Congratulations to last nights winners. Here are a few, with a few brief thoughts on the coming general election:
Ken Buck, whose campaign grew steadily on me during the race, as did his generally avoiding the persistent negativity which disappointed me from Jane Norton's campaign. I also repeat my appreciation of Ken's taking a position on Afghanistan which was clearly not pandering to the base. That took some courage. I was disappointed in Jane's campaigning with John McCain even if he is a war hero. McCain 2.o only exists because he had a primary challenge; we're starting to see Lindsey Graham 2.0 for similar reasons. This race also shows how poisonous it is to be or be perceived as an "insider" in 2010. Had I not voted until the last day, my vote could easily have been different. And I repeat my prior mea culpa: I should not have endorsed anyone in this race; my blogging compatriots who chose that option were wiser than I was.
Regarding election internals, of particular note to me was Buck's large margin of victory in Pueblo County, which is roughly 39% Hispanic (based on 2008 data.) Buck received over 56% of the vote versus about 44% for Norton. My primary reason for endorsing Jane Norton over Ken Buck (given that I saw them as nearly identical on policy matters before the Afghanistan issue came up) was that I thought Buck would be portrayed by the Democrats as a racist, harming his chances of winning in November. I still think they'll try, but given the result in Pueblo as well as his home county, Weld, which also is 27% Hispanic (versus about 20% for the entire state), it seems that Buck has rather strong support among Hispanic citizens. I'd also suggest that this result has interesting implications for the immigration debate overall, perhaps indicating that it's not nearly the political winner among Hispanics for Democrats that the Dems hope it will be. I very much look forward to trying to help Ken beat Michael "Who?" Bennet in November and to that end I made a small contribution to Buck's campaign last night.
Dan Maes, who showed that unqualified is better than disqualified. The problems with this result are many, however. First, Maes can't win the election; he couldn't even if Tancredo weren't in the race. Second, Maes won't get out of the race because he has no other job or money and it would hurt his chances of running for something else in the future, though probably not as much as he thinks it would if it were part of a plan that could allow a Republican to win the election (which would include Tancredo cooperation, also not the most likely thing.) Third, a Maes loss in the general election will be a black eye for the Tea Party movement, making it look like a bunch of political novices who care more about making a point (and sticking with it beyond rationality) rather than winning in one of the most critical elections the state has seen in many years.
Michael "Who?" Bennet. Great to see you on the ballot in November, Michael. Nobody I'd rather run against than you. Can't wait until everybody sees the video of you voting one way on a bill, seeing Chuck Schumer vote the other way, scurrying over to whisper with him and then returning to change your vote. Great job, Michael. Really stellar. Can you say "double-digit loser"?
Walker Stapleton: I figured Stapleton would win the CO Treasurer's race given his name recognition and connections. All I can say is that he'd better change his tune about not opposing tax and spending increases if he doesn't want to be lynched by the Tea Party, rhetorically speaking of course.
Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful Jaimes Brown, about whom I know nothing but who I promise to learn about in a hurry and who will probably get my vote in November.
Ryan Frazier, Republican nominee for the 7th CD going up against unabashed liberal Ed Perlmutter in November. The "moderate" aspects of Ryan's candidacy, which annoyed some of the hard-core conservative GOP base, are exactly what make him the best candidate for that particular district. If anybody can beat Perlmutter, Ryan Frazier can. And I hope he does.
I'm very disappointed that the undervote in the Republican gubernatorial primary was only 5%. This will give Dan Maes a hint that he has more support than I believe he actually has, and make it all but impossible that he'll get out of the race.
The high governor's race participation implies to me that very few Republican voters read (or at least are swayed by) some of the theoretically more influential conservative/libertarian bloggers in the state, including me. If quite a few of the supposedly biggest Republican bloggers called for people not to vote and only 5% of the GOP electorate heeded that call (and actually, many of those probably reached that conclusion without reading any blog), it shows that we don't have much pull. On the other hand, it's possible that a couple of percentage points could be the difference in some election some day, so I guess we shouldn't give up. Given that Maes supporters were much more dogged for their candidate than McInnis supporters were, it's possible that the call for the undervote, even if heeded by only a couple of percent of voters, threw the race for Maes. If so, that's too bad (for the reasons I mentioned above and in prior blog notes.)
There were over 20% more votes cast in the Republican senate primary than the Democrat senate primary, perhaps a fair indication of differing voter enthusiasm between the parties, and something which I expect will actually get even worse for the Democrats going into November given that the less interesting (and much less available to the media) Senate candidate won their primary. I can't wait to see the first Buck-Bennet debate; someone will need to bring a mop to clean up what's left of Michael "Who?" Bennet.
Burning question of the day: Is Andrew Romanoff going to buy another house, and if so does he have any money left from the sale of the last one to use as a down payment?
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