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Big Trouble for Democrats Should Be Cautionary Tale


It's official: Democrats are in trouble.

Start with a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday that shows Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez with an astonishing 10-point lead over Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, with less than a month before ballots go out. Not long ago, Hickenlooper was among the country's safest leading Democrats. He was on short lists of potential vice presidential picks.

If Quinnipiac signaled Democratic doom in Colorado, a New York Times/CBS poll spelled it out for Democrats nationwide. Released Wednesday, the numbers show 45 percent of "all likely voters" throughout the country would put a Republican into the United States House of Representatives if the election were today. Only 39 percent would vote Democratic. Even 10 percent of Democrats plan to vote for Republican congressional candidates, compared with 2 percent of Republicans willing to vote for Democrats.

Among all-important independents, ?41 percent would vote Republican and ?31 percent would vote for Democratic congressional candidates. Democrats have lost any significant lead among women, with 42 percent saying they'd vote Republican and 43 percent leaning Democratic. The poll showed Republicans trouncing Democrats in nearly all categories, even among young voters 18-44.

A Times story blamed President Barack Obama, saying "the American public's frustration with Mr. Obama has manifested itself in low ratings for his handling of foreign policy and terrorism."

It probably means trouble for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. Though the senator made headlines for trying to disassociate himself from a fundraiser Obama recently held in his honor, Udall has voted with the president 99 percent of the time.

It's also bad news for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat hoping to unseat the popular and moderate Republican Rep.

Mike Coffman in the 6th District. Romanoff's campaign welcomed the president to campaign on his behalf.

If ever-safe Hickenlooper isn't safe, it means pundits may have overestimated the invulnerability of U.S. Rep. Ed ?Perlmutter, who's challenged in the ?7th District by small businessman Don Ytterberg. Perlmutter, like Hickenlooper, recently cozied up to the president for politically damaging photo ops and has championed most presidential policies. Rep. Diana DeGette probably remains safe in Denver's overwhelmingly Democratic District 1. It's also hard to foresee real trouble for Rep. Jared Polis, in mostly Boulder, heavily Democratic District 2. But Polis faces formidable opposition from prominent Boulder attorney George Leing. Furthermore, the congressman alienated an important faction of his base by backing away from ballot measures asking to impose government control of private property. Polis simultaneously ticked off the other side with talk of similar ballot proposals in 2015.

"Conventional wisdom says the re-election bid for Congressman Jared Polis, a wealthy Boulder Democrat, should be a nothing burger but this has been an unconventional year," wrote Denver Post political writer Lynn Bartels, hinting the seat may end up in play.

Republicans have not earned this momentum. It results from public frustration with the other party, which has governed as if power and control are what matter most.

The vast American middle has no strong loyalty to either party and has bad vibes about each. They want good governance, in which the controlling party listens to all and acts in the interests of liberty, prosperity and national defense. Republicans who win should learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Americans deserve a government of, by and for the people — not of, by and for one party.




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