Deafening silence

written by Kristy Milligan, Executive Director

In the wake of the election, candidates will evaluate their campaign strategy. What went well? What didn’t? Why did some win, and others lose?

At Citizens Project, we wish we had the resources to conduct widespread polling. What we do have the benefit of is reliable anecdotes and interactions with supporters and community members.  This election year, the one thing we heard the most was disappointment that candidates were not participating in surveys, interviews, and forums.

In Colorado Springs, we had two competitive Colorado Legislature races. And in those races, there were two candidates, Jennifer George and Mark Barker, who declined to participate in our programs and the programs of others. And those candidates lost.

Candidates are understandably reluctant to speak out on sensitive issues, so they avoid situations that would force them to answer hard questions. We submit, however, that even unpopular answers would have been better than no answers at all. It seems that voters agreed.


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