Colorado GOP's hopes to build a new a future are clouded by Trump
A forlorn Republican Party is looking to hit the reset button after a third election cycle stamped with devastating losses in Colorado.
Yes, but: It won't be easy. The same anvil that crushed their hopes in recent contests is again hanging over their head — Donald Trump.
What's happening: The former president announced a third bid for the White House on Tuesday, just hours after a new Democratic exit poll showed that he is what doomed Republicans in Colorado's midterm election.
- When non-Democratic voters were asked why they voted straight ticket for Democratic candidates, the refrain was consistently Trump and election deniers, says pollster Andrew Baumann at Global Strategy Group.
- By solid margins, voters also considered all Republicans "too extreme" and "caring more about Trump than Colorado," the survey of midterm voters found.
By the numbers: Less than 40% of Colorado likely voters are favorable to Trump, and he lost the state by roughly 13 percentage points in 2020.
What they're saying: Patrick Davis, a Republican consultant who helped guide Trump's Colorado campaign in 2016, similarly blamed Trump — as well as the issues of abortion and gay marriage — for GOP losses this year.
- He says party infighting has doomed morale. The path forward, Davis tells Axios, is to "get back to being a more inclusive party where we throw open the tent doors and say everybody's welcome in our party."
Between the lines: Michael Fields, who leads the conservative Advance Colorado Institute, says the silver lining of the election was voter approval of an income tax cut, the second in as many years.
- He adds that conservatives can still influence policy at the ballot box and promised more government-limiting initiatives in future elections.
The other side: At the same time, local Trump loyalists are cheering his entry into the 2024 presidential contest.
- "Donald Trump is a force of nature, anyone who underestimates that is making a serious mistake," Robert Blaha, a longtime Trump supporter in Colorado, says. He adds: "Looking at the current administration ... I think people would vote for Humpty Dumpty before they voted for Joe Biden again."
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