Conservative voters cannot wait for November to arrive. With federal scandals abounding, a security crisis at our southern border, and record levels of dissatisfaction with government, many are expecting a landslide change in Washington and state capitols like Denver.
But current hopes for a landslide change won’t make it a reality. Not in Washington, and not in Denver.
America has become a 50/50 nation. And Colorado is looking like a 50/50 state. Voters in Colorado are evenly divided right now on who their next governor will be. Support for incumbent Governor Hickenlooper is softening, and he’s looking weak in the polls. It’s not hard to see why.
He led an unconstitutional incursion on Second Amendment rights. He continues to delay progress on energy exploration in the state, even arranging for a November ballot measure on fracking to be killed and the process to be handed over to a commission appointed by himself. He won’t take a position on the Keystone Pipeline either.
All this while he engages in questionable priorities for the state; reprieving the sentence of a convicted murder; implementing Common Core, a one-size-fits-all, big-government education program that can’t possibly be best for all students in all cases; and playing billiards with President Obama. Nothing good can come of this for Coloradans.
In recent years the federal government has had such a growing influence over every level of public policy. Sometimes it’s distracting. We forget that state governments and governors still play a critical role in preserving liberty or curtailing it in favor of a bigger government.
Complicating matters is the fact that roughly half of voters—both nationwide and in states like Colorado—have such a vested interest in a bigger government. Remember, when governors like John Hickenlooper get to pick the winners and losers, there are still plenty of beneficiaries willing to support his agenda and vote for him on Election Day.
Change will happen in November. I expect Congress will become more conservative. A narrow Republican majority in the Senate will help make a difference. And, I think that Coloradans will vote for a more responsive governor. One who will remove government obstacles to economic progress and preserve freedom.
Just don’t expect a landslide. In a 50/50 era, voters who believe in a smaller, more accountable government need to settle for incremental change.
David Payne is a partner at VOX Global and is a national expert on advocacy in the digital age. Payne has worked on Republican congressional campaigns as well as major national grassroots campaigns in favor of free markets and limited government. Payne also teaches on digital campaign topics at The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.