First, the results of the Colorado Democratic Party's two contested races today. Fern O'Brien is the Democratic nominee for attorney general and Steve Ludwig is the CU Board of Regents At Large candidate for the Democrats. There will be no primary elections in Colorado for Democrats at the state level. The only primary election at the Congressional District level will be in the 7th Congressional District, and it may be a three way race with Ed Perlumutter, Peggy Lamm and Herb Rubenstein all likely to end up on the ballot. There will only be a handful of Democratic primaries for State Senate and State House races, and for county level races.
Colorado Democrats are playing up their blue collar roots and their compassion.
This year in Colorado is a year of fighting dems (i.e. veterans), Joe Rice (State House), Jay Fawcett (5th CD), Bill Winter (6th CD), Milt Rodgers (CU Regent At Large), and Democrats who have Horatio Alger stories, Bill Ritter (Governor), Angie Paccione (4th CD), and Steve Ludwig (CU Regent At Large).
In answer to "God, Gays and Guns" the Democrats at the state convention have answered with "Hope, Opportunity and Tolerance."
The Republicans have helped by giving Coloradans low expectations. By simply averting fiscal crisis and improving funding for key programs from miserable to merely blow average by national standards, Democrats can come out looking like heros. When Democrats pass legislation like Clean Air Bills and bills to increase access to emergency contraception, and a Republican Governor vetos the bills, it is the Democrats who look like they are accomplishing something and the Republicans who look like obstructionists.
Ideologically, the dominant theme in the Colorado Democratic party is compassionate communitarianism. As Bill Ritter put it, Democrats understand that we are all in this together. Our military and Horatio Alger candidates illustrate dramatically that if you don't give up on people, if you are there to offer a helping hand, to give someone a real chance, that people can succeed extraordinarily. We aren't a party of state ownership of enterprise. We are a party of investing in people instead of throwing them away.
Now, we are rolling up our sleeves. In November, we'll see if the enthusiasm of May comes to fruition.