The Corner

Dems’ Ad Strategy Boomerangs in Colorado

Four years ago, Colorado Democrats ran heavy TV ads during the Republican gubernatorial primary to ensure that the weakest GOP candidate won the party’s nomination. Back then, it worked.

This year, Democrats went back to the same well. And it backfired spectacularly.

By spending half a million dollars on TV ads supporting GOP candidate and former congressman Tom Tancredo, Democratic funders showed the whole world their hand: They wanted Tancredo in November. Presumably, they reasoned that having Tancredo at the top of the GOP ticket would enhance Governor John Hickenlooper’s reelection prospects and, importantly, dampen Congressman Cory Gardner’s robust challenge to incumbent senator Mark Udall.

Not only did the Democratic bear-hug not help Tancredo, it probably cost him the race. Prior to the ads, Tancredo was leading in the polls. But news that Democrats were meddling in the GOP primary awakened grassroots activists and shook loose money that had been sitting on the sidelines. As a direct result of the Democratic ads, a group called Republicans Who Want to Win was able to raise the funds it needed to buy last-minute air time in two critical counties, providing the margin Bob Beauprez needed to win the GOP primary.

Colorado Republicans — and Cory Gardner especially — owe the Dems a big thank you.

— 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).

Most Popular

U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More
Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More
Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More