Crazy guy won this round.
Tuesday night, the NRA-fueled recalls of two Colorado legislators was successful. They were targeted for helping pass good gun safety regulations.
Democrats had more money and district demographics in their favor. Republicans had intensity and more reliable voters.
Sen. Angela Giron lost significantly. State Sen. President John Morse lost by 343 votes out of nearly 18,000 votes.
In Giron's district, nearly 67,000 votes were cast for president in 2012. 35,000 voted in this election.
In Morse's district, 52,000 votes were cast in 2012, while just 18,000 voted Tuesday.
Guess who didn't turn out.
As I've long written, our biggest danger moving forward isn't ideology or public opinion, it's the apathy of our own base. Our base groups -- young voters, ethnic and racial minorities, single women -- are the lowest performing groups. We're in great shape in presidential elections, no doubt. We're in dicier territory in mid-term and special elections.
These are Democratic districts. Turnout in 2014 will be much higher, and the GOP's intensity advantage will be diminished (not eliminated because, well, see above). But if we want to be a comfortable majority party, then we need to figure out how to turn out our marginal voters, because without them we cannot win.
There's a second cautionary tale here -- the other way Republicans can win is by creating structural ways to suppress our vote. In this race, it was the elimination of vote-by-mail despite its growing importance in Colorado elections. In 2012, a third of the vote in Morse's district was cast by mail. In Giron's, it was half. Would regular election rules change the results? More than likely in Morse's, maybe not in Giron's. So don't doubt that Republicans are learning those lessons as well.
The NRA got a victory Tuesday night. We sought to deny them that victory and failed, but we're not done with this fight. This was a skirmish ahead of 2014 when both these seats and so many more will be in play. So what's ahead?
We gotta crack the code of how we turn out our voters. And we have to do everything possible to prevent GOP efforts to disenfranchise our voters.
That's the game.
One more thing:
Democrats dominate the airwaves with 2,346 of those spots. Despite with the national attention and conservative groundswell generated by these recalls, Republicans have aired just 144 spots on broadcast.
I've maintained for the last two cycles that television ads no longer work. Here's another data point in support of that theory.
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