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Can Trump flip Colorado in 2020?

Author: Mark Harden - May 15, 2018 - Updated: May 16, 2018

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump speaks Friday, July 29, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Stacie Scott/The Gazette via AP)Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks July 29, 2016, in Colorado Springs. (Stacie Scott/The Gazette)

Can Donald Trump make Colorado great again? His campaign manager seems to think it’s possible.

Mind you, Colorado is a state that went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by nearly 5 percentage points in 2016, despite extensive campaigning in the state by Trump, and twice voted for Barack Obama over Republicans before that. It’s voted for Democrats for governor in six of the last eight elections as well.

Still, Brad Parscale — the impressively bearded political novice who was Trump’s 2016 digital director and who (at least for now) is the president’s 2020 campaign manager — thinks Colorado is flippable, Axios reports.

As Parscale sees it, Trump’s “hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement is a possible selling point” in Colorado.

(Hands off if you ignore Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ constant sabre-rattling about cracking down on pot sales — something that led GOP U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to temporarily block Trump’s Justice Department appointments in protest.)

Says Axios:

Parscale, who considers past presidential campaigns archaic, is emphasizing digital innovation, technological streamlining and corporate efficiency.

As my colleague Ernest Luning notes, a recent poll by Magellan Strategies, a Colorado-based GOP-leaning firm, showed that likely Republican primary voters overwhelmingly approve of the job Trump is doing. Those Trump-friendly voters are especially concerned about illegal immigration, Magellan concludes.

But only about a million of Colorado’s 3.27 million registered voters are Republicans, and a Gallup tracking poll conducted through 2017 revealed that just 37 percent of Colorado adults surveyed approved of Trump’s job performance in office, versus 59 percent who disapprove.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.