Colorado has been described as a classic purple state, but in many ways it’s more like two states, one red and one blue, fighting to occupy — and dominate — the same territory.
That is where the 51st state movement comes in. Eleven rural counties, upset over a growing divide with the Democrat-dominated state government on guns, energy and social issues, are asking voters on the Nov. 5 ballot whether their elected officials should pursue the creation of another state carved from northern Colorado.
It sounds radical, but then again, there is nothing ordinary about the political climate in Colorado. The historic Sept. 10 recall election that brought down two Democratic state senators was only the latest salvo in the ongoing trench war between liberals in the Denver-Boulder corridor and conservatives in the rest of the state.
“The polarization in this state is more pronounced than we’ve ever seen it,” said Dick Wadhams, political strategist and former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.
For proof, look no further than the Nov. 5 nonbinding ballot question. At the same time 11 counties are weighing the secession question, four liberal-minded municipalities are considering whether to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.