Dion: Colorado Republicans, it’s time to unite and fight 

By JAMESON DION | Guest Commentary, Rocky Mountain Voice

In Colorado, Republican Party politics has been defined in recent years by losses, infighting and a steady decline in the percentage of Colorado voters that affiliate with the party.

Consider, just 24% of Colorado’s registered voters were republicans as of June 2024. Democrats have controlled all statewide offices, and both chambers of Colorado’s state legislature since 2019.

In short, it’s been tough to be a Colorado Republican of late.   

This year’s elections offer hope and optimism. Joe Biden’s cognitive issues were on full display in the first Presidential debate. His age and decline was so apparent, many Democrat lawmakers and their typically reliable media mouthpieces have publicly questioned his ability to win, or even remain in office through November. Down-ballot Democrats will suffer because of Biden’s rapid plummet in the polls, and many states that were considered reliable for Democrats are now projected to swing Republican. 

The recent primary elections in Colorado yielded definitive wins for Republican candidates in districts favorable to Republicans. In those districts where Republicans are either retiring (Ken Buck in the 4th District and Doug Lamborn in the 5th) or have switched districts (Lauren Boebert’s current 3rd District seat) all saw definitive wins by solid candidates: Stalwart Boebert in the 4th District, conservative radio host Jeff Crank in the 5th District, and the well-messaged Jeff Hurd in the 3rd.  

Army veteren, former police officer and current state Rep. Gabe Evans has an excellent chance of defeating first-term Democrat U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo in he 8th District, a district that Caraveo only won by 1,600 votes in 2022.  

GOP candidate Sergei Matveyuk in the 7th, a district that Democrat Brittany Petterson walked away with in 2022, could just be the sleeper candidate of 2024. Former progressive-Democrat Colorado state legislator and now Unity Party candidate Ron Tupa may scrape away enough votes from Petterson to provide an upset for Matveyuk. 

Former ICE Field Office Director John Fabbricatore offers a compelling alternative to the Biden-aligned Jason Crow in the 6th District. 

To capitalize on these promising congressional race matchups, Republicans need to communicate a common message that appeals to the nearly half of Colorado voters registered “unaffiliated”. While conventional thought suggests that Colorado’s massive group of unaffiliated voters lean left, recent polling shows that Republicans can appeal to most of them on several issues. 

Respondents in a November 2023 Colorado Polling Institute study of likely voters held an almost identical view of the Republican and Democratic parties. More respondents defined their views toward politics and government as “conservative” than “liberal” (34.8% vs. 31.3%). Polls conducted by the same organization showed that likely voters viewed cost of living (40%) and crime and public safety (29%) as their top two issues. Additionally, 60.7% of respondents also voiced that Colorado taxes are too high and 69% of respondents in CPI’s most recent March 2024 poll indicate that they think the passage of Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) was a “good thing”.  

This year, Denver Democrat Mayor Mike Johnson cut from the department of transportation and infrastructure, the city’s attorney’s office, sheriff’s department, police department and public library to fund the more than $90 million required to support migrant aid and housing. Biden’s open border and Colorado Democrat’s sanctuary policies are directly to blame.  

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Colorado as 47th among 50 states with the lowest incarceration and juvenile Incarceration rates and 48th in public safety because of its disproportionately high property and violent crime rates. Colorado Democrat bills and policies have weakened law enforcement’s ability to fight crime. The influx of migrants and an increase in homelessness have also contributed to the decline in public safety.  

According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation has increased more than 19.9% during Biden’s term, all while Colorado Democrats have financially burdened Coloradans with additional fees in attempts to gut TABOR.  

The message is clear: Colorado Republicans must put our differences aside and unite with common messaging concerning reducing taxes, curbing illegal immigration and restoring law and order to contrast with the disastrous policies of Democrats in Washington D.C. and Denver. The recent implosion of Biden’s presidential campaign will clearly provide a helpful tailwind. A win will require Colorado Republicans to unite under a big tent – one large enough to accommodate unaffiliated voters who share many of the same priorities.  

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in commentary pieces are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management of the Rocky Mountain Voice, but even so we support the constitutional right of the author to express those opinions.