06 March 2012

Caucus Day For Democrats In Colorado

Democrats in Colorado have precinct caucuses today (check in starting at 6:30 p.m., proceedings start at 7 p.m.), the first held in the newly redistricted boundaries based on the 2010 census. Republicans have their non-Presidential caucuses later.

A Dull Caucus Year For Most Denver Dems

I reviewed the races in Denver previously, and have made some updates in the comments since then. Most notably, Mitch Morrissey is running for re-election as DA in Denver for his third (and last) term, probably unopposed or not seriously contested. I had mistakenly believed that he might be prevented from running by term limits in the previous post.

There are live intraparty contests in both House District 1 (Labuda), which the incumbent is favored, and in House District 9 (open since the incumbent Joe Miklosi is running for Congress) where Rosenthal is favored.

Bottom line for me: At no point in the caucus process will I or anyone I nominate have to deal with a contested intraparty nomination race. I'm not aware of any Democratic Party internal issues of consequence brewing to be decided down the line either, but might be missing something.

Electing precinct committee people for Precinct 223 will be the extent of exciting decision making for me this evening.

Realistically, moreover, in the general election in November this year, the only close and interesting partisan candidate races for Denver voters are likely to be the Presidental race and state ballot initiative

Colorado Ballot Issues 2012


There are also no currently pending ballot issues at the City and County of Denver level at this time, although there are a few at the state level.

A majijuana legalization constitutional amendment is on the ballot. Three more state ballot measures are collecting signatures: "personhood", "Colorado Peace Day" and a statutory amendment to remove immigration requirements for driver's licenses. A same sex marriage constitutional amendment has had a title approved last fall but has further steps to clear before initiatives can be circulated and it can appear on the ballot; it may have been abandoned by its proponents to focus on a legislative civil unions measure instead (I'm just speculating). The personhood measure will very likely make the ballot (similar measures have made it onto the ballot before only to be defeated on election day by very wide margins). It is harder to tell if backers of any of the other measures have the resources to mount a successful petition drive in time to get onto the ballot.

The past experience from personhoood initiatives in Colorado make it likely to fail this year as well. The polling as of December 2011 on marijuana legalization in Colorado, in general, shows support that is probably too tepid (49% for, 40% against before a measure is on the ballot and before an Obama Administration crackdown on certain medical marijuana policies) to pass either. Measures with less than 50% affirmative support almost never pass, even if more support than oppose a measure in early polling, and support for ballot measures generally erodes significantly between their introduction and election day.

The last day for new citizen's initiatives at the state level to have their title approved for the November 2012 election is April 18, 2012, and April 6, 2012 is the last day to propose new initiatives for the 2012 election. A proposed measure relating to campaign finance is the only other measure in the initiative process right now that has not cleared the title board at this time that looks like it might yet make it onto the ballot.


Some ballot issues may be added later by the Colorado General Assembly or other public entities (e.g. school boards and RTD tax measures).

The Colorado General Assembly has a constitutional amendment referrendum to reform the state personnel system pending (HCR12-001), although it isn't clear if it will get enough support from legislators to make it onto the ballot. HRC 1 hasn't even cleared committee in the House yet, although there is still plenty of time left in the legislative session. There probably won't be any other state referrendums proposed this year.

If the personnel measure does make it onto the ballot, its fate is hard to predict. Referrendums have surprisingly low success rates for measures that have already received two-thirds support in both the state house and state senate (and hence have some level of bipartisan support). Its odds of passage if it makes it onto the ballot might be 65% or so.

RTD will probably ask for a sales tax extension/increase. Other local governments could also propose ballot issues.

1 comment:

Michael Malak said...

What is your opinion on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants?