2023 Election, 2024 Election, Columnists, Elections, Jon Caldara, Uncategorized

Caldara: Why no one’s crying fraud in the 2023 election

(You can listen to this column, read by the author, here.)

There is one final observation from the Nov. 7 election no one seems to be talking about.

Proposition HH failed by more than 19 points and there doesn’t seem to be any real denial of the legitimacy of the results.

I mean no one is screaming about a stolen election. Most everyone seems to accept HH went down in flames, a bunch of city council seats changed hands, as did school board seats, and a bunch of local tax issues passed while many failed.

Nearly 43% of Colorado’s near 4 million registered voters cast a ballot and overwhelmingly by mail.

Again, ballots were mailed out like grocery store coupons. And now that more voters than ever are registered without their own knowledge, simply by getting a driver’s license, there are even more ballots flying around in mailboxes and apartment building mailrooms, ripe for the plucking.

This means ballot harvesting/stealing operations could have been in high mode. Yet no great conspiracies that the election was stolen.

Prop HH failed by 19 points. Donald Trump failed in Colorado in 2020 by just five points fewer and many, many people are convinced to this day that election was stolen, even here in this state.

The apparently clean 2023 election happened in the shadow of a national news story playing out in a Denver courtroom as a group of Trump haters try to deny him ballot access to the 2024 Republican Colorado presidential primary.

If successful here other states will certainly follow.

Their argument is a clever one. Trump participated in insurrection and therefore, via the 14th Amendment, is ineligible to run for president. Of course, he has never been convicted, no less charged with insurrection, so I have a hard time seeing this ploy being ultimately successful.

Furthermore, being on the ballot is very different than serving as president.

For example, the Constitution requires candidates for president be at least 35 years old. But if my research is right, twice before Colorado has had candidates on the ballot too young to serve — Linda Jenness of the Socialist Workers Party in 1972, when she was only 33, and vice-presidential nominee of the Prohibition Party, James Crandall, in 1892. He was only 34.

I’m just guessing here, but given the penchant of many Trump enthusiasts, should Trump be on the 2024 presidential ballot, and should he again lose, the cries of a stolen election will come back in a full force, including here in Colorado.

I understand those are two ifs: if he is on the ballot and if he loses. He could win.

Let me say it — if current President Joe Biden is on the ballot facing the former President Trump, Trump will certainly lose Colorado but likely win the national contest.

However, I don’t believe Joe Biden will be on the ballot next year. Either by pressure from inside his poll-reading party elite (maybe by using the pressure of his brother and son facing prosecutions if he doesn’t step down) or because of health issues that can no longer be covered up by his staff.

It’s harder to say the same about Trump. Unless the Republican candidates quickly narrow down to one winnable challenger, likely Nikki Haley, and caucus voters understand he will lose to anyone but Biden, Trump will be the nominee. And even then, he’s still likely to be nominated.

But back to no one screaming that the 2023 election was stolen. Obviously, no one’s screaming it was stolen because Trump wasn’t on the ballot. If he was, well, they’d be screaming. Because, somehow, someway the election was stolen. Duh, Trump can’t lose, never ever.

So, let’s play this one out. Imagine the Trump haters can convince the courts to keep him off the 2024 primary ballot in Colorado. Well then, there won’t be claims of a stolen election in Colorado in 2024, just like there weren’t claims of it being stolen this year.

And as proven by the 2020 and 2022 elections, nothing brings out Colorado voters to vote against Republicans like the boogie monsters of Donald Trump and the nonsensical fear of restrictions on abortion, even when neither are on the ballot.

So, if Trump is off the ballot in Colorado, Republicans might actually pick up a few seats and, like Prop HH, ballot questions will break toward taxpayers. Therefore, Colorado Dems crave Trump on the ballot.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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