Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Here’s how badly Colorado’s secession movement failed

In yesterday’s election, 11 Colorado counties voted on whether they wanted to secede from Colorado and form a new state, North Colorado, a.k.a TeaPartyGunNutFrackitupiStan.

Not all the votes have been counted, but the results so far show that five of those counties voted solidly in favor of secession, while the other six voted just as solidly against it.

Some people have fallen for the standard Republican trick of analyzing voting results in terms of square miles. In this case, that sleazy trick becomes comparing numbers of counties on one side vs. numbers on the other. When you look at it that way, you might think that secession is a powerful force out here in the Mountain West where men are men and fracking injections are wonderful for the environment. Five counties want to secede! And all of them are filled with sunburned, Stetson-wearin’, squinty-eyed, gun-totin’ manly men. Also their wives and hosses and little cowboys and cowgals.

Wal, hold on a jest minute there, buckaroo.

I put the latest election results I could find into a spreadsheet and did some simple arithmetic. Not all of the vote counts are final, but I should think they’re fairly close to complete by now.

Here’s what I found.

If you add up all the Yes and No votes in the 11 counties, you get 91,377 votes cast. We only had two state-wide issues on yesterday’s Colorado ballot, so I chose one of them, Amendment 66 (which failed, damn it), as a way to get the total statewide vote cast yesterday. The Yes and No votes on Amendment 66 total 1,268,889. That means that the total number of Yes and No voters in the 11 counties voting on secession only amounted to 7.2% of the total statewide vote. Hmm. Lotsa square miles out there on that rolling, highly frackable prairie, but not a lot of voters.

Now, if you add up all of the No votes in the 11 counties — i.e., the votes against secession — you get 50,293. All the Yes votes add up to 41,084. As percentages of the 91,377 votes cast on the secession issue, that gives you a vote of 55% to 45% against secession.

I call that a resounding defeat.