A Quinnipiac poll published yesterday tells us that Coloradoans oppose recalling two Democratic state senators, while also opposing the gun laws which sparked the recalls.
This is the first polling data I've seen dealing with the "they voted against the will of their constituents" charge the gun nuts have been leveling at Angela Giron of Pueblo, and John Morse of Colorado Springs.
But there's a catch; this is not a poll of the affected senator's districts, it's a poll of all of Colorado. Nonetheless, it contains revealing data.
The local gun nuts, inflamed by Pueblo's local, high-penetration, conservative newspaper, The Pueblo Chieftain, crow constantly that Giron and Morse "did not vote the will of their constituents" when they voted for minor gun measures, such as background checks for private gun sales, requiring the purchaser to pay a $10 fee to cover the cost of their background check, and limiting magazine size to fifteen rounds. Thus, the hyperventilating champions of a sliver of the Bill of Rights scrambled to their nearest Walmart and began poking recall petitions into every shopper's face. At no point, however, have they backed up this claim with data showing what the "will of their constituents" actually is. Now we have a hint, but certainly not a conclusive one.
oppose the gun measures 54-40
R's oppose 89-7
Independents oppose 56-39
D's support 78-16
But Coloradoans also oppose the two recall elections:
Oppose recalling Giron 52-36
Oppose recalling Morse 54-35
Further, Coloradoans believe that, if people disagree w/ how a candidate votes, they should:
Face a special recall 31
Wait until the legislator is up for reelection 60
Thus Coloradoans oppose the legislation in question, but also oppose recalling the state senators for voting for it. If memory serves, this is similar to the problem Democrats had in Wisconsin when attempting to recall Gov. Walker, where the public at large disagreed with his union-busting ways, while also not believing he should be recalled for his efforts.
This puts Colorado Democrats in a tough spot, in terms of principle, when they argue that we shouldn't waste taxpayer money (> 1/4 million in Pueblo County, since they can't do a mail-in election) on a recall that could be settled in a general election. I'll leave others to unwind that ethical pretzel in a different diary.
There are lots of interesting things in this poll that are worthy of attention, especially if you are focused on gun control issues. For example, Coloradoans
Support universal background checks 82-16
Republicans supporting 70-27
That's right, junior debaters, Colorado Republicans support background checks for all gun purchases by almost 3 to 1!
That's an NRA facial, right there.
Back to the central issue of this diary, this poll covers all of Colorado, not the state senate districts that will be voting on the recall. So we still do not know the "will of their constituents". Pueblo is one of the three bluest places in Colorado, but Pueblo West, a taxation flight suburb, which is also in Giron's district, is redder, albeit much smaller.
Morse is in Colorado Springs, so red you can barely see it without infrared goggles, but his state senate district is somewhat blue (and lonely...). The Colorado numbers in this poll are thus not representative of the districts that will actually be voting. So we still do not know what is going on where it matters.
Most importantly, every freakin' gun totin' Yosemite Sam in both those districts has a calendar on their bathroom mirror, and every morning they wake up and put a big red Crayola "X" on yet another day that has passed, putting them one step closer to that glorious dawn, when they can get in their gun rack sportin', truck nuts danglin', Dodge pick'em'up, drive die-rect-lee to their, wait. Where do I go to vote again? Let me call Hubert...Oh, ok, turn left at the Dollar Gen'ral, ok, got it, and then proudly and vehemently cast their ballot to kick out That Damn Librul!!! YEEEEEEHAWWW M-FERRRS!!!
In short, every gunster will vote, no matter what. Every single one.
Now, contrast that with the Independents, and a lot of Democrats, who are like, "What's the big deal? I thought those gun laws were just common sense."
"What's the big deal?" doesn't vote!
Gun nuts vs "What's the big deal?" = 2 recalled Democrats
Thus, as in all cases, GOTV is all that matters. Giron and Morse don't need to convince anyone to vote against the recall. They need to convince voters to vote. If normal people vote, the recalls fail. If normal people don't, the NRA, the Chieftain, and every 2nd Amendment hugger across the country are going to shut down any further debate about guns for the next decade, or at least until the next massacre.
These tiny little recall elections are important.
Once again, I will restate my thesis:
A poll of Colorado is great, but it does not tell us what "the will of their constituents" is, and it does not accurately tell us what Giron and Morse are up against.
What is really needed here is polling of registered voters in each of the two affected state senate districts. We need to know whether they support the gun legislation or not (thus settling the "will of their constituent's claim), whether they will vote to recall the Democratic senators or not, and the likelihood that they will actually turn out and vote at all.
If Giron and Morse's campaigns cannot answer these questions, they could be in big trouble. Especially now that the Colorado Supreme Court has forced a polling place election, instead of a mail-in election.
In my opinion, they don't need to attack their opponent(s), they don't need to justify themselves, they don't need to sell themselves, they just need to get regular voters to the polls.
The Democrats could yet again lose an election that they ought to win.
Just a couple of interesting notes from the poll:
Women like gun control. Men don't. I'll let those who want the details go directly to the poll, rather than breaking my "v" key.
Also, the second half of this poll is about Colorado and marijuana. Hempsters, go nuts, you'll like the results. Of note; only 6% of seniors 65+ say they will begin toking when legalization kicks in on New Years Day 2014. Hmm. I guess my efforts at getting my octogenarian mom and her pals on her bowling league to turn on and drop out, will be better spent elsewhere...