Watching Tuesday's Debate? Here's Your Applicable Drinking Game

Gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton faced off on Wednesday, October 17.
Gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton faced off on Wednesday, October 17. 9News
The final gubernatorial debate is upon us, and let's be honest: Probably no one is sad about it, considering this is the sixth — yes, sixth — debate in a month. After suffering through last week's hour-long gubernatorial debate, we can now prepare you for tonight's final face-off between the candidates...with a drinking game. It's sure to make your debate-watching more lively. Plus, how much new ground can they really cover at this point? So take a drink of your beer (or your sauvignon blanc, or your La Croix, or take a bong hit — whatever floats your boat) every time you witness any of these things.

The first hour of the debate will be televised on Channel 7; an additional half-hour can be live-streamed at thedenverchannel.com.

If either candidate is wearing running shoes
First, if Democratic Congressman Jared Polis is wearing his bright-blue running shoes again (as he is wont to do), take a drink — or chug your beer or cocktail to pre-game and get this debate party started off right. If Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton happens to wear his sneakers, too, then you might want to pace yourself.

Any time the moderators have to ask a question again or remind the candidate that he didn't answer one
Last week's debate moderators, Kyle Clark and Marshall Zelinger, did a pretty good job of this, but the candidates still ran right over them a few times. Drink up any time talking points get in the way of actually answering a debate question. 

Any time Filing Cabinet-Gate comes up
Well, it wouldn't be a Colorado gubernatorial debate in 2018 if Filing Cabinet-Gate didn't come up, so drink every time it's mentioned — by moderators, by Stapleton or by Polis himself (though he's unlikely to bring it up). Stapleton simply wouldn't let it go at last week's debate, linking the faux scandal to several topics including the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on a Colorado cake baker who refused to bake for a gay couple. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about the unfortunate 1999 filing cabinet incident, you can prime yourself here. But basically, Polis's former employee was stealing documents, she hit him with her bag, and he shoved her. No charges were filed against Polis and charges were filed against the employee, but that doesn't seem to matter to Stapleton.

When Stapleton utters "radical" or "extreme" or makes any mention of socialism
Fear-mongering was a theme of the last debate, and most of it came from Stapleton. He's keen on letting people know how Polis will destroy capitalism, bankrupt the state and kill all of the jobs. So you know what to do: Drink any time you hear him talk about how "radical," "extreme" or socialist Polis is.

When Stapleton mentions his kids or his family values
Both of the candidates have children, but Stapleton repeatedly identifies himself as a Dad TM. He brought it up several times in answers to questions in last week's debate, and Polis kind of called him out on it in a nice way when Clark and Zellinger asked each candidate to say something nice about their opponent. "He's a good dad. He talks about his kids a lot," Polis said.

Any mention of the general fund
If moderators are doing their jobs and asking for specifics on how candidates would fund their platforms, expect the general fund to get at least a few mentions. It's the state coffer funded mostly by income, sales and use taxes that pays for core programs like education, health care, human services and the government itself. Candidates mentioned it more than once at last week's debate. 
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Paige Yowell joined Westword as a staff writer in 2018. Born and raised in Nebraska, she previously worked as a business reporter for the Omaha World-Herald.
Contact: Paige Yowell