Republican state senate candidate Christine Jensen of Wheat Ridge has repeatedly refused to tell voters where she stands on Trump.
Jensen’s website makes no mention of Trump, and a search for any comments on the president turns up nothing. Jensen didn’t return multiple messages from the Colorado Times Recorder, including one phone message today asking to discuss her views on Trump’s presidency.
“Simple question,” a commenter asked Jensen on her campaign’s Facebook page, “Do you support Donald Trump?”
Her response? Nothing. As of publication, the weeks-old question sits unanswered.
Political analysts say Republicans like Jensen are deliberately avoiding any discussion of Trump, even if they support him, in an effort to appease voters, particularly women, who don’t like the president.
“Those politicians have probably done their political calculations and decided that distancing themselves from Trump is a wiser political strategy than embracing him, especially in the suburbs, which are in play all over the country,” said Glenn Morris, Associate Prof. of Political Science at the University of Colorado at Denver. “There are even some very angry Republican women voters who are going Democratic.”
Morris pointed out that Trump himself said this week that the upcoming election is a referendum on him and his policies.
Steve Welchert, a Democratic political consultant, says politicians like Jensen are doing their best not to offend suburban women.
“You’re tempted to call it cowardice to stay silent on Trump, but it’s actually fairly smart politics on their part,” said Welchert. “Suburban women are turning away from Trump in droves. It’s no great surprise. They are just done.”
On the issues, Jensen appears to align with Trump.
Even though Washington Republicans failed three times to do it, Jensen still wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, stripping hundreds of thousands of health insurance in Colorado. And she’s sided with corporate interests over family-friendly legislation, like paid time off for sick days or to care for newborn.
She defines herself as sitting on the right wing of the Republican Party.
In refusing to talk about Trump, Jensen joins other swing-district Republicans, who appear to be running in the opposite direction when Trump’s name comes up. These candidates include Toren Mushovic of Greenwood Village, Tony Sanchez of Lakewood, and Beth Martinez Humenik of Thornton.
But while many Republicans in state legislative races, like Jensen, have stayed silent on
Trump, a few have taken the opposite tack, standing firmly in support of the President.
State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton, who faces Democrat Tammy Story in another competitive senate race in Jefferson County, has made no secret of his support for Trump. He even attended a celebration of Trump’s “Year of Greatness” marking the President’s anniversary in office.
Republican state house candidate Grady Nouis of Westminster has made it clear that he stands 100 percent with Trump.
Voters in Jensen’s district and across Colorado are already receiving their election ballots in their mailboxes. They must be received by county officials by Tuesday, Nov. 6.