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The results are in, and voters approved Referendum C but rejected Referendum D. While C&D were a nice little package, C was the most important of the two and the loss of D is not terribly significant in terms of what the supporters of TABOR reform were hoping to accomplish. So, what happened?
It isn’t a great surprise that Referendum C passed, but it does have to be considered a minor upset. While the full extent of why C passed won’t be known for some time, the early analysis shows that it had a lot to do with turnout. Traditionally Democratic areas like Denver and Boulder had strong turnout that broke nearly 65 percent in favor of Referendum C. Conversely, traditional Republican areas like El Paso County (Colorado Springs) did not turn out as strongly against Referendum C, with only 53 percent voting against it.
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In short, the hardcore opponents to Referendum C just didn’t turn out to vote in the same numbers that strong proponents of the measure did. That may seem like a pretty obvious analysis, but sometimes it can be fairly simple: it looks like the people who would have defeated Referendum C just didn’t show up.