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Experts See Year of Political Change and Opportunity for Republicans

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Floyd Ciruli

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Colorado political experts described the difficult national politics creating opportunities for Colorado Republicans if they can focus on winning. In a panel sponsored by the Colorado Water Congress, Republican commentator and former Republican State Chair, Dick Wadhams, joined Mike Dino, consultant with national law and lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, to assess where the political action is most likely in Colorado.

Floyd Ciruli, director of the University of Denver’s Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, moderated and opened the conversation pointing out that 2022 is:

“…going to be a year of high-profile contests with uncertain results, but many expected changes. Control of Congress could change. We’ve already seen a senior congressional retirement with Ed Perlmutter and, of course, we have a new seat to fill in Adams and Weld counties. And, we are still dealing with a wild January with Omicron, inflation, a raging stock market and Russia – that’s a busy first 26 days of the year.”

Some key observations:

  • The national environment could improve, but as of now, it is a major burden for Democrats.
  • Although Governor Polis and Senator Bennet appear safe, Republicans’ ability to find strong opponents will be key to any possible competition.
  • Republicans have the advantage in the 8th Congressional District, Democrats in the open 7th CD, but both could be competitive depending on the results of the primaries.
  • Statewide races that could be competitive are Secretary of State (incumbent controversial) and the State Treasurer (incumbent not known).
  • Modest hope for improvement of Republicans position in State Senate, none in State House. There is even less rural representation post redistricting.
CWC panel