In this little column we are not talking about whether or not abortion should be legal. We are only talking about how it effects the November election.
Or to quote the best movie ever, “It’s not personal. It’s just business.”
That said, abortion might be what gets Joe O’Dea the winning edge over Michael Bennet in November.
Colorado’s recent primary results were a surprising repudiation of Caldara’s First Political Axiom (there is nothing Republicans can’t f**k up). And it was encouraging to witness.
The contenders who had virtually no chance of winning in the November general election (yet had great chance to hobble down-ticket Republicans) Ron Hanks, Greg Lopez and Tina Peters were all soundly defeated.
But was it really Republicans who broke my First Political Axiom? Likely not.
Republicans were saved from their own worst instincts by those meddling Unaffiliated voters.
As pointed out by Gazette columnist Eric Sondermann, of the roughly 570,000 votes cast in the Republican primary nearly 200,000 were from Unaffiliated voters.
I think the recent law opening primaries to Unaffiliateds is wrong on many levels. I’d repeal it in a heartbeat. But it is hard to deny it had a mammoth influence.
Though we can’t know how any of them voted, I’ll go out on the limb and say overwhelmingly those Unaffiliateds got the more electable Repubs past the primary finish line.
To add some delectable schadenfreude, the left spent millions to help Republicans Hanks, Lopez and Peters win their primary (like they successfully did with Dan Maes in 2010), only to see it backfire like Elmer Fudd’s hunting rifle.
And this is where abortion comes in.
Therefore, I was taken by Joe O’Dea’s early public stance on abortion. To win a Republican primary one touts one’s conservative bone vides. That includes a very clear and loud commitment to life.
O’Dea did the very opposite.
Not only did he say there should be protections for a woman to choose, at least up to some point in the pregnancy, he said when elected he would vote for a federal law to protect a woman’s legal access to abortion.
When I heard his publicly declared position, I thought could be electoral suicide for the man. At least it would have been before semi-open primaries.
It’s just not how you win a Republican primary. In fact, I’m having a hard time remembering when a pro-choice Republican won a Colorado primary for US Senate.
The man had no voting record. Hell, he had never even run for office before. He is not a known quantity. Nobody could call him out as either pro or anti-abortion.
In his stump speeches he could have thrown in a line or two about the sanctity of life, and then if he won the primary, he could go all centrist on abortion in the general election.
But he didn’t.
He took a completely different strategy and proudly went pro-choice in the primary. Or perhaps he was just being honest about his true beliefs on the topic. Could be Joe hasn’t been in politics long enough to learn the art of the lie.
Unaffiliated voters were accidentally educated that he is pro-choice by the multi-million-dollar advertising effort meant to scare Republicans to vote against him.
They chose to fill out the Republican primary for the non-Trumpy, non “scary” pro-choice guy. It’s not like the had a reason to fill out the Democrat ballot. There were no contested races on it.
Whether or not Republicans want to accept it, currently Colorado is very pro-choice.
Not only has every “personhood” amendment been decimated by voters, a reasonable, more-liberal-than-what-they-have-in-California late-term abortion ban failed at the ballot box by 59% to 41% less than two short years ago.
The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe vs. Wade is the Democrats Hail Mary desperation scare tactic to keep swing voters leaning their way. Like the simpleton citizens can’t see the recession, inflation and crime wave progressive policies have wrought.
Could 2022 be a full reversal of Caldara’s Axiom?
The Democrats pushed a palatable, pro-choice Republican to face a tired and complacent Bennet during an economic crisis.
So, what do you call the opposite of my Axiom?
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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