Colorado has trended blue over the past few election cycles because of the simple fact that Democrats care about solving problems and Democrats deliver. Whether it’s full-day kindergarten for all Colorado kids, saving people money on health care, making our tax code fairer for working people, combating climate change by conserving Colorado’s public lands and environment, or supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, Colorado voters have seen for themselves that when they elect Democrats, they get results for the people.
Last year, when our country first faced the unprecedented public health crisis of COVID-19, Colorado Democrats like Gov. Polis and leaders in the General Assembly sprang into action. In the absence of leadership at the federal level, where we saw former President Trump tell the states that we were on our own, it was Democrats that stepped up to keep our communities safe from this deadly virus while also providing relief for families and small businesses.
Thanks to President Biden and Colorado’s congressional Democrats, Congress delivered to revitalize our economy through the incredibly popular and successful American Rescue Plan. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the crucial role Colorado’s own Sen. Michael Bennet had to play in that legislation. Thanks to Sen. Bennet, who’s been fighting for an expanded child tax credit since 2015, struggling families are seeing a tax cut while also seeing money in their pocket to take care of their kids through the American Rescue Plan. Simply put, when our state and our country has needed leadership, Colorado Democrats have stepped up and delivered for the people.
But where have Colorado Republicans been? When they weren’t blocking COVID relief or voting no on the American Rescue Plan, they were pushing tax cuts for the rich, waging their culture war, introducing bills to make it harder for Coloradans to vote, fighting to take money out of public schools for voucher programs, or worse yet, being anti-democracy by spreading Trump’s Big Lie, trying to undermine elections.
When given the opportunity by local media outlets, the Colorado Republican Party chair has repeatedly refused to condemn Trump’s election conspiracies. Colorado Republicans have even taken a page out of Trump’s playbook by starting an organized effort to close their primary elections so only party insiders can decide who their nominees will be — going against the will of voters who wanted unaffiliated voters to be involved in the process. Talk about anti-democracy.
Why aren’t Colorado Republicans poised for a comeback? Simply put, they’re more interested in holding power than doing right by the people and they haven’t learned from their past mistakes. Instead of returning to their traditional values, Republicans have doubled down on divisive rhetoric and policies, obstruction, disinformation, and punishing common-sense Republicans like Liz Cheney and Cole Wist— all while digging up failed, tone-deaf talking points that prioritize the wealthy and big business and ignore Colorado working families.
As if to make our point for us, Colorado Republicans recently rolled out their 2022 messaging agenda at a gas station. On a day when the effects of climate change could literally be felt through poor air quality and record high temperatures, Colorado Republicans made zero mention of climate change in their prepared remarks. By choosing to unveil their supposed platform next to a dinosaur mascot at a gas station, they told us all we need to know.
Given Democrats’ record of delivering for Colorado families through cutting health care costs, expanding access to affordable housing, supporting small businesses, and protecting our natural environment, I believe Colorado voters will see a clear contrast, and will vote to leave the fractured, anti-democracy Colorado Republican Party in the past in 2022.
Morgan Carroll is chair of the Colorado Democratic Party and is a former Colorado Senate president.