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Update at the bottom. 14:05 24 Sep 13

The big fail in Colorado, especially Pueblo, was caused by Democratic cowardice.

Not lack of Democratic turnout. Democratic cowardice.

There was a diary floating around this weekend that is nothing but a Democratic Echo Chamber, ludicrously declaring a huge loss a win, and a very important victory for the NRA to really be a loss for the NRA. Doesn't that make you feel all better?

The Democratic Echo Chamber is dangerous. That is, if Democrats intend to maintain control of Colorado, or the US Congress, or the US Senate.

You do not learn lessons in an echo chamber. (ref: FOXNews viewers)

So let's dispel the Echo Chamber myths about what caused the Pueblo recall fail, and only then can we see what really went wrong. Because if you don't understand what the real fail was, you'll repeat it with both the rollout of Obamacare, and then in 2014.

You don't want to fail in 2014 like you did in 2010, or in Colorado, do you?

Then read on...

Two easily disprovable falsehoods need to be corrected about the Pueblo recall:

  • Falsehood #1: Eliminating the mail-in ballot election and forcing a polling place election suppressed the vote and thus allowed a Republican victory.
  • Falsehood #2: Democrats did not turn out, thus allowing the highly motivated Republicans to turnout and give the NRA an easy win.

First of all, even without a mail-in ballot election, the Pueblo County Clerk (Gilbert Ortiz) did a great job in opening polling places the moment he could get the ballots printed. Then as election day came closer, he opened a bunch of very convenient, well-staffed polling places all over the state senate district.

In fact, 80% of both Democrats and Republicans voted early.

Thus, the opportunity to vote was not the problem. Granted, a mail-in election would have had a somewhat larger turnout, but it would not have altered the outcome of the election.

Second, for every 1 Republican who voted in Giron's district, 1.4 Democrats voted, with only a 20% Unaffiliated turnout. That means that 4,619 more Democrats voted than Republicans.

Yet she lost the recall by 12%, or 4,075 votes.

Thus, Democratic turnout was not the problem, no matter how many times kos, or Giron, or any other well-meaning yet misinformed patriot says so. How big of a turnout do Democrats need if they outvote the Republicans by 1.4 to 1, yet lose by 12 freakin' percent!?!

The problem was Democratic cowardice.

Why was Giron recalled? She voted for gun-related regulations. What issue did Giron's campaign never address? The gun-related regulations that she voted for. Let's look at some of the mailers that her campaign and supporting groups actually did send out:

  • "Extreme Politician George Rivera Supports A Plan To BAN Common Forms of Birth Control!"
  • "IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE... ...a woman who has suffered a miscarriage being questioned by the police like a criminal.

    But that's exactly what George Rivera's plan would do."

  • "GEORGE RIVERA Wants To Take Money Away From OUR Schools To Fund Private Schools In Denver."


  • "This Recall Election Has Real Consequences for Pueblo Families - And YOU Could Cast The Deciding Vote.


I could type up more than 20 of these, but you get the picture. Did her TV ads do anything different? Yes, some of them talked about the great legislation she passed for education. I'm pretty sure there was some stuff in there about cute puppies and kittens, too.

But this recall was about GUN CONTROL!

Were her ads true? Yes. Would they be great for a General election? Yes.

But this was a recall, and it was about GUN CONTROL!

A PPP poll tells us what really happened:

Do you support or oppose requiring
background checks for all gun buyers?

68% Support
27% Oppose
6%   Not sure

Do you support or oppose limiting high-
capacity ammunition magazines to 15 bullets?

47% Support
47% Oppose
6%   Not sure

So of the two main regulations she voted for, one is wildly popular in her district, and one is a freakin' tie. (The others were also significantly popular in a statewide poll that favored red areas.)

But these same respondents said this:

Will you vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the question of
whether Angela Giron should be recalled from
the office of State Senator?

54% Yes
42% No
4%   Not sure

The PPP poll predicted a Giron loss by 12%, dead on.

Huh? Whuh?

So if way more D's voted than R's, and all but one of the regulations she voted for were wildly popular, and the other was a tie, HOW DID SHE LOSE BY 12%???

Look in the crosstabs and it's easy to see why:

Recall Y/N By Party (%)
All Democrat Republican Ind/Other
Yes 54 33 84 59
No 42 63 14 33
Not Sure 4 4 3 8
Giron lost because 1/3 of Democrats voted to fire her.

How many more Democrats would have had to vote in Giron's district to save her? With 33% voting against her?

So let's just put that Democratic Echo Chamber canard about "Democratic turnout" to bed, shall we? No one with the mathematical acumen to see two numbers and correctly pick the big one most of the time should be talking about mail-in ballots or Democratic turnout in reference to Giron's loss, any more, ever again, in any venue.

What cost her the recall, then?

Once again, from the crosstabs:

NRA Favorability By Party (%)
All Democrat Republican Ind/Other
Favorable 53 42 79 43
Unfavorable 33 45 14 31
Not Sure 14 13 7 25
This is easy, obvious, and painful:

NRA Good.
Gun Control Bad.
Giron for Gun Control.
NRA don't like Giron.
Giron BAD.
Fire bad Giron.

"Excuse me, knuckledragging voter..." you might say, "but Angela didn't vote for 'gun control', she voted for some common sense regulations that you pretty much agree with."

"GIRON BAD. GIRON not listen to will of constitchewunts. FIRE GIRON."

And... Giron gets fired.

Half the Democrats in Girons district like the NRA.

Giron lost because her campaign lost the message war.

They lost the message war because they were afraid of standing up for their real message. Giron cast courageous votes. And her campaign was too chicken to even explain what those votes were for, much less what they meant. This allowed the NRA, and the Pueblo Chieftain, and the local gun nuts, to lie with impunity about Giron, her positions, and her votes.

In true cowardly, triangulating Democratic fashion, she ran away from the only issue that mattered, instead of bombing the county with her real message, showing the concerned voters:

  • What she actually voted for.
  • Why she voted for it.
  • What she didn't vote for.

Here's a suggested script:

"Hi, I'm Angela Giron. There's a big ruckus going on about a few laws I voted for relating to guns. Some folks are really upset about those votes, so I'd like to talk with you about one of them.

I voted for a law that requires just about everyone who buys a gun to get a background check, with no easy loopholes to get around it. I just don't believe that convicted violent felons, and legally declared, mentally unstable folks should be able to find a loophole and get a gun without a background check, so I voted to close the loopholes.

I think that's just common sense, making sure that known violent felons can't just go into the parking lot of a gun show and buy a gun out of a dealer's trunk, or buy a gun on Craig's list, or out of the Chieftain's classifieds, and skip the background check.

That's just common sense, and I know a lot of my fellow Puebloans agree with that law.

/with emphasis
I didn't vote to take away anyone's guns.

I voted to stop violent felons from avoiding a background check. I mean, what law abiding NRA member needs to skip the background check anyway? Responsible gun owners can pass a background check, so
/with emphasis
this law will not stop you from buying the guns you want.

I sure don't think voting for a common sense law that helps stop violent felons from buying guns is a good reason to kick me out of office. In fact, I think it's a great reason to keep me in office!

Please vote! And when you do, I'm asking you to please vote "No" on the recall.

That's what should have been in everyone's mailbox, and on all of her ads, from the beginning, in some version.

Cowards do not win elections.

Why take a courageous vote and then run away from it as fast as you can? Why not challenge your critics? Ahh, yes, the Democrat's specialty, bequeathed upon you by his holiness
Teh Clinton:

Triangulation and Avoidance.

How'd that work out for you in Pueblo? You got your asses handed to you, by 12%? In a heavily Democratic District, with good Democratic turnout? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, where you and your allies outspent the NRA and their minions THREE TO ONE?

Let's put a pin in this one: The Democrats spent THREE TIMES AS MUCH getting their message out as the Republicans. 3 to 1. And lost by 12%. More money does not help sell a cowardly, triangulated message. Obviously.

Ready to learn a lesson, or would you prefer the soothing sounds of the Democratic Echo Chamber?

Now here's where it gets ugly. And if you don't learn the lesson from the Giron election, we could all be in big trouble:

Obamacare EVIL.
Obamacare have Death Panel, kill Granny.
{fill in Democratic incumbent name} vote for Obamacare!
{fill in Democratic incumbent name}.
Me vote for anyone but
{fill in Democratic incumbent name}.

★★★ All fired up for 2014, Democrats? ★★★

UPDATE: This update is a response to a comment by Eric Nelson. My response belongs up here for obvious reasons. (If you skip most of this update, please read the "Actual DAYS allowed at the polls." bullet point, and the end.) Here goes:


☛ Voter turnout in Pueblo did not cause the Democratic loss,

as I proved in the diary. The quote in this comment is from projections and analysis PRIOR to the election, and I cited the actual election data.

Further, nothing in the link supports the thesis of this bullet point.

Finally, Democrats outvoted Republicans 1.4 to 1. Enough Democrats turned out to beat the recall. But 1/3 of them voted against the Democrat.

This bullet point is demonstrably wrong, and I already proved it, so why am I typing this shit again??

☛ The good guys vastly outspent the bad guys.

No matter what source is chosen, all of them agree that the Democratic interests vastly outspent the Republican interests. The only dispute is by what factor; 3:1, 4:1, 5:1...

This was painfully obvious by the radical difference in the number of mailers voters received in Pueblo, and the number (and significant variety) of TV ads that supported Giron, verses a very few TV ads produced and run against her (one attack ad over and over, notably), and the minimal number of mailers sent out.

Further, President Clinton was on one of Giron's late robocalls, asking people to please vote.

The Democrats had a GOTV process organized to drive folks to the polls, where needed. And volunteers walking door to registered voter's door, encouraging them to vote "No".

The Republicans stood on street corners with signs.

The Giron campaign kicked the recallers asses six ways from Tuesday, except in two areas:

  • Selling their message.
  • Winning.

☛☛☛ Actual DAYS allowed at the polls.

All right. This bullshit about restricted voting hours makes me angry.

In Pueblo (the subject of this diary), as I stated in the diary, Democratic County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz did an outstanding job maximizing voter's options for getting to the polls.

He had polls open on weekends. He had very convenient locations.

He sent each eligible voter a 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 bright yellow card clearly listing, in easily readable form, every voting location, the hours of operation, and the days they would be open. And how to contact his office, via email or phone, and make arrangements if someone couldn't physically go to a polling place. Further, in bright red big bold type it stated:


He declared that card a valid form of ID!!!
(Since, in CO, a bill addressed to the address you're registered with counts as valid ID.)
You have no idea how pissed the Republicans were about that one. Screams of "VOTER FRAUD!" splattered all over the pages of the Pueblo Chieftain. Until the Republicans won. Then: crickets.

He shut down the clerk's office where people title and license their vehicles and used it as a polling place, staffing it with the folks who worked there. (In other words, Puebloans couldn't get tags for vehicles for a week. And if you were late because of that, he waived the late fee.)

HE HAD A POLLING PLACE OPEN ON LABOR DAY! For chrissakes. (And for the week prior to all the other polling places opened.) That's when my Mother and I voted. The location was right in the middle of town, where everyone could easily find it, with tons of parking, and signs pointing the way.

It had a staging area, where they verified that you were an eligible voter, another area where they let you chose between an optically scanned paper ballot (favored by seniors), and touch screen voting machines. Five people manned that table, and there were so many people voting on Labor Day that there was still a queue lined up in the hallway!

Because of Ortiz's clearly outstanding efforts which should serve as a model for the nation on how to run an election, 80% of both R's and D's voted early! As I clearly explained in the freakin' diary.

Please write another comment telling us that voting hours were restricted in Pueblo without sounding like a completely uninformed moron.

As I ALSO stated in the diary, because of the REPUBLICAN El Paso County Clerk, voter suppression DID play a significant role in Morse's loss. But not in Pueblo!


☛ Disabled voters?

Really? Talk about grasping at straws. Because Giron's superior GOTV effort, I'm not even going to address this further.

Just accept the fact that the establishment bigwigs on this site and elsewhere were wrong and admit that they were wrong and stop spewing the same easily disprovable bullshit every time someone proves you wrong.

Good grief. MB admitted an error in the comments. Seriously, it's not that hard to admit fallibility. Just write a diary admitting the error, and then let's talk about how to message Obamacare and how to properly message for '14, instead of making the same stupid, cowardly triangulation errors that repeatedly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Every freakin' Republican candidate is not going to say something stupid about rape or vaginas, or trading chickens for x-rays, or call 47% of voters recalcitrant deadbeats.

You cannot count on all these Republicans beating themselves!!!

Just ask North Carolina, or Virginia, or Florida, or Texas.

A significant majority of the electorate agrees with our policies on most issues!
Is it so hard to explain that to them?
What are you afraid of???

Thank you rec'ers and commenters, for making this my most successful diary to date. I hope the message I presented does some good. Thanks again.

Originally posted to 3rdOption on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, and Colorado COmmunity.

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