September 1, 2013
IF YOU THINK THE ISSUES FAVOR YOU, RUN ON THEM:
Why only four Republicans won high office in Colorado in 40 years (Dick Wadhams, 08/31/2013, Denver Post)
Colorado Republicans need to understand why Armstrong, Brown, Allard and Owens won while so many others lost. Was it because they were "moderate" Republicans while the others were too conservative? No, all four were unapologetic fiscal and economic conservatives. Armstrong, Allard and Owens were also pro-life in a state that is pro-choice with limited restrictions. Brown's pro-choice position gave the aura of a "moderate" Republican, but his record reveals a fierce fiscal conservatism. And Democrats attacked all four as being too "extreme" for Colorado, just as they did the unsuccessful candidates.So what set these four conservative Republicans apart from those who lost? Armstrong, Brown, Allard and Owens had individual strengths but common threads run through their winning campaigns:• They were positive, upbeat leaders who did not convey hostility to any voters. They were, in a word, likeable, and a majority of voters could personally relate to them.• They each ran on substantive, conservative agendas that appealed to unaffiliated voters as well as Republicans.Armstrong was the "guy who wants to cut my taxes" and he indexed taxes against inflation to protect the middle class. Brown incessantly fought to balance the budget and eliminate government waste.Allard campaigned to balance the budget, reduce taxes and regulations on families and small businesses, and return power to state government. Owens had a substantive agenda to cut taxes, reform education and improve transportation when he became the only Republican governor to be elected in the past 40 years.• They went beyond their traditional Republican agendas and were unafraid to embrace issues Democrats think they own such as the environment and education. Armstrong and Brown authored legislation to expand wilderness areas while protecting Colorado's water rights. Allard doggedly pursued the cleanup of the old Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site and sponsored the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Owens fought for education reform and constantly cited Hispanic kids as being failed by a mediocre education system.• Elections are about choices, and each of the four built a strong campaign team that aggressively defined contrasts with their Democratic opponents and effectively counter-attacked Democratic distortions.• They were disciplined candidates who were not pulled into extraneous debates that were not consistent with their fiscal agendas.
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 1, 2013 10:36 AM