As Democrats continue their lurch to the left, they risk alienating Colorado voters by directly attacking critical Colorado industries.
Oil and gas production accounts for billions of dollars a year in economic activity for Colorado. Democrats’ calls to ban all fossil fuels are a direct threat to this economic driver and open up an opportunity for Republicans to appeal not just to those who work directly in the industry, but also to those who enjoy the benefits of a thriving state economy.
Agriculture and farming account for more than $6 billion to Colorado’s economy and provide up to 100,000 jobs. In farming and agriculture, the highest valued goods and products are cattle, calves and dairy products. The Democrats’ Green New Deal wants to change agriculture and farming, specifically beef and milk cattle and some on the left are even talking about banning meat entirely. Creating an emissions tax could cost more in jobs and the economy than the estimated $2,000 tax per cow. The Democrats’ plan will alter the farming and agriculture industry in Colorado and affect tens of thousands of people’s jobs and their families’ livelihoods.
Beyond these huge issues, our research and regular national modeling of issues shows that Colorado voters agree with Republican positions; they are fond of tax cuts and spending control in Washington over Democrat plans to hike middle-class taxes or expand the national debt.
While Democrats have managed to move Colorado blue, Democrats have also moved themselves increasingly to the left of the average Coloradan on energy, on agriculture, and on taxing and spending. Republicans can take advantage of this lurch to the left to start putting Colorado back in play.
Chris Wilson is partner and chief executive officer of WPA Intelligence, with offices in Denver and Washington, D.C. He was director of research, analytics and strategy for the 2016 Ted Cruz presidential campaign.