Colorado’s discerning and independent voters will again make the 2018 election a competitive drama that goes down to the wire.
There is a myth that Colorado was a Republican bastion for decades before Democrats finally broke through the red wall and the state is now inevitably headed blue. But the reality is that Colorado has been a purple state for the past 45 years, remains so today, and always will be.
Consider this: Massachusetts was a reliably Republican state in presidential elections for 68 years, from 1856 to 1924, then 89 years ago turned Democratic for almost every election since 1928 – except going twice for Eisenhower and twice for Reagan. And California has voted consistently Democratic since 1992, about 25 years ago, going Republican in 9 of the 10 presidential elections before then.
Compare this with Colorado, which voted Republican in 17 of the 22 presidential elections from 1920 to 2004, then switched to voting consistently Democratic in the last 3 elections (2008, 2012, and 2016).
Eight months into the Trump administration, a slate of top federal jobs in Colorado and the West remains unfilled — a hiring delay that touches everything from the environment to criminal justice and one which local leaders and activists said hampers their ability to work with the White House.
Full-time administrators have yet to be installed in the Colorado regional offices of the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Health and Human Services, among others.
The state also has an acting U.S. attorney and a vacant seat on the federal bench. A jurist nominated in June to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on the 10th U.S. District Court of Appeals only recently was given the green light to appear before a U.S. Senate panel for vetting.
The slow pace hasn’t gone unnoticed by either Democrats or Republicans, though the two sides often disagree on its primary cause — the White House or Congress.
Colorado has come up with a plan to spend the $68.7 million it was awarded in the Volkswagen emissions settlement.
The Denver Post reported Monday that the state’s plan calls for replacing 450 public and private vehicles with new alternative-fuel vehicles.
The state also wants to replace diesel-reliant transit buses, with expectations of funding 36 electric buses plus charging stations.
The funding, part of the $2.9 billion Volkswagen set aside for violating the federal Clean Air Act, stems from several fines levied against the German automaker after it was found to be cheating emissions tests so its cars would test much cleaner than they actually drove.