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The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care) Paperback – May 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speaker's Corner; and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936218003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936218004
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Colorado turnaround in 2008 was nothing short of phenomenal: a once rock-solid Republican state went Democratic in a big way. And members of both parties are still scratching their heads over what happened. Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer have dug into the question for their book 'The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care.' --Political Bookworm Blog by Steven Levingston

About the Author

Rob Witwer is a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives. He has successfully managed six local campaigns and has served as legal counsel to the Colorado Republican party, the governor of Colorado, and several legislative, congressional, and gubernatorial candidates. Witwer practices law in Denver and lives in Golden with his wife and four sons. Adam Schrager covers politics for KUSA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Denver, Colorado. In more than 15 years in the business, he has won numerous broadcast journalism accolades, including more than a dozen Emmy awards. He is the author of The Principled Politician: Governor Ralph Carr and the Fight against Japanese American Internment. He teaches an introductory class on broadcast journalism at the University of Denver.

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Customer Reviews

Well, we have been targeted by the liberal progressives.
Fly'n Betty
Well written and very informative insight into the workings of Democratic coalitions and their mindsets.
D. McKinnon
Learned a great deal about how Colorado and National Democratic tactics and strategy operate.
Charles Lawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Eli Stokols on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Across the country, Republicans are excited about their electoral prospects this November and poised, it would seem for a comeback. But, at least in Colorado, that may not be a forgone conclusion, however strong the national political headwinds are blowing in the GOP's direction. The reason: the Democratic infrastructure built over the last seven years by a band of deep-pocketed progressives -- an infrastructure that, through creative and coordinated fundraising, messaging and get-out-the-vote operations, has, over three consecutive election cycles from 2004 to 2008, shattered the GOP's iron-clad grip on political power in what had long been a reliably red state. It's a stunning and well-crafted story from authors Rob Witwer, a former Republican state representative, and seasoned political reporter Adam Schrager, a story-teller second to none. The Blueprint takes you behind the scenes, inside the smoke-filled rooms at the pivotal moments, and up close with the major players. It's a politico's page-turner, an insider's account of how a few determined Democrats turned Colorado blue; and it comes just months ahead of this fall's midterm elections, sure to be a telling test of whether or not their "blueprint" will be strong enough to keep it that way.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Burton on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you walk away with nothing from this book, and from this review, it should be this: by using data, organization, and money, there are political operatives out there manipulating how voters think about their candidates, and not necessarily with accurate information.

Without a doubt, the book is what it purports to be: a blueprint for the Democratic strategy to successfully turn Republican leaning states, districts and offices over to Democrats. And it's already worked. Democrats, in what was in 2002 one of the reddest states of country, now control the state House and Senate, both US Senate seats, the Governors mansion, and five of the seven Congressional seats. Further, as the authors, Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer, argue, it's a plan that is being exported to other states, and even being used nationally, to take down Republicans everywhere.

So what's the secret? How do Democrats turn a conservative state into a left leaning Democratic stronghold? Tom Tancredo, former Republican Congressman, summed it up nicely:

"It doesn't matter if you are running for the state legislature or the president of the United States. Brilliant organization, unlimited resources, and the effective use of technology all in the hands of bright people who are driven more than just simple ideology create the most formidable campaign strategy imaginable."

And that's exactly what happened. Conceived as a project by several millionaires--and not just your garden variety millionaires, but including dot-com millionaires with a penchant for data manipulation and a surplus of cash--the Colorado story is that of a small cadre of intelligent individuals bypassing the traditional political parties to orchestrate an ambush on Republican office holders that flipped Colorado to the Democrats.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll freely admit that I read this book because one of the authors is a friend of mine from law school. I fully expected to hate it - for no other reason that I have never been much interested in politics. I assumed that no matter how good the writing was (and knowing Rob, it was going to be good) the subject matter was either going to put me to sleep or hopelessly confuse me. I assumed this would be "inside baseball" for a sport about which I knew nothing and cared little.

I was VERY pleasantly surprised, and I'm here to tell you that this book is fascinating. The authors lay out a case that is largely free from their own commentary - they say what happened, and how, and they make it read like a detective story. When I was done reading, I found it hard to imagine that no one before Colorado 2004 had tried the strategy in this book; it seems utterly inevitable now, and yet the book makes it clear how groundbreaking the strategy was.

Schrager and Witwer lay out the story and the evidence in a clear and compelling way, without arguing that the Democrats' stunning takeover of Colorado was good or bad - just that it happened, that it was no accident, and that it's already being replicated all over the country. Even with my lack of any real base knowledge of behind-the-scenes political maneuvering, I found the story interesting and easy to follow. It changed my understanding of how political races are fought and won, and about campaign finance (and campaign finance reform legislation). It will change the way I think about the news for a long time to come.

Every American should read this book in order to understand what is going on RIGHT NOW in American politics. More importantly, the education in this book comes in a very well-written, enjoyable form. You won't have to suffer through this civics lesson - you'll actually like it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fillmore_Jive on April 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Impeccably researched and detailed, but compelling like a good political thriller, this book answers the questions about how a savvy few initiated one of the most significant sea changes in collective political will in recent memory. Campaigns for public office have forever changed and "The Blueprint" lays out the precise template parties, candidates and interest groups are already following for future election cycles. I imagine this will be come a popular book among strategists, pundits and armchair elections experts across the country.
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