The conventional wisdom going into yesterday’s Colorado recall votes was that Senate Prez John Morse was in trouble, but Angela Giron would most likely live to cast more anti-gun votes. Her district leaned much more to port than Morse’s, voting heavily for Barack Obama in 2012. And organizers collected relatively fewer recall petition signatures in her district than they did in Morse’s. So why didn’t polling reveal how deep a hole Giron had dug for herself with her gun-grabbing advocacy and unapologetically hoplophobic voting record? It did, actually, you just never saw the results. When left-leaning polling shop Public Policy Polling surveyed the electorate in Giron’s district, the results showed her under water by 12 points. But, but, but that just couldn’t be! Or so PPP concluded. Surely a dutiful bunch that marched in lock-step to reelect The Disarmer In Chief by almost 20 points wouldn’t boot poor Angela just because of what PPP called, “pretty unobtrusive laws that Giron helped get passed.” So they took the only course of action open to a lefty polling firm that comes up with numbers it doesn’t like: they stuffed their fingers in their ears, shut their eyes and shouted, LA LA LA LA LA . . .
That’s right, they spiked the poll results. Only one problem…their data turned out to be dead…on…balls…accurate. Giron did, in fact, go down by 12 percentage points last night. Instead of gleefully thumbing her nose at Colorado gun rights supporters and the NRA today, she’s cleaning out her office and giving tearful hugs to former colleagues. Holy cognitive dissonance, Batman! And now PPP’s Tom Jensen has put this wonderful explanation up on their web site, bless his heart:
Reflecting on the Colorado recalls
We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll. It turns out we should have had more faith in our numbers becaue she was indeed recalled by 12 points.
What’s interesting about our poll is that it didn’t find the gun control measures that drove the recall election to be that unpopular. Expanded background checks for gun buyers had 68/27 support among voters in the district, reflecting the overwhelming popularity for that we’ve found across the country. And voters were evenly divided on the law limiting high capacity ammunition magazines to 15 bullets, with 47% supporting and 47% opposing it. If voters were really making their recall votes based on those two laws, that doesn’t point to recalling Giron by a 12 point margin.
We did find on the poll though that voters in the district had a favorable opinion of the NRA by a 53/33 margin. And I think when you see the final results what that indicates is they just did a good job of turning the election more broadly into do you support gun rights or are you opposed to them. If voters made their decision based on the actual pretty unobtrusive laws that Giron helped get passed, she likely would have survived. But the NRA won the messaging game and turned it into something bigger than it was- even if that wasn’t true- and Giron paid the price.
John Hickenlooper won the district overwhelmingly in 2010 but is only tied at 42 with Tom Tancredo in a hypothetical match up there, so it’s something Democrats will have to figure out how to deal with before next year.
Here’s our poll from the weekend.