Unaffiliated in Colorado

With issues like gun control, abortion, Trumpism, education, and inflation hanging in the balance, we registered Unaffiliated (i.e., independent) voters in Colorado have some interesting options to consider this year.

Ballots for the 2022 primaries will be mailed to us next week (all registered voters receive their ballots in the mail), and Unaffiliated voters will receive both the Democrat and Republican ballots. We can vote with either one, but not both. (This wasn’t always the case. Until 2016, we Unaffiliateds couldn’t vote in either primary unless we first changed our registration to the desired party. Early this year Republicans filed suit to overturn the 2016 measure, but failed. )

Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet (D) is up for reelection this year and it occurs to me that instead of voting for him, I could use my Republican ballot to vote for the weakest possible Republican opponent. (The current favorite Republican is extremely conservative — pro-gun, anti-abortion, pro-Trump. But there is also a more moderate Republican on the ballot, who would support some, although very limited, abortion rights and who thinks modest red flag laws make sense.)

Many national news outlets seem to think Bennet’s seat is safe; certainly the state has become more Democratic in recent years. But some speculate he might be vulnerable and that the GOP will therefore provide a lot of support for his Republican opponent.

Which candidate could Bennet most easily defeat — the more moderate Republican or the hard-right candidate? Which would I rather see in Washington if Bennet were to lose?

Currently I plan to vote for Bennet in November, but the options presented in the primaries are thought-provoking.

16 thoughts on “Unaffiliated in Colorado

    1. Actually, given the way Republicans are going so far right, I was thinking the more moderate guy might get less GOP support and therefore be the weaker. And also of the two, he’s the one I’d rather see get elected if Bennet were to lose. There’s a third GOP candidate, but I think she’s also pretty far right.

  1. This was the strategy some talk show hosts encouraged years ago when Hillary was running against Obama in a primary.
    I never really understood that – mainly because it would be gaming the system instead of voting for who you really support. Not the way the system is supposed to work. But it has been backward world for longer than many thought?
    (How’s the weather? Trail Ridge black open? Hoping to see it this year…but darn the reservation thing! Always love your picture/posts about the restful area/scenery)

    1. I’d never thought of voting like this until I read about it being done somewhere else. Georgia, maybe. Certainly I wouldn’t do it in the general election. But in the primaries, with only one Democrat running, I’m not sure I see it as gaming the system. One could also do it just by changing party registration. I’m not averse to doing something that’s perfectly legal.

      It was nice and cool and wet last week and we got a bit more than an inch of rain. The nice wet stuff that soaks in instead of evaporating immediately like the snow. I actually turned my sprinklers off all week. Was in the 80s yesterday and today. Chance of more rain promised tomorrow thru Weds. Trail Ridge is open again. They’ve had a rough spring with late snow and then the rock fall. Hopefully this time it’s for the season. Webcam shows the back deck at the Alpine Visitor Center still hasn’t been dug out, but they’re working on it.

  2. Interesting options, similar to Virginia where we have open primaries in which, if both parties are running a primary, you can choose a Republican or a Democratic party ballot. It is tempting to try to use one’s vote in a negative way, yet empirically I have evidence that it doesn’t work the way one might hope.

    1. I’ve about decided to just forget the tomfoolery and vote the Dem ballot. It could be fun showing those who tally such things that Dem votes do indeed dominate in Colorado, which was purple until recently, and red before that. And a strong showing for Sen. Bennet might convince the national GOP to stay out of our races. I really hate it when out-of-state money comes flowing into our state and local elections.

  3. My record of voting for the greater evil in primaries in order to elevate the possibility of a lessor evil from the opposing party winning the election is… miserable.  Consider than I bet actual money that the moronic Trump could NEVER be elected, so I voted for the much less evil Libertarian candidate instead of helping Hillary who I had bet could not lose.

    1. “Actual money”? Ouch. But I, too, was confident America was too smart to elect an utterly unqualified imbecile like Trump. Not that I liked Hillary at all, but the thought of Trump being elected was nightmarish. The nightmare became reality. My disillusionment with the American electorate is complete.

      1. I think the best strategy in voting for those unlikely to win would be to check the polls just before the election. I’ve thought of doing it in the past but always felt queasy and didn’t do it. (OMG, what if they won?) In 2020 I actually thought Bennett would be best! He’s a great common-sense guy. Biden would have been my last choice of the Dems but I voted for him because he’s not Trump.

        1. Coincidentally, because ballots were mailed out yesterday, a local newsman reported tallies from our last three elections — total Republican ballots vs total Dem ballots. Dem ballots, always a majority, showed a steady increase across three elections. And he mentioned how that included ballots cast by Unaffiliateds. A trend I’d like to continue. Bennet is so low key, I’m surprised you even know him. He’s a terrible speaker, but smart and honest.

... and that's my two cents

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