Anti-gun Colorado Democrats defeated in recall election

Anti-gun politics are bad for electoral health. That’s a lesson two Colorado Democrats learned on Tuesday night.

Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and State Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) were recalled by voters in their respective districts in what was considered to be a referendum on onerous new gun control regulations passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Both pro-Second Amendment and anti-gun groups invested heavily in the race. The Denver Post noted earlier this week that anti-gun groups raised some $3.5 million to help the two Democrats, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $350,000 contribution. Pro-gun groups raised $540,000.

Despite the heavy spending from anti-gun groups, voters in Colorado’s 3rd State Senate district recalled Giron, 56/44, and elected George Rivera, a Republican, to take her place in the legislature’s upper chamber.

Morse, the highest ranking official in the Colorado Senate, faced the same fate in the 11th District, though by a smaller margin, at 51/49. Bernie Herpin, also a Republican, was elected to fill the reminder of the term.

Giron was actually thought to be the safer of the two, given that President Barack Obama won her district by nearly 20 points. Morse’s district was more Republican-friendly, though still leaned Democratic.

Public Policy Polling actually conducted a survey of the district over the weekend, finding that voters supported the recall effort, 54/45, the same margin by which the recall passed. The firm decided not to release the poll because they believed it was inaccurate, given the strong support for expanded background checks.

Herein lies the mistake of anti-gun politicians and groups. They endless cite polls that show support for background checks, but they underestimate voter intensity on the issue. In other words, voters may support the policy, but it’s not a high priority to them.

On the other side of the issue, there is intense support for the Second Amendment, which secures the individual right to keep and bear arms. Voters are are pro-gun generally do weigh their vote on the issue.

That’s just one takeaway from this election that gun control advocates should learn. Another is money doesn’t win elections.

Despite being outraised by a large margin by anti-gun groups, as noted above, recall proponents were able to succeed in their efforts, leaving the Democratic majority in the Colorado Senate hanging by a thread. In the end, Money simply doesn’t matter when you have an issue on which to run.

And finally, Michael Bloomberg is simply toxic. Despite his efforts to defeat the recall, voters in these two Colorado Senate districts rejected his notion of gun control and the anti-gun politicians he supported.

Shortly after the ballots were counted in her district, Giron said that Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the anti-gun group founded by Bloomberg, “might as well fold it up.”


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