After a decade of dominance, Colorado Democrats have reason for concern. Recent recall efforts appear to be contributing to a shift in voter attitudes against Democrats and in favor of Republicans. New polling by the Democrat-leaning firm PPP shows Coloradans supporting legislative Republicans over Democrats on a generic ballot by a margin of 47–42. This is a major swing from the 47–40 generic advantage Democrats held in a poll conducted by the same firm in April 2012.
Independents make up about a third of Colorado’s electorate, and that’s where news for Democrats gets really troubling. In the 2012 poll, independents favored Democrats 43–27. Today, they prefer Republicans 41–30. In other words, Democrats have moved from +16 to -11 with unaffiliated voters in about 18 months.
The 2014 election will decide the fate of the governor’s mansion, a U.S. Senate seat, and both chambers of the state legislature. With less than a year to go, Colorado Republicans are beginning to feel the winds at their back . . . for the first time since 2002.
— Rob Witwer is a former member of the Colorado house of representatives and a co-author of the book The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care).