WASHINGTON — Last Friday, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette spoke at a rally at Colorado College in support of embattled Senate President John Morse. After her fellow Democrat was booted out of office, Thursday the Denver lawmaker had little to say about the results of the recall.
“I don’t have an opinion on that,” the avowed gun-control supporter said hurriedly and without turning toward the questioner as is her custom.
DeGette’s lack of response contrasted with that of Rep. Cory Gardner. The Yuma Republican wasted no time to answer a reporter’s question about the significance of the recall, which resulted not only in Morse losing his job but State Sen. Angela Giron too.
“I think the recall election was a vote that showed Coloradans are sick and tired of the (state) Democratic legislature being out of touch and extreme,” the staunch gun-rights supporter said in the lobby off the House floor.
The results of a controversial September 7-9 survey conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling suggest a different possibility.
The PPP poll found that in Giron’s district in Pueblo, respondents were evenly divided, 47-47, on the question of restricting magazine capacity, while 68 percent backed expanding background checks to all gun purchases. Yet the results of the survey suggested a deeper reason for DeGette’s reticence and Gardner’s ebullience.
Looking at the cross tabs, the survey shows that a broad coalition can be assembled to support gun rights.
While some Democrats believe their “coalition of the ascendant” will lead them to a permanent majority, the survey suggests Republicans can make inroads into some Democratic constituencies by appealing to a gun-rights agenda.
In Giron’s district, the PPP survey found that Hispanics supported the recall by a 50-44 margin and female voters by a 51-44 tally. Blacks opposed the recall 7-67.
The National Rifle Association drew popular support too.
By a margin of 53-33, voters in Giron’s district said they have a positive feeling toward the gun-rights group. Independents felt more positively than negatively toward the NRA by a 43-35 score.
Giron was recalled Tuesday night by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin in her heavily Democratic district.
Morse was also recalled, albeit by a smaller margin of 51 percent to 49.
Giron has blamed her loss on “voter suppression.”