The Campaign Spot

Forecast for a Split Decision in the Colorado Recalls?

The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt looks at the bad options in Syria, the walking clichê that is Miley Cyrus (briefly), Obama’s actual “Recovery Summers,” and . . . 

There’s Good News and Bad News in the Colorado Recall Rumor Mill

The fact that liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas sees different states of play for the two recall elections out in Colorado suggests that this is, indeed, his best assessment of how things stand out there, and not a fear-mongering effort to raise funds:

The scuttlebutt from people who have seen the numbers are that [State Sen. Angela] Giron is relatively safe (or as much as you can be in a summer special election with an uncertain electorate), but that state Senate President John Morse, the other recall target, lags slightly among likely voters. The NRA certainly smells blood in the water (they have lots of practice with that), and are trying to close strong.

Meanwhile, Democrats have shifted strategies. Rather than fight over the gun issue that dominated the early parts of the race, they are expanding the playing field, particularly focusing on women’s reproductive rights. These are Democratic districts, and the approach seems to be to remind people that they can’t be single-issue voters.

Whenever the opposition wants to change the subject, isn’t that a sign you’re winning on that issue?

The local Republican parties selected former Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin to take on Morse and George Rivera, former deputy chief of the Pueblo police force, to take on Giron.

Anyway, they’re still sorting out the rules for the September 10 recall election:

The Colorado constitution requires voters to vote “yes” or “no” on the recall question in order to have their vote for a successor be counted, but that provision could be in conflict with the U.S. Constitution, said Attorney General John Suthers.

He said a nearly identical provision in the California state constitution was declared unconstitutional during the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

Gov. John Hickenlooper wants the state Supreme Court to decide whether the California ruling is applicable and, if so, to waive the “prior participation requirement.”

“We need this clarification from the court to determine how to count the ballots,” Suthers said. “If they tell us the Colorado constitutional provision is unconstitutional, then you don’t have to vote in the recall election to have your vote count in the subsequent election.”

If the issue is not addressed, a successful challenge to the recall election on constitutional grounds could mean the invalidation of the entire election, according to an interrogatory to the Colorado Supreme Court filed by the attorney general’s office on behalf of Hickenlooper.

The court may rule as early as the end of today.

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