Rocky Mountain Way
Rob Witwer, writing for National Review Online, explains how Republicans lost control of Colorado. And it’s coming our way:
In 2004, Colorado Republicans controlled the governor’s mansion, both U.S. Senate seats, five of the state’s seven congressional seats, and both houses of the state legislature. Only 48 months later, the state’s Democrats found themselves in that very same position.
Experts on both sides of the aisle agree that what happened in Colorado from 2004 to 2008 (during which time registered Republicans outnumbered registered Democrats statewide) was about much more than the anti-Republican political environment. It was, in the words of former Clinton staffer Rob Stein, the result of a “more strategic, more focused, more disciplined, better financed” progressive movement at the grassroots level.
And if Stein has his way, Colorado is just the beginning. Under the auspices of a group of over 80 super-wealthy donors called the Democracy Alliance, progressives are spending $110 million to export their Colorado blueprint to over a dozen states in 2010, including Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Witwer notes some lessons to be learned for Republicans, including that state legislative races are more important than most people think, and the left’s success can be traced to how they built a permanent infrastructure that replaced the party in significance.