(Denver Channel 7)
Morse lost by two points (51-49) to former Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin, and Giron lost by a stunning twelve points (56-44) to retired Pueblo deputy police chief George Rivera. Morse, representing a more conservative district, was considered the more vulnerable of the two and thus drew the majority of the large contributions – totaling some $3 million – coming from major Democrat sources, such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($350,000), which saw a 7-to-1 spending advantage, as well as efforts by Democrat national leaders to influence the turnout, including Joe Biden and Bill Clinton, and the staff of Obama's Organizing for America.
Giron's margin of defeat was surprising since her district is composed of mostly blue-collar union workers, who were expected to vote in a traditional lock-step according to the party wishes.
Morse and Giron were among those, including Governor John Hickenlooper, who pushed for state bills that limited rifle magazines to no more than 15 rounds, required background checks for private sales and transfers of guns, and held manufacturers liable for damages caused by criminals who used their guns in the commission of a crime. The uproar has caused companies such as Magpul, HiViz, and the Outdoor Channel to announce that they are leaving the state to find a manufacturing home where citizens and law enforcement can purchase their products and be free of legislators who lobby against their businesses.
Morse was the larger target of the effort due to his impact on forcing the bills through the Senate, and he spoke of the anti-gun effort as "cleansing a sickness from our souls", a widely reported comment that many voters found offensive.
The drive was primarily a grass-roots effort, though the NRA contributed a share equal to Mayor Bloomberg, and coalesced around three young plumbers with no experience in rallying election victories, running the campaign off of lap tops. One of them, Victor Head, was dismissed as an "unemployed plumber" by Morse during an interview on MSNBC. Last night, Head, who runs his family plumbing business, responded with "And I have a message for John Morse: who's unemployed now?"