It was too many Republicans
Columnist Ellen Miller posits that U.S. Senate candidate Tom Strickland lost the support of western Colorado because he supported Clinton's recent declaration of a new national monument for Utah and consequently lost the race to Wayne Allard (HCN, 11/25/96). Her reasoning is wrong. Strickland lost simply because there were 105,000 more registered Republicans (who tend to vote the party line) than Democrats (who tend to not vote at all).
Furthermore, to suggest that our "campaign gunslingers relied on quick polls and focus groups' and that "he let his handlers call a big one" is pure fallacy. We never conducted any focus groups on any issues during the campaign nor did Strickland ever rely on "handlers." He traveled to the Grand Canyon with Gov. Romer because President Clinton asked him and because he has always supported the preservation of 5.7 million acres of Utah wilderness well before he ever became a candidate.
Matthew L. Moseley
The writer was youth-vote director for the Strickland campaign for U.S. Senate.