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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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How Tom Tancredo can beat John Hickenlooper; 4 questions for Tancredo

Tom Tancredo is gaining on "Governor-elect" John Hickenlooper who leads him 47% to 29% in a CNN/Time poll that was completed on Sept. 21. 


Tancredo leads Hickenlooper among likely independent voters 41% to 40%. He needs to defend and expand that lead, which Hickenlooper will attack with massive advertising.

But Tancredo is getting only 38% of likely Republican votes, 45% of likely conservative votes, 25% of likely moderate votes and 28% of the votes from likely voters who make $50,000 or more. He's favored by 35% of male and only 23% of female voters.

While Hickenlooper's advertising may take some of Tancredo's independent voters and a bigger share of undecided independents, Tancredo should be able to dramatically increase his share of likely Republican voters. One poll says that 49% of  likely Colorado voters are Republicans or lean Republican. Tancredo needs to win 75% to 85% of those Republicans and Republican leaners while Hickenlooper takes 95% of likely Democrat voters' votes.

To win more Republican votes, Tancredo reportedly already is softening his support for the "Ugly 3" tax cutting ballot initiatives, Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, according to Jessica Fender.

He must do the same on the anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive "personhood" Amendment 62. As Ken Buck has learned, backing off Amendment 62 will anger the anti-abortion base who mostly support Tancredo and Buck. Buck has flip flopped on the issue twice and has a lot of people wondering whether he has the judgment to be a U.S. Senator. 

If Tancredo decides that he can't buck Amendment 62, he will give up a huge percentage of female voters who might vote for his real conservatism on economic and tax policies. It is hard to guess whether he would win or lose more votes by saying that while he opposes abortion, he doesn't oppose it in cases involving rape, incest or risking a woman's life and that he would neither make abortion easier nor harder to obtain in Colorado if he became governor. My guess is that he would gain more votes than he would lose because his base has nowhere to go while independents and moderates could easily talk themselves into voting for Hickenlooper because he's pro-choice and pro illegal immigration.

In other words, give up some single-issue "personhood" voters for a better chance to win a lot of independent, moderate and GOP votes.

Tancredo has always said that he runs on his beliefs, not in response to polls. But the fact that he's backing off from supporting the tax cutting ballot issues shows that he's a smart and ambitious politician who knows that single-issue purity is a sure route to defeat. 

In the next few days, we'll see how ambitious Tancredo really is.

The questions I'd like to ask Tancredo:

1. If you are elected governor, will or would you sign a bill that outlaws the use of contraceptives of any kind?

2. If you are elected governor, will or would you sign a bill that makes it harder to get an abortion in Colorado?

3. If you are elected governor, will or would you sign a bill that in any way makes it easier to indict or sue a physician who treats a woman who is under 45 or pregnant for in someway preventing conception or aborting a fetus?

4. If you are elected governor, will or would you sign a bill that makes it harder or financially riskier for fertilization clinics to serve parents who want to have children?

Tancredo could answer these questions in ways that show he still is strongly pro-life but that he would not use the governor's office to advance a pro-life agenda while at the same time protecting and preserving the laws and regulations that are on the books now.

Disclosure: I support Tancredo and oppose the personhood Amendment 62.


CNN/Time poll cross tabs.

Tancredo's support for three anti-tax ballot measure fades, by Jessica Fender.

No 62.

No on 60, 61, 101. Don't Hurt Colorado.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 09/23/2010 at 01:47 PM


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