Red region in a blue state

Welcome to Blue State Colorado, home of the most significant electoral shift in the nation. Sure Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are bigger, but they always seem to be in play. Colorado has been a predictable red state since World War II — save only the post-assassination election of Lyndon Johnson in ’64 and the ’92 Bill Clinton victory. Change has been coming for the last few elections. Now it appears to have arrived.

However, if you were wondering about western Colorado — forget it. Mesa County is as “red” as ever.

John McCain beat Barack Obama in Mesa County by roughly 2 to 1. In fact, everyone with an “R” after their names won in Mesa County. Bob Schaffer had a landslide victory over Mark Udall. Even
Wayne Wolf soundly thumped Democrat Congressmen John Salazar. Wolf is the man we didn’t endorse because — astonishingly — he advocated for federal price fixing in local retail stores.

Regardless, being a “Republican,” he won in Mesa County.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Bernie Buescher’s loss to Republican Laura Bradford. Despite the fact that Bernie was set to become the speaker of the Colorado House, which could have been very good for western Colorado, he is a Democrat and too closely aligned with Gov. Ritter.

Mesa County was overwhelmingly conservative when it came to ballot issues, as well. Most new tax-and-spend measures were shot down — save one for the Clifton Fire District, perhaps the Fruita Recreation Center and some small special districts

For the most part, when the question was change, the answer was, “No, no, no.” In fact, Mesa County voters were so in the “no” mode they even voted “no” on a measure that would have made it more difficult to make amendments.

Republican County Commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland are comfortably back at their posts and Republicans won all commissioners’ races in Delta, Garfield and Montrose County.

So, to any blue newcomers to Colorado, welcome to the Western Slope. This is a red region through and through — more so now than ever.

We wish all the victorious candidates the best of luck in their respective offices. Most importantly, we also caution them to remember the difficult lessons learned by the city this year. Conservative areas like this love their heroic police and firefighters and are willing to pay for their very best. But even they, unfortunately, will lose out when politicians try to ride on their coattails with permanent tax increases.


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