Colorado voters ousted two state senators who had pushed the state's tougher gun control laws. Despite recent gun massacres in the US, the vote shows the power of Second Amendment advocates.
The power of Second Amendment advocacy ricocheted across Colorado this week with the recall of two state legislators who had pushed for tighter gun control.
State Senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron, both Democrats, were defeated in special elections, and both will be replaced by Republicans on the pro-gun side of the political ledger.
In the wake of the mass shooting at a suburban Denver theater last year, the Colorado state legislature passed stiffer gun control measures, including expanded background checks for gun buyers and limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Both ousted senators had supported that legislation.
Senator Morse's recall election was close, 51-49 percent, while Senator Giron was recalled by a margin of 56-44 percent. In both cases, Republicans won 100 percent of the vote to determine who would replace the ousted senators.
Gun rights supporters see the votes as a clear warning to any other politician who wants to keep his or her job. In a statement, the Colorado Republican Party called the results "a loud and clear message to out-of-touch Democrats across the nation."
Like a lot of other Democrats, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to move on as quickly as possible to other issues. In a statement, he said he was "disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections," calling on voters to "refocus again on what unites Coloradans – creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state – and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward."
The recall vote may not bode well for his political future.
“Gov. John Hickenlooper – once deemed so unbeatable that the GOP couldn't even find a candidate to run against him in 2014 – now faces falling approval ratings and a crowded field of Republican contenders, in part for backing stricter gun measures,” the Denver Post reported Tuesday as the results of the recall vote became clear.
A Quinnipiac poll last month had the governor on the losing side – 45-47 percent – of a question about whether he deserves reelection next year, with an overall 48 percent approval rating the polling organization called “lackluster.” One major reason likely was his stance on gun issues, with most Coloradans disapproving 52-35 percent.