FINAL RESULTS NOW IN ON BOTH COLORADO RECALLS: BOTH DEMOCRATIC SENATORS RECALLED OVER GUN CONTROL VOTES, HISTORIC, UDATED
Angela Giron's race was supposed to be the toughest, but here 12 percentage point loss would have to be considered a landslide. Morse has already conceded his defeat. Giron will soon. See my earlier post on massive campaign spending by gun control advocates available here.
Both Morse and Giron were powerful Democrats in the state. Morse was the state Senate President. Giron was Chair of State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the very important Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee. She also served on the Water Resources Review Committee.
As of 12:37 AM EDT, the results were:
From the Denver Post:
But it wasn't just the NRA that warned Democrats about messing with gun rights.Sen. Lois Tochtrop, an Adams County Democrat and longtime Second Amendment activist, opposed five of the seven guns bills initially introduced in the session, including a lightning-rod proposal by Morse.See also this:
That proposal would have assigned liability for assault-style weapon damages to manufacturers and sellers, but Morse killed it at the 11th-hour because he didn't have the votes to pass it through the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"I feel like all these gun bills have done — to quote the last words in the movie 'Tora! Tora! Tora!' — is to awaken a sleeping giant," Tochtrop said during the debate.
Awaken they did. . . .
Because the turnout in Morse's election in 2010 was so low — a race where he probably would have lost had there not been a Libertarian candidate — no one was surprised when that recall effort succeeded.Just to see how hard it was to get these recalls made, consider: to get the recall 25 percent of all the votes cast in the previous election.
It was a different story in Pueblo [Giron's district], a heavily Democratic district, where three plumbers armed with laptops linked to a state database not only collected enough valid signatures but had a low number thrown out. . . .
7,178 signatures were required on the petitions to recall Morse, that is compared to the 17,845 who voted in this recall (40%). 11,285 valid signatures were required against Giron, compared to 34,556 who voted in the recall (32%).
In addition to this high threshold, they were outspent massively by Bloomberg.
They were outspent by the groups backed by billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg by 10 or 20 times. . . .Some interesting facts about Recall elections.
Recalls against legislative leaders, such as Morse, tend to be particularly tough to win. Here are some very interesting facts about recall elections from Joshua Spivak at The Recall Elections Blog. Prior to Morse, there have only been four recall elections against legislative leaders in the US, and the legislative leader was retained in three of those four races. In Colorado recall elections for other offices, officials have survived at better than 50 percent rate. These recalls represent only the 37th and 38th recall votes of state legislators in US history, with the success rate prior to these two votes being exactly 50 percent.
How heavily Democratic were these districts?
To get an idea of how heavily Democratic these two districts are, one only needs to turn to the Daily Kos:
Giron's Senate District 3: 56% Democrat - 39% Republican, 44% Hispanic, rated as "Safe Democratic"From Colorado Peak Politics:
Morse's Senate District 11: 50% Democrat - 42% Republican, As the Daily Kos describes the district: "The Democratic stronghold in El Paso County, this district takes in almost every Democratic precinct there is. The Commission's local Republican member Bob Loevy agreed that Dems deserve one seat, and this is it!"
Giron’s recall was spearheaded by a plumber from Pueblo named Victor Head. His group Pueblo Freedom and Rights and their 100% volunteer effort succeeded in gathering enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot, with a signature validity rate of 94%.At least in Giron's district, there was a strong Democratic turnout.
Victor’s group had virtually no money — even going so far as to spray paint their own yard signs to save money. They were outspent by the groups backed by billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg by 10 or 20 times.
But, in the end, Bloomberg’s billions weren’t any match for Victor Head’s voters. . . .
These two races are huge losses for Democrats. According to an analysis by the liberal Mother Jones, Obama won Morse’s district by 21% in 2012. He won Giron’s by 19%. That’s a victory for conservatives deep in Democratic territory.
That should shock the political world. . . .
In El Paso County, Democrats have gained some ground. Last week, Republicans accounted for 41 percent of votes cast, but the GOP vote now is at 38 percent, according to figures released about 6:30 p.m. Still, Republicans have the lead.
In Giron's district in Pueblo County, where Democrats comprise 47 percent of all registered voters and Republicans just 23 percent, Democrats have the vote lead, but there's a catch. Pueblo is a blue-collar, blue-dog Democratic town and 20 percent of the voters who signed petitions to recall the senator were Democrats.
Democrats reported that between the two Senate districts, they had about 350 volunteers working in shifts and expected to knock on more than 23,000 doors before the polls close at 7 p.m. . . .
Shortly before 6:30 p.m., the El Paso County clerk reported that a total of 17,272 voters had marked ballots since early voting began. The latest El Paso figures show vote total by party affiliation as: Republicans, 6,647; Democrats, 5,784; and unaffiliated, 4,580. . . .
The party breakdown in Senate District 3 is as follows: Democrats, 14,633; Republicans, 10,329; and unaffiliated, 6,867. . . .From Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics:
part of what occurred was that GOP turnout was unusually strong for an off-year special election. The “recall Morse” line received 9,000 votes, while the “recall Giron” effort drew 19,000 votes. (Mitt Romney received 26,000 votes in Giron’s district, and 19,000 in Morse’s.) In Giron’s district in particular, this was a surprisingly high turnout for an off-year special election.
For that matter, Morse’s GOP opponent received 13,500 votes in 2010, while Giron’s GOP opponent won 20,000 votes in that year. In other words, despite the intervening redistricting cycle, which helped Democrats somewhat, GOP turnout in this special election equaled midterm turnout in Giron’s district, and came close in Morse’s. . . .
His conclusion is interesting:
I do think that there’s one area where these recalls really are important. After the failure of the Senate gun-control bill, it was fashionable to argue, a la the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky: “You cannot oppose the will of 90 percent of the public and expect no consequences.”
It appears that you can. For one thing, that 90 percent number represents something of a best case result drawn from a best-case question wording; actual public support for, say, universal background checks is somewhat lower (though clearly still a majority). Perhaps, as I explained in April, the energy is all on the side of the voters who oppose gun control. For example, while Americans might support universal background checks in the abstract, in practice they just don’t care that much about it. Those who oppose them, however, care a lot. . . .
Democrats aren't taking these defeats well. Morse attacked the Pueblo recall organizer as an "unemployed plumber." In response, Victor Head, the plumber in question, noted:
Reminder: Giron and some of her supporters framed this recall as being racist.
“I know it’s partially about me being a Latina and being in this position of authority,” said Giron. . . .Some called Giron on this claim, such as Colorado Peak Politics:
Carefully ignored is the fact that three other Hispanics, both Republican and Democrat, male and female, opposed a number of gun bills this session.Now look at the picture of the next state Senator from Pueblo, George Rivera.
Republican Latina Clarice Navarro opposed all the gun bills.
Democrat Latinos Ed Vigil and Leroy Garcia opposed the Mag Ban, and Vigil also opposed the background check bill.
No recall campaigns have been initiated against any of those Hispanic politicians. Not that such inconvenient facts got in the way of Giron shamelessly playing the race card. . . .
Labels: Colorado Recalls