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Democrats Are Spending Heavily to Influence the Colorado GOP Governors’ Race


This morning, Colorado Republicans awoke to some disturbing news: Through a group called Protect Colorado Values, Democrats are spending serious money on TV ads in an effort to steer the outcome of the GOP gubernatorial primary. Their objective? Ensure that vulnerable incumbent Democratic governor John Hickenlooper faces Tom Tancredo, not Bob Beauprez, in November.

Maybe the reason Dems are using this strategy is that it’s worked before. Four years ago, the Colorado Freedom Fund spent $500,000 on television ads targeting Republican-primary voters to ensure that the weaker of two GOP candidates won the primary, setting up an easy path for Hickenlooper.  A similar strategy was used in Nevada, where another group with a tea-party-sounding name (Patriot Majority) and ties to Senator Harry Reid and organized labor spent heavily in the 2010 Nevada GOP primary to defeat Sue Lowden, the candidate Dems feared most in the general election.  What worked before could work again: As Denver political reporter Eli Stokols notes, the latest Democratic ad campaign sure looks like ”a thinly-veiled effort to help Tom Tancredo win the GOP gubernatorial nomination.”

Colorado Democrats have shown their hand: They want Tancredo in November. And it cannot have escaped their notice that the governor’s race will also have an impact on the U.S. Senate race, where Republican congressman Cory Gardner has a real shot at unseating incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall . . .

— Rob Witwer is a former member of the Colorado house of representatives and co-author of the book The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care).


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