August 01, 2007

Quiet '07 Ballot A Prelude To Busy '08

No statewide initiatives or referenda this year, for the first time since 1912.

Call it the calm before the '08 storm.

For Colorado, a hotly contested Presidential election combined with a Senatorial race touted to be the #1 most watched in the nation, along with several of the usual "election year" type of base-rallying initiatives and referenda designed to draw out the impassioned--not to mention the hosting of the Democrat National Convention--2008 should produce record turnouts. "Independents" and "unaffiliateds" will once again determine the balance of power at the national and state level, and the GOP should look to more alternative methods (hint: new media) to get out their message.

Successful get-out-the-vote campaigns in '00, '02, and '04 failed to bring in the last-minute rally that was hoped would bail out flailing GOP candidates in '06. Registered Republicans, allied conservatives, and right-leaning independents never showed up--contributing not only to Democrat victories, but to an "undervote" in Republican representation. The GOP should not expect '08 to be any different, hoping that the GOTV effort will deliver the Presidency and help to retain a valuable Senate seat. Only a rebuilt and reunited party effort committed to conservative principles will give the Colorado GOP a chance at being competitive or successful, given a potentially continued hostile electoral environment. Anything less and Republicans will be looking at additional lost seats (especially important in the state legislature) and consignment to the backwater of state politics for elections to come.

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