs, and it's true - lots of Kerry signs here.  I mean, of course we are still outnumbered, but there is more support for Kerry than one would expect.  I am leaning towards voting No on 36.  It appears to be headed for defeat anyway.    
    •  Not to mention Richard Lamm ... (none)
      ...and two leftish Senators, Gary Hart and Tim Wirth.

      As we used to say, the eastern plains are the Kansas part of Colorado, and while they are sucking up fossil water out of the Ogallalla Aquifer faster than it can be replenished, you can't count on them to go blue on election day.

      Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:44:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tim Wirth (none)
        was the prep school roommate of (the late Sen.) Jack Heinz, Teresa's first husband, and they remained lifelong friends.  Wren Wirth & Teresa are still extremely tight--they were mugged together on the street in New York a couple years ago.
    •  I've been working in the Ft Collins office... (none)
      ... and things seem to be overwhelmingly on our side.  I'm seeing five Kerry signs/bumper stickers to those for Bush.  And... when I've gone door knocking I've found that Kerry supporters seem to feel the world hinges on this election, and Bush supporters seem kinda sheepish.  
         Although this is the first campaign I've worked on, my gut feeling is that Kerry is gonna take it.  Handily.
  •  No (none)
    I voted today, in JeffCo, the place was packed. It took about an hour to get through the line. I still think Kerry's going to win CO, and I hope it gives Owens and aneurysm. Even if we can't pull it off - we got the bastards worried. That pleases me.

    I also think Amendment 36 will fail, which is good for my state. I'm in no hurry to fling what little clout my state has onto a sword, before all states are ready to tackle electoral reform together.

    •  This Election? (none)
      When the smoke clears, it will be interesting to see who was right; the poll-watching, number-crunching poly-sci types, or those of us who have a direct link to the cosmic vibe and are basing our electoral hopes on the way the situation feels at the moment.  I live in upstate NY, in a GOP-dominated political backwater, but Kerry signs and bumper stickers outnumber Bush at least 3 to 1.  I'm sensing enormous momentum, and would bet my last nickel that we are going to win this- IF the votes get counted properly.
      •  A lot of CO (none)
        is actually pretty similar to upstate NY, politically - so I understand where you're coming from. I think we've got this one too. I'll keep my fingers we're right to trust our own eyes, ears and instincts, rather than wildly erratic polls, this year.
      •  Yes.. (4.00)
        It's strange, but I too feel this way.  And it's not as if we've NEVER gone blue...

        I WANT to be part of The Tsunami!!! my husband is Getting Out The Vote on Saturday, and I will be working on Monday AND Tuesday.  We canvassed last weekend, BOTH days AND got a friend to go along last week and this Saturday.

        We gotta turn CO blue!!!!

      •  Great Question (none)
        When the smoke clears, it will be interesting to see who was right; the poll-watching, number-crunching poly-sci types, or those of us who have a direct link to the cosmic vibe and are basing our electoral hopes on the way the situation feels at the moment.

        I wonder this myself.  And of course, I like to think it's though of us who can just feel it.

        The road to hell is paved with Good Intentions.

        by JenAtlanta on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 07:04:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you! (none)
      I'm in Jeffco too.  Voted early Tuesday at the motor vehicles on 20th and Wadsworth.  Small line!

      I hear everyday there are very long lines at Belmar Library, and other places.

      Talked to 3 Kerry supporters today who said they drove by to vote today and the line was long, so they kept on going!  Makes me ill!  I begged them to do it tomorrow no matter what!  Otherwise they'll have no choice but their polling place on Nov. 2, long lines expected.  These are super-supporters and they are being discouraged by lines.

      Thank you for hanging in there, standing in line, and getting it done!

      •  Suggestion-go early (none)
        I stood in a 10 minute line yesterday, that was around 9:00 a.m. in Adams County at 120th and Pecos.  From what the election officials said when they open there's very few people, so if folks can get out there when they open at 7:00 a.m., there is less likelihood of a line.  Lines after 5:00 p.m. are the longest of the least at that Adams County office.
      •  My goodness (none)
        That's the very same early voting site I used, and it was packed to the rafters today.

        Those poor people helping run the show were working their tails off, bless their hearts. People were getting cranky with them, but what can they do? I vowed, as I was standing there, that I would volunteer to help do that from now on.

        I'll tell you one thing, being a hardcore supporter of Kerry's now (after the hand off from Clark) has made a more thoughtful neighbor of me. I've got the bumper sticker on the car, a campaign button I wear out, and signs on my lawn (corner lot - two streets to show off my Democratic hopefuls!). I don't ever want to get caught doing something that would speak ill of the candidates I support.  And my lawn looks better than it has in years! ;)

        I feel really good about Kerry's chances here, I really do.

        •  Yes... (none)
          with my Kerry bumper sticker I'm an even more considerate driver than usual.
        •  hahaha (none)
          Yes, keep that lawn up! :)  Me too on everything - Even Wes Clark! :)  He has really been General Smackdown lately!

          I actually volunteered, although late, to be an election judge, and they didn't call me!  Like they have enough!  It bothered my at first, but now I am signed up with MoveOn and am getting out the vote - which I now think is more important, and I'll be working with Election protection too.  So now I'm glad they didn't call me!

      •  I voted yesterday in Fort Collins. (none)
        I only had to wait about 10 minutes, and I went during my lunch hour. Three members of my family have already voted. The GOTV momentum is really strong here.
  •  Bad idea (none)
    The problem is that if this passes and Bush wins Colorado, the SCOTUS will toss it out because "Each state shall appoint, in a manner as the Legislature therof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." since it isn't the legislature choosing the method.

    If Kerry wins Colorado and the prop passes, the SCOTUS will uphold it as the legislature delegated that responsibility to the electorate via the referendum procedure.  It's lose-lose with the SCOTUS, as we found out in 2000.

    Also, if this does pass and it isn't challenged (because the electors don't end up making a difference) there will be a similar proposition on the ballot in California.  And they'll time it so it comes up in an election with low turnout so it has a chance to pass.  And that will mean about 24 electoral votes will switch from Blue to Red, permanently.  Californian Republicans are already floating trial balloons on this.

    It just isn't a good idea.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .

    by LeftCoastTimm on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:05:03 PM PDT

    •  You're scaring me. (none)
      Now I won't be able to sleep at night.  

      This sounds pretty plausible, and Rovian.  Can't believe they didn't think of it already.

      I guess we could do the same in Texas, couldn't we?  

      If every state did it we would have a real mess.  

  •  disagree (none)
    I personally think this is a short-sighted idea. Plenty of reasons why it's unwise have been all over Kos (with some good insight from Colorado Luis) for months. I voted against it.
  •  Very detailed Colorado dkos diary (link) (none)

    It's a month old, but still relevant (I think).

  •  hmm. (none)
    My cousin voted in Pueblo on Monday.  6,000 people had already voted before her.
  •  Some other things to consider (4.00)
    Not all Republicans are voting for Bush this time around, while I doubt that very few Democrats would vote for Bush.  Most, like me, really despise the man.  He's someone I would not like even if he weren't the president...I never understood his ratings on the likeability scale at all.  As for Independents, I'm a registered I, but I always vote for the Democratic candidate.

    As for our fair state, all I can say is: in 2000, there seemed to be Bush bumper stickers galore.  Now, while there are some, they're more rare.  And I've seen some really wacko ones with Petrouka - next to skull that says "UN is your enemy", another that said "U.S. out of U.N.", etc.  All on one truck, guess that guy's making a statement. I thought: "Great! Go vote for that guy."  I've seen at least one other car with homemade posters of Kerry and "Unfit for Command" plastered all over the metro area, not some small rural farming community.

    The Constitution Party-the 3rd largest party in the U.S., with more registered voters than the Greens or Libertarians (?).  Petrouka calls for ending abortion( the blogger saying: "really end it", for whatever that means-pretty ridiculous since history indicates that making something illegal doesn't "end" it).  Pulling troops out of Iraq (yup, good idea).  With an agenda like this, this guy could pick up some numbers...I'm really glad they live in CO this year.  This might really help us in the end, in the same way Nadar hurts our numbers.

    •  Those anti-UN guys have a long ... (none)
      ...history in Colorado. Well before rightwing militias got so much press a while back, Colorado was home to several platoons of Minutemen, some of them ex-Klansmen, eager to take on the commies as seen in Red Dawn, but biding their time with threatening verbal attacks on Earl Warren and anybody to the left of their John Birch allies.

      Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well (4.00)
    Tom I appreciate your input on this issue but I have to disagree.

    This issue does not affect just this election.  This provision is to modify the state's consitution to distribute electors for all elections from here on out.  I don't believe it is in the best interest of Colorado for this povision to pass regardless of who wins or loses this year.  What you are asking is that we give away any national level relevance not just for this election, but for every presidential election that follows.  That is too much to ask for. Therefore I will be voting "nay".

    This election is going to be a winner take all.  But we have to think beyond this election. Colorado has the potential of turning blue in years to come but that potential will be wasted if we pass this ammendment.  And we might find we need that potential much later in the future.  Don't piss it away for a possible short term gain.

  •  Plus (none)
    If Kerry had even hinted at giving up on CO I might, MIGHT, look at it differently.  But, he and the Dems are working hard here - they think they have a REAL chance or they wouldn't be doing this.  Mrs. Edwards has even been here very recently, and the 9/11 widows are scheduled, or have been here recently, plus a group of Generals swung by recently.  (And of course K/E et al.)Plus the advertising I mentioned in a previous post.

    How are we to have confidence and visualize winning if we vote yes on this amendment?  My confidence votes NO.

    I did not go to the polls with a defeatist attitude.

  •  I disagree..... (4.00)
    I am voting for Kerry and against the proportional elector initiative. Heres why:
    I cannot bring myself to vote for the initiative based on this one election....I hafta vote against it on principle. And that is until the ret of the country reforms the way we elect our President and toss out the electoral college then this is a BAD IDEA for Coloradans. Now we could even fight over the electoral college as there are some god reasons to keep the electoral college.....but that is for another day.
    For today I cannot vote for the initiative on the ballot regardless of how it may (or may not) be beneficial to Kerry at this ONE point in time. Furthermore I must add that I truly believe that Kerry is going to carry Colorado...and thi has been ignored in the media and all the discussions I have seen about the electoral map today.
  •  36 (none)
    I voted yes on 36.  I debated long and hard, having read many of the opinions on these pages.  Typically, I won't vote for an Amendment that guarantees litigation.  I just, in the end, feel it is the most just result, no matter the state, more like one person one vote.  As long as we have the electoral college, proportional voting is more representative of a population's wishes than winner-take-all.  I also deeply distrust this state to ever go in the majority for a Dem, so I feel like the present system unduly minimizes my vote for President.
    •  Thats all well and good..... (none)
      But unless the resy of the country is going to do it that way all you have reallyh done is marginnalize Colorado and make Colorado absolutely irrelevant since the only real battle will be for 1 electoral vote (who gets the 5 and who gets the 4).....Yho measure simply renders Colorado impotent :)
    •  BTW (none)
      Colorado went with Clinton in 92' and 96"
      •  Not to be picky (none)
        But in '96:
        "COLORADO -- 8 electoral votes cast for Bob Dole and Jack Kemp
        691,848 popular votes cast for Bob Dole and Jack Kemp
        Population, 1990 census, 3,294,394"

        In '92 the state did support Clinton, but only by a plurality because Perot (!) got a riduculous percentage of the vote (like 5 or something).

        My adopted state has real red streak.  I live in a very blue area, but we're insulated.

  •  I voted today (4.00)
    +1 Kerry
    +1 Salazar
    +1 Udall
    -1 Amendment 36

    9 EV for Kerry!!

    "I'm driving in my car, I'm doing nothing. I don't know where it's going to end up." - Cpl Tyson Johnson III

    by Blue the Wild Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:34:32 PM PDT

  •  Might want to review your game theory (4.00)
    While hedging might be a reasonable strategy in single person decision theory, a game theoretical treatment would almost certainly focus on the correlation between Kerry winning and the proposition passing. Since it is expected to be a Bush state, certainly Rep voters won't want to water down their votes by supporting the amendment, so its only chance of passing is if Dem turnout is very high, in which case Kerry likely wins the state and all the electoral votes.

    Vote no

  •  No on 36! (none)
    I agree with the other CO posters here...I live in Denver, work in Boulder, and I can feel it...Kerry is gonna take this state. I know many Republicans, and most of them are voting for Kerry. Even the ones I never thought would vote for him. It's in the air, Kerry signs everywhere, and not to mention the huge Latino population here. I see signs all over saying "I'm Latino, and I vote" with Kerry signs in their yards.

    CO is Kerry's.

    And the Republicans are worried. A new tv ad tells voters not to listen to the "Denver and Boulder radical Liberals". But they don't get it. The average person out there is sick of all the BS this administration is handing out, and they want change.

    So voting yes on 36 is a bad idea. We need to go for it, and ALL of it.

    Vote no on 36. Winner take all. Kerry take all. The only way to do it this time around.

  •  No on 36 (none)
    From a discussion I had on another board:

    I don't know, like everything else in this damned election there is no sure thing, and Nov 2/3 are gonna be a Big Scary Surprise party. Conventional Wisdom (ok, mine) states that it isn't going to pass. No one, other than the League of Women Voters, seems to be endorsing it. No one I have spoken to is going to vote for it.

    We currently have 9 electoral votes, not a lot, but a healthy amount. If 36 passes, those 9 will be split between the candidates. Historically, while Colorado is generally red, it's a pretty close call. Denver metro and Boulder are blue, the Springs and the rural areas are red. Look at the recent polls out of Colorado -- taking the margin of error into account, we are nearly split Kerry/Bush.

    We've had both Candidates over for rallies and speeches a few times this year, and we are inundated with ads, GOTV volunteers, and activists of all stripes. All for our 9 EC votes.

    If 36 passes, and Colorado remains evenly split, we are talking about 1 electoral vote up for grabs. Are candidates going to spend the time, effort, energy, or money on that one vote that gives them 5 EC votes over 4? I doubt it.

    After the election, the states that helped get the candidate elected are smiled upon with further visits and good feelings. I don't know if this creates revenue, but I would think so.

    As for the legality of 36, as I said to Stankow, we may have an issue. Had this been proposed in 2002, it may have passed legal muster. As it is being proposed during a general -- and Presidential -- election, that makes it "retroactive". You better believe that which ever side gets the 4 EC votes, especially if the national race is close, is going to contest it HARD. I have heard some talk that non-partisan groups will contest it as well for this very reason. If it passes, my crystal ball says that Colorado will hold up the election process as it sends this around to higher and higher courts.

    Is 36 a good idea proposed at a bad time? I think so. If all the kids were doing it at the same time, and during mid-term election, it might be a good idea, IMO. But keep in mind, I'm not overly fond of the EC in general. At this time, and in only one state, I think its a terrible idea.

    That's just my .02.

  •  asdf (none)
    We cannot give up on Colorado.
    I have been canvassing every weekend and let me tell you, we are going at this full force. Never before have I, or so many other volunteers, seen such enthusiasm to vote and never before have we seen such a consolidated base of Democrats.
    All of the Democratic candidates, to my knowledge, have strong support and for once have a good chance of throwing out the Republican trash that is running our state.
    In terms of our street game...well, our volunteers are pulling full time shifts and doing all that is humanly possiible to ensure that we will in fact turn this red state blue come November 2nd.

    Kerry/Edwards: Bringing complete sentences back to the White House. [[No Child Left Behind, no teacher left standing.]]

    by TheIceQueen on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:52:35 PM PDT

  •  Colorado 36 (none)
    I would love to get away with electoral college and see a direct vote for president, which is about equivalent to amendment 36 passing in EVERY state.

    As it is, I will vote against 36 on Nov 2.

    Our strength is in big cities (except a few, like Colorado Springs, where I live :-). So, a direct vote for pres. would benefit dems big time.

    Go Kerry!

  •  I Already Voted Against (none)
    This state is rapidly becoming an economic disaster area.  The state government has been slashed to pieces and the Republican legislature is fiddling while it burns.  Even if Colorado is out of reach for Kerry (which I don't believe), I agree with the post above that you don't want to hurt yourself forever to achieve a short-term gain.  This will be a Democratic state sooner rather than later.

    And Remember, just because people register Republican, they aren't necessarily going to vote Bush [Think military personnel on Springs army bases, for example].

    I think responsible Republicans are going to turn what would have been a solid victory for Kerry next Tuesday into a Kerry landslide.


    "Without George Bush, who will America's school children have to look down on?" - Bill Maher

    by JR Monsterfodder on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 06:56:36 PM PDT

  •  The New West (none)
    I am a Denver resident and have high hopes that Colorado will be blue next Tuesday.  As many in this thread have already noted, Denver is an ocean of Kerry/Edwards signs with the occasional Bush sign the exception.  The K/E campaign here is, like it is nationwide, an organic, grassroots, self directed phenom driven by an incredibly positive vibe.  The Bush campaign can't even begin to match it.  The spirit of democracy lives in the K/E campaign; the spirit of Mordor hangs over the BC efforts.  

    I truly think Colorado could go blue, and the door to door GOTV I've done has only confirmed that.

    I get excited when I think about the possibility of Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico all going blue.  Together, they have enough EVs (19) to be a significant force. Even more, it would be a historic turning point in the red swath that has dominated the Rocky Mountain States for nearly a generation.  The possibilities are staggering for a progressive future.  

    So I say NO on 36.  It's a bad idea that is running against the current we are in.  

  •  battleground in-laws: chalk up 2 more for Kerry (none)
    In-laws are registered 1 in Denver, 1 in NV; have been talking the apathy line all year ("disgusted with the whole thing; what difference does it make" etc etc).  Wife and I've been applying long-distance leverage from CA, including a mailing of DVDs (Going Upriver, Fahrenheit 911, OutFoxed, and the debates).

    Last night we heard on the phone: they voted early for Kerry (+ Salazar/Reid)!  FIL voted for the CO EC initiative too, (I have my doubts about that one even if it does help Kerry.) My own parents are voting for K/E in West MI and are volunteering as pollworkers, but they didn't need arm-twisting.

    "But, Saddam was a THREAT!" That's our refrain. Ask us again, and we'll tell you the same!

    by turbonium on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 07:02:14 PM PDT

  •  Theory or hunch? (none)
    OK, so you're a game theory expert, but your prediction still comes down to tea-leaf reading. Game theory, as its practitioners well know, is a logic system that calculates rewards based on strategies. The risks and rewards in this case, however, are derived from empirical data--here "hunches" or polling data. (Lies, damn lies, and polling data)
    If it passes and Kerry wins, it will cost him four electors. But if Kerry loses, as is my hunch, ballot passage still guarantees the senator four more electors than Gore won in 2000.

    Is 'hunch' a technical game theory term? Didn't think so.

    Bottom line -- there are plenty of scenarios where this games out several different ways (especially keeping in mind a tie at 269 goes to Bush). Until you have more certainty about the risk/reward than this, it's not possible to say which way is actually better for Kerry, and it's no more logical than any other prognostication.

    Sail on, sail on, o mighty Ship of State!
    To the Shores of Need
    Past the Reefs of Greed
    Through the Squalls of Hate.

    by Attorney at Arms on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 07:22:56 PM PDT

  •  We'll take Colorado (none)
    Looking at proportions of registered voters is a fundamentally flawed approach.  Since only 51% of registered voters usually show up, there is a huge reservoir of unlikely voters available to either side.  These voters are more easily motivated by  anger than idealism or even affection.  And we are pissed.  

    I think that the "other" catagory will break our way decisively.  But more important, the "other" and "Democratic" voters are going to turn out in unprecedented fractions.  The Republican voters are demoralized and will not vote in any higher than normal fractions.  That makes the sort of  calculation done in this analysis meaningless.  

    I also think that voting for this amendment is foolish.  first, because I think we are going to win and second because I think that this sort of change needs to be done nationally, not one state at a time.  It is also unfair to change the rules in the middle of the game.  Kerry will take Colorado, and it won't have a damn thing to do with Ken Salazar.

    It will be close because the points made in this piece.  Otherwise it would be a blowout.

  •  Voted yes Kerry, No on 36 (none)
    Same reasons as many others -- don't want to unilaterally disarm.

    Bush was here two days ago and may be coming back, so clearly they don't think it is wrapped up.  Lots of energy in Denver, and even in Arapahoe in the wealthier burbs, lots of K-E signs and stickers.

    I think Bush coming here multiple times is probably like Kerry going to Minnesota -- he doesn't want to play defense but clearly this is reasonably close.

    My take, though, is that if Colorado goes blue, it will mean that most or all of the swing states are going blue.  Hard to see Colorado going blue while the midwest goes red.

    By the way, when I voted at a Safeway last Saturday, there was a Kerry rally (with permit) in the parking lot.  Pissed off Repubs were pacing the distance from the rally to the door and be-atching up a storm.  But no go:  official measurement was 104 feet and therefore a legal distance from the polls.  Boy were they pissed.

  •  What if EVs were allocated by # legislators? (none)
    Each state could do this, if there was a Constitutional amendment.

    Instead of winner take all, each states' electors would be allocated the way Maine & Nebraska do it.

    If we did this in a Constitutional amendment, it would overcome the piecemeal problems, and all states would change to this system simultaneously.

    •  That would *really* mess things up (none)
      since everything would hang on the gerrymander of the districts.  And between partisan gerrymanders (and the Voting Rights Act, as amended) maxing out "majority-minority" districts in the South, the Electoral College results would permanently diverge from the popular vote totals.

      We'd have: not a national election by majority vote, nor the (present) 51 separate elections, but something like 436 separate elections.  And those who got to draw the lines of those districts would determine who has the advantage in presidential contests.  Right now that favors the Republicans.

      And wherever the R's are not so presently favored, they could re-draw the lines to their advantage whenever and wherever they got total control of a state's government.  As they have done in Texas and in other states recently. They're not waiting for "once every 10 years" anymore, as I am sure you have noticed.

  •  Vote no because it's a fucking stupid idea. (none)
    As I have said many, many times before, proportional allocation is a fucking stupid idea.  Absolutely fucking stupid.  It does nothing to remedy the problem of the electoral college - that the winner of the electoral college need not win the popular vote - and if implemented in blue states more than red, as is most likely, it would ensure a permanent Republican majority in the electoral college.

    Do you want that?  Then vote yes on 36.  Otherwise, come to your fucking senses and vote no.

    Furthemore, even from a short-term cynical perspective, this amendment will do absolutely nothing for Kerry.  It seems very, very unlikely that if it passes, it will apply to this election.  

    There you have it.  Long term, it at best does nothing, and at worst fucks Democrats.  Short term, it does nothing.  So my
    "strategic recommendation" to vote against getting nothing in the short term and possibly getting fucked in the long term, i. e., VOTE NO.

  •  Here's my take on the amendment (none)
    Let's say the Republicans all think they are going to win Colorado.  Therefore, it would be logical that all Republicans vote no on the amendment.  If all Democrats vote yes on it, and all Democrats vote for Kerry and all Republicans vote for Bush, if Bush wins the state, the amendment will fail, so Bush gets all nine votes.  But, if Kerry wins the state, the amendment will pass, and he will only get five votes.

    Vote no on the amendment.

    •  why I hate Republicans (none)
      One reason I can't stand Republicans is that they take this attitude that the only thing that matters is winning.

      And in general, for the last decade or so that's also why I only vote for Democrats in cases of extreme emergency, like this year.

      This whole discussion shows me exactly what is wrong with both parties.  The only thing that counts to either party is winning.  To me its sad to think that if the polls suddenly showed Bush up by 10 percentage points, everyone on this board would suddenly be saying to vote Yes on 36.

      As long as the Democrats act like that, then I'm only a Democrat in times of emergency.

      And this is someone who just got home from doing GOTV work for the Kerry campaign.

      Vote Yes on 36 because its the right thing to do.  We should completely get rid of the Electoral College.  If we can somewhat get rid of it in CO by splitting our votes based on how many votes each candidate gets, then that's the right thing to do.

      Plus, I'm dreaming the Greens can get 1 EV from CO next time, and the rest of the nation ties 269-269.  Then I get to laugh my @$$ off watching the Democrats crawl back to the Green Party and try to take back every nasty thing that's been said about the Greens and Nader from the last four years.

      And if you are going to flame me, you better be alongside me doing nothing but GOTV work for Kerry from now to election day, because that's what the person you're flaming is doing.

  •  The registrations may not be as important as (none)
    one might think.  I live in rural Colorado, where farmer/Christian Republicans seem to wield the most influence in the community.

    One thing that several friends and acquaintances whom I've talked to have done is to register Republican, even though they definitely will be voting Dem.  The reason for this is simple: so they can vote in the primaries and have a choice in the candidates (since they take it for granted that the Republican will win).  It's even gone so far in our community that some who run for office, who would normally run Dem, run Republican so they can win.

    So don't be disheartened at the number of registrations for each party - I personally think it's meaningless, at least in our neck of the woods.

    •  registration (none)
      Yes, CO is a state where you must vote in the primary for the party you are registered in.

      For example, I'm basically a Green who's registered as Democrat so I can vote in the primaries.

      I'm quite sure that in much of CO, if you registered as a Democrat, you'd basically have zero say in your local elections as they are largely decided in the Republican primaries.

      •  Boulder isn't much of CO. (none)
        I'm quite sure that in much of CO, if you registered as a Democrat, you'd basically have zero say in your local elections as they are largely decided in the Republican primaries.

        It probably goes without saying that Boulder is not to be considered subject to this generalization. :) I switched from Unaffiliated to Democrat in time to have a say in the Presidential primaries (Kucinich) and the Senatorial primaries (Miles), and discovered the pleasant side-effect of having a say in the County Commissioner race. The County Commissioners have been overwhelmingly Democratics since I moved here, so I'm pleased to know my voice as a delagate in the county's primary processes did not just fall into a black hole.

  •  not farmer, rancher, sorry. (none)
  •  As a former resident (none)
    I still keep an eye on what's going on there. I grew up near Arapahoe HS.  Anyway, Electoral-Vote has CO as barely Kerry with a 50%/46% split based on Zogby Oct 27.  I would love to be there to help GOTV around the ole homestead.  Those there keep up the good work, you're being very effective considering COs been red for such a long time.  Concerning Prop 36 I'm not so sure its a good idea.  Seems that it would dilute the power of your 9 EVs.
  •  Any Constitutional Lawyers in KOSovo? (none)
    I am not a lawyer, but common sense is part of my job (of a mathematician). And here is how I see Colorado ammendment 36:

    Assume 36 passes -- it will pass after the polls close, right?

    But then its application to the presidential election-2004 would be retroactive, right?

    Then whoever loses Colorado election, Bush (I hope) or Kerry, will have the court overturn the applicability of 36 to this 2004 election.

    Lawyers: am I right?


  •  Coloradan here... (none)
    I'm in a unique position to observe what's going on in Colorado. I've lived in this state -- pretty much my whole life -- in Larimer County mostly. I've lived a short time in Denver, Boulder, and recently moved to Pueblo, in the southern part of the state.
    Larimer County has grown so much in the last 10 years, and the new residents are primarily Republican. This is the area that's been touted as the number one spot for wealthy retirees. You see a lot of BC04 bumper stickers and yard signs in Fort Collins and Loveland. Marilyn Musgrave is from eastern Colorado, but they love her in Larimer County too, Stan Matsunaka nothwithstanding.
    Denver -- the city, not necessarily the county -- was solidly Democratic for years, but I think with the gentrification of the city that came with urban improvements that Wellington Webb -- ironically a Democrat -- made, the city has leaned more Republican lately.
    Boulder is split evenly, more so than ever, with new-age Democrats who profess to care about the community's token homeless people, and the rich Republicans who only care that they've got their beautiful homes and rush to institute growth caps. A town could not be more psychophrenic.
    Now I live in Pueblo, the sole remaining true Democratic stronghold in Colorado. But it's like it's a different state entirely here. Southern Coloradans are hostile to the Front Range cities to the north with their exploding populations and an eye on the water here that's already in short supply. As long as developers don't come into Pueblo and drive off the lingering working-man attitude that allowed unions to flourish in the manufacturing industry here, Pueblo will remain heavily Democratic. Kerry/Edwards signs are prevalent here.
    The city, though, wants to draw more high tech work -- the early affects are the burgeoning area called Pueblo West. (Interesting fact: Pueblo has a population that's 44% Hispanic; just up the road in Pueblo West the rate drops to 28%. I'll be watching the voting results here by precinct, you betcha.)
    The western part of the state is a whole 'nother world unto itself. Referendum A (a pet project of Governor Owens -- a favorite in the Bush administration), which went down in defeat in 2002, was a wholesale theft of western-slope water earmarked for the Front Range. It's an area that's traditionally been Republican, but with the struggles of disaffected, underemployed workers and pissed off ranchers and farmers who have seen the current administration come after their mineral and water rights, the political spectrum there may eventually change.
    Colorado's real troubles are just beginning, but they're all based on out-of-control deveopment and a lack of water. It's an issue that looks like it may split along party lines and change the way politics is conducted in Colorado.  
    We've been having our own redistricting battles here. They don't quite compare in dramatics to what's been going on in Texas, but it's almost as bad.
    Ken Salazar, and his brother John who's running for Congress in Colorado's 3rd District, are monied ranchers and water is an issue that's being talked about in their campaigns. The fact that Ken Salazar is a Democrat seems almost inconsequental in many parts of the state.
    That the race between Salazar and Coors has been as close as it is is a perfect example of politics today in Colorado. Long-time Coloradans don't have much truck with the Coors family and their beer is not as popular here as you might think. But the "new Coloradans," who probably wouldn't be caught dead drinking Coors beer, think good-old-boy Pete will look out for their interests: gated communities with a plentiful water supply and good roads through the mountains to their trophy homes at the ski resorts.
    I initially was against Amendment 36, the proportional-electors ballot initiative, but now I'm thinking I'll vote for it. There's got to be some way for the "Have-Nots" to fight back against the "Haves." Maybe it will create a balance of power we so desperately need here in Colorado and the West. Oh, and we Coloradans don't consider California to be part of the West. Many of us think that things were fine here until the great California migration of the 90s, however mistaken that perception might be.

    ... there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. -- Twain

    by FemiNazi on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 01:31:14 AM PDT

  •  one quibble (none)
    "(Keep in mind: "Colorado" is a butchered, Anglicized derivative of the Spanish "color rojo" -- a "red color" reference to the state's famed red rocks...and thus hard to make blue?)"

    A small quibble. Colorado is actually a purely Spanish word and not Anglicized at all. It means "reddish."

  •  I really ... (none)
    ...hate constitutional amendments designed to solve a temporary problem. But I especially hate them when they are counterproductive. I assume that the CO initiative is meant to give CO Dems a permanent portion of the EC. What could be more fair? Actually, what it would do is give the Rs a permanent electoral advantage.

    Wasting political energy on screwball initiatives such as the CO initiative (which has no chance of passage this year btw) is not the way to achieve real electoral reform. Note that the D campaign chairman in CO is totally opposed to it. No sane D politician in CO is for it.

    In the real world, only 24 states have any kind of popular initiative process, and only 16 of those can directly amend their constitutions that way. Leaving 34 states where only the legislatures can amend their constitutions. There is zero, zilch, nada chance of any legislature in those 34 states (with either a right or left majority) voting to give away almost half of their electoral votes to the minority. That would be totally insane. Which is why, of course, the CO legislature voted it down. Which also is why there is zero chance of splitting the electoral college in Texas or most of the rest of the deep south solid red states. The big losers of this kind of electoral college change will be Democrats.

    The 16 states that permit direct initiative amendment are: AZ,AR, CA, CO, FL, IL, MI, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OK, OR, SD. The ballot initiative in CO apportions the EC votes by giving 2 to the popular vote winner and divvying the rest by congressional district, the same way it is done in the 2 states that now apportion their EC votes. This initiative would be meaningless in MT and ND because there is only one congressional district. Assume this initiative were passed in all of the remaining 14 states where it would make a difference. Assuming the popular vote were randomly distributed across all legislative districts (an obviously incorrect assumption), by my reckoning the Rs stand to gain a possible 44 permanent EC votes from solid blue states CA, IL, MI, and OR while giving up only 17 votes from red AZ, AR, CO, MO, NE, NV, and OK, with 21 (FL and OH) in swing states. IOW, a permanent shift of 27 EVs from blue to red.

    But that is a best case scenario.

    It gets much worse. Take AZ for example, where I live. My analysis above assumes the Ds could gain 4  of the 8 congrssional ECs this way. Not so. The Rs have successfully gerrymandered the legislative districts such that 6 of the 8 AZ districts are permanently R and the other 2 are always D. Yet, we just elected a D governor last year because the popular vote is much more evenly divided. Thus, realistically, this amendment would permanently freeze the 8 AZ ECs that are theoretically in play at 6 to 2 in favor of the Rs, with only the 2 others in play. Thus, the Ds would only get 4 out of 10 if they won the state popular vote but the Rs would get 8 out of 10 if they won the state.

    Thank you very much, but I prefer the current arrangement where we have a shot at all of them. Clinton took them all in '96, and Kerry has a shot at them next Tuesday.

    The 800 pound gorilla here is CA, with 55 EC votes, and almost a third of the EC votes that are theoretically in play via apportioned EC. (See the breakdown above) CA is a fundamental foundation of Democratic electoral strength. I am terrified by the thought that there is a very real chance that initiative-happy Californians just might amend their constitution in a fit of temporary insanity, turning almost half of those 55 solid blue EC votes permanently red, thereby insuring a generation or possibly a century of wingnut stranglehold on the presidency.

    Which Kossacks are in favor of that? Certainly not me!

    This fear is very realistic, because California has plenty of history of passing insane constitutional amendments through the initiative process that could never have made it through a sane legislature. Never underestimate the power of big-money media to convince voters to vote against their own best interests. Witness the last 30 years of American politics. If this initiative hits the ballot in CA, who do you think will be financing it?

    In the real world, the only way to achieve meaningful electoral college reform is a US constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college altogether as the 18th century anachronism it is. While we are at it, might as well also get rid of the idiotic two month delay after winning the election to actually taking office. All because it originally took several weeks to assemble all of the electors in one place to vote.

    I can envision sites like DKos playing a leading role in more rational citizen-initiated reform such as that.

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