Via the Corner. Tuesday night, expecting a close race, I couldn’t believe that she lost by 12 points. Now, after watching her for the first time, I can’t believe she lost by only 12 points.
She’s got one argument here — “voter suppression,” ripped straight from the DNC’s talking points memo, which is completely destroyed by her own now-famous admission a few weeks ago that if Bloomberg and his anti-gun group couldn’t buy her a victory in this race, “they might as well fold it up.” They did their best for her; as Erika noted earlier, gun-grabbers outspent gun-rights supporters overwhelmingly. If that kind of money can’t get gun-control fans to drive to the polls, in a state where there was a horrendous mass shooting barely more than a year ago, maybe the votes simply aren’t there.
Sean Trende considers, then largely dismisses, the idea that the lack of mail-in ballots doomed the Democrats:
After the failure of the Senate gun-control bill, it was fashionable to argue, a la the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky: “You cannot oppose the will of 90 percent of the public and expect no consequences.”
It appears that you can. For one thing, that 90 percent number represents something of a best case result drawn from a best-case question wording; actual public support for, say, universal background checks is somewhat lower (though clearly still a majority). Perhaps, as I explained in April, the energy is all on the side of the voters who oppose gun control. For example, while Americans might support universal background checks in the abstract, in practice they just don’t care that much about it. Those who oppose them, however, care a lot.
Gun-control proponents had argued that Newtown changed everything. The Colorado recalls are a fresh reminder of how weak an argument that truly is.
Poll an American voter on whether he/she supports expanded background checks and you’ll almost certainly be told yes. How much is that support really worth if they won’t get off the couch on a summer night to go pull the lever for it?
If Giron’s eager to blame the results on something other than support for gun rights, though, she could always blame it on a backlash to her and John Morse’s personal jackassery:
As it turns out, Morse and Giron sealed their fates on March 4, the day that the anti-gun bills were heard in Senate committees. At Morse’s instruction, only 90 minutes of testimony per side were allowed on each of the gun bills. As a result, hundreds of Colorado citizens were prevented from testifying even briefly. Many of them had driven hours to come to the Capitol, traveling from all over the state.
That same day, 30 Sheriffs came to testify. They too were shut out, with only a single Sheriff allowed to testify on any given bill. So while one Sheriff testified, others stood up with him in support…
When Morse shut that down, and Chairperson Giron went along, they crossed the double-red line of Colorado government. Had the seven gun control bills (one of which I testified in favor) been heard on March 4-6, instead of being rammed through committees on March 4, the recall might never have happened. It’s one thing to lose; it’s another to thing to lose when you didn’t even have the opportunity to present your reasoning. While the gun control bills were before the Senate in March, President Morse urged his caucus to stop reading emails, to stop reading letters from constituents, to stop listening to voicemails, to vote for the gun bills and ignore the constituents. Giron, presciently following this strategy, had allowed citizens to raise Second Amendment concerns at a single town hall meeting, and thereafter refused to discuss the issue at public fora.
They did their best to deny their opponents a voice — let’s call that “voter suppression” — so their opponents spoke on Tuesday night. Game over.
Exit question: What are we to make of the fact that CNN’s Brooke Baldwin is as impatient with Giron’s spinning here as gun-rights fans are?