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Posts in "Colorado"
August 8, 2014
Republicans appear to have avoided disaster by not nominating polarizing former Rep. Tom Tancredo in their effort to knock off Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Former Rep. Bob Beauprez gives Republicans a credible nominee and polls have shown him within striking distance of the governor. But he has also been underfunded, and this looks like a race the Republican Governors Association is going to have to carry across the finish line if the GOP wants to win it.
The overlap with the very competitive U.S. Senate race between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner and the competitive 6th District race between Democrat Andrew Romanoff and incumbent Republican Mike Coffman makes Colorado a top state to watch on election night.
June 25, 2014
Giving up a run for office in the middle of a cycle may seem like admitting defeat, but for at least a couple of candidates this year, switching races may end up being the best political decision of their lives.
Republican Ken Buck was a Senate loser. The Weld County district attorney lost the Colorado Senate race in 2010 to Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who had been appointed to the seat, in one of most often-mentioned tea party meltdowns in recent history. Full story
June 5, 2014
The office of lieutenant governor is so important that five states don’t even have one, yet that hasn’t stopped the national political media from treating some contests for the office as crucial indicators of something.
In the recent primary runoff in Texas, anti-establishment conservative state Sen. Dan Patrick unseated incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by a sizable margin. The result received considerable attention since it fit neatly into the “tea party takeover of the Republican Party” narrative that has been struggling to survive since all but one GOP member of Congress won his or her primary through the end of May.
Maybe it’s the proliferation of political reporters and news outlets or the lack of other serious contests, or a mixture of both, but the conclusion that a race for lieutenant governor has some larger, long-term political impact is still unproved. Full story
March 18, 2014
Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall never had intimidating poll numbers this cycle, but uncertainty about the GOP primary raised questions about the seriousness of the Republican threat to him. But all that changed when Republican Rep. Cory Gardner decided to run for the Senate in Colorado.
His decision instantly gave Republicans a top-tier candidate in the race and quickly forced three other GOP hopefuls out of the contest. Gardner and Republicans now have a legitimate shot in the Centennial State this fall.
Udall led Gardner 45 percent to 44 percent in a March 8-9 automated survey of 689 likely voters by Harper Polling for the GOP-friendly American Action Network, which was released to CQ Roll Call.
The survey also showed Udall with a 39 percent favorable/43 unfavorable ratings compared to 28 percent favorable/28 percent unfavorable for Gardner. Thirty-seven percent said that the senator deserved re-election, while 50 percent said it was time to “give someone else a chance.” Full story
March 3, 2014
For the second time, Republican Ken Buck has failed to become a United States senator from Colorado. But his most recent campaign was not in vain and helped make him the front-runner for a seat in the House.
GOP Rep. Cory Gardner’s decision last week to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall had a domino effect. Buck, the one-time front-runner for the Senate nomination, dropped down to Gardner’s open 4th District instead of challenging the congressman in the primary.
Even though the filing deadline is still nearly a month away, the state party’s process for selecting nominees begins at Tuesday’s precinct caucuses. And since Buck has been working delegates for months in advance of his Senate primary, he starts ahead of any other congressional hopefuls. Full story
February 26, 2014
In a surprise decision, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner has decided to jump into the Colorado Senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. While there are other Republicans running already, Gardner gives the GOP an upper-tier candidate in a race that has not been considered competitive until now. The news was first reported by the Denver Post.
Gardner is considered a rising star with the Republican ranks, but also a member who is somewhat risk averse. Up to this point, it appeared that Gardner was not willing to give up his safe 4th District seat for a long-shot run against Udall in a very competitive state. Full story
February 20, 2014
For Republicans in D.C., the Affordable Care Act is a black and white issue — you are either for it or against it. And they are all against it. But for many GOP legislators and candidates outside the Beltway, the politics of Obamacare is much more complicated.
In Oregon, state Rep. Jason Conger has been on the defensive for his votes to set up a state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, as he seeks the GOP nomination in the U.S. Senate race.
According to The Oregonian, at least one of Conger’s opponents has attacked him for voting in favor of Cover Oregon, which had some well-publicized website difficulties. Of course, Conger didn’t let the charges go unanswered.
“Legislators don’t get to vote on federal law,” Conger responded in the article, saying that it wasn’t true his votes were the “equivalent of Obamacare.”
Conger isn’t the only candidate wrestling with the issue. Full story
November 26, 2013
Democrats might want to consider opening their minds to the potential of another midterm nightmare.
I remember dozens of conversations with GOP candidates and strategists prior to the 2012 elections. Republicans simply couldn’t wrap their minds around the possibility that 2008 could ever be repeated. That failure in comprehension contributed to inaccurate polling and wrong assumptions as the two electorates ended up being remarkably similar.
Now, I’m starting to feel a sense of deja vu when talking with Democrats. Anytime 2010 comes up in a conversation, it is quickly dismissed as an aberration. Most Democrats can’t even imagine another election cycle where President Barack Obama is as unpopular and as much of a drag on Democrats as he was in his first midterm.
But I’m not sure we can rule out the possibility that next November will be a very bad year for Democrats. Full story
July 15, 2013
There are many wide-open spaces but few competitive races in the Rocky Mountain West. Even though the important contests are few, they could be good indicators of which party has the upper hand next fall.
Here are the top five races to watch in the Mountain region:
Montana Senate. Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer accounted for his party’s A, B, and C plans for recruitment in this state, so Democratic strategists were willing to wait for his decision. So his Saturday announcement that he would not run for the seat leaves his party without a candidate and makes this a top pick-up opportunity for Republicans. GOP Rep. Steve Daines seems like a likely candidate, especially with Schweitzer out. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Pending.
July 9, 2013
Not long ago, Democratic Gov. John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado looked like a sure bet for a second term in 2014 — and a place on the list of dark-horse candidates for the 2016 presidential contest.
But his last few months have been rocky, and a couple of public polls have poked a hole in his political armor. Along with his widely criticized handling of a death penalty case, Hickenlooper enacted a decidedly left-of-center agenda in recent months. Full story