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Jon

I seriously doubt your logic for Beauprez remaining in Congress. I'd imagine he didn't go with an exploratory committee because he's leaving the door open to change his mind.

I'd bet he did it because it is still much, much too early too early to announce by traditional standards. Announcing during the legislative session is always a no-no. He wants to announce later in the summer, when he can go on a kick-off tour without having to share headlines. He may even want to not announce until after the TABOR vote this november, so that he can avoid having to stump on one side of that double-edged sword. Forming an exploratory committee, and not even holding a press conference to announce it, allows him to scare off potential rivals (from both parties), attend the grassroots and activist events, and begin fundraising without having to behave like an actual candidate.

Which contrasts very much with McInnis's approach. He's going out of his way to make sure it's a "draft mcinnis" campaign, to the extent that they had hundreds of high-quality buttons for the state central committee meeting that said "draft" on them. The only purpose a draft campaign is to give Scott a way out. It allows him to get lots of press coverage where he can talk about the his advantages and take pot shots at Beauprez, and it allows him to feel out his viability with the grassroots outside of the 3rd CD. But it doesn't let him fundraise, and it doesn't let him scare off potential rivals. The purpose of a draft campaign is so that, having felt out his viability, Scott can bail on the race without losing any face whatsoever.

Not so with the exploratory committee. Can you imagine how much face Beauprez would lose if he eventually backed out of the race? It would take a long time to get back on the fast track to House leadership that he was on three months ago. He'd probably only back out to explicitly run for Senate in 2008.

But who really doubts that Governor Owens will run for that? Which is probably why McInnis is trying to horn in on this race. I'm sure he's reluctant to take on Beauprez and antagonize the GOP powers that be, but if he passes on this race he risks being shut out of the Senate race by Owens, and being flat out of offices to run for. I think McInnis will ultimately back down from the guv's race, but not until he's absolutely certain he can't win the primary.

As far as the general, I'm not really certain I'd pick McInnis as a winner anyway. Beauprez will beat anybody in the field by ten points, and it's highly unlikely that Hickenlooper will get in now that Beauprez's in. Hick would run against Coffman or Holtzman, and maaybe McInnis, but no matter how hard he gets pushed by the party, he won't want to risk taking on Beauprez.

As for McInnis, I'm just not sure he'd beat Hick. The rural vote is important, but it wins races on the margin. You have to stay competetive in metro Denver and THEN carry the rural areas. The 3rd is just not a base on its own. McInnis would lose enough ground to Hick in surburban Denver that he could carry the entire 3rd with 65 points and still not win statewide.

Salazar won largely because of his appeal in rural areas, but remember he carried JeffCo and Arapahoe too. Coors lost those two counties by 24k votes, where Allard carried them by 20k two years earlier. That's a swing of 44k votes. Compare that to the 52 smallest counties in the state. Coors carried them, collectively, by almost 9k votes, compared to the 37k Allard carried them by - a difference of 28k.

So Salazar picked up 28k votes over Strickland in rural areas - and 44k votes in Arapahoe and JeffCo. If the GOP cedes suburban Denver to the Dems in hopes of getting rural Colorado back, the Governorship will be lost. McInnis just isn't the candidate to beat Hick.

Ed

I wouldn't assume, as many here have, that Democrats have the upperhand in this race. I see it as an equal opportunity for either side, but with the weak bench for the Democrats, I have to think that a strong candidate with district wide name ID like O'Donnell can carry this district.

I'm eager to see a further assessment of the (potential) candidates for this race. I know there has been some discussion, but nothing very extensive sizing up each candidate.

tchristopher

Ed,

You evidently don't know Scott McInnis, what pot shots has he taken against Bob Beapreauz? I think he has more then just the 3rd Congressional district behind him as judged by people from around the state wearing his buttions. But getting back to the 3rd district, what about Pueblo? Scott brings that to the equation, that is a dem stronghold also once he gets the nomination, which he will, he starts with a large Republican voter registration statewide. If the Dems want to win they need more than Denver
look at the numbers. Bob by ten points hmmm interesting but no way.

Ed

tchristopher -
I think you meant to direct that comment to Jon, not me, but since you did, I'll take the bait.

Beaprez will beat McInnis 3 to 1 in conservative must win counties like El Paso due to McInnis' weak track record on social issues like Right to Life and Marriage and the perception to many that he is a "Republican In Name Only".

I think Jon is probably right when he projects BB to beat McInnis by 10 points.

By the way, what is with the professional looking "Draft McInnis buttons"? It certainly defeats the idea of a grassroots effort to lure McInnis into the race and makes the whole effort look very phony and directed by the candidate. You guys have also done a poor job of distancing McInnis and his team from the grassroots effort. It looks too much like political posturing and not at all like a "draft" effort.

PS: I want nothing more than to see a McInnis vs. BB showdown in the primary, with Holtzman, Weins and Coffman also taking part. It'll make for an entertaining election that will satisfy my political hungers.

jon

McInnis has been taking lots of shots at Beauprez in the media. I didn't mean personal shots. He's been arguing that that we can't afford to give up the 7th - a direct shot at BB. He's been arguing that Denver Republican can't win - a shot at BB and Coffman.

So Scott brings Pueblo to the table. Perhaps he neutralizes the 13k vote margin Salazar took there. What's 13k votes? And that's an exaggeration anyway - it's very uikely that McInnis would win the county. He only won it in races where he had no real opponent.

Coors lost Pueblo by 13k votes. He lost JeffCo and Arapahoe by 24k. He lost Adams by 20k. Allard carried those last three counties by 13k. Do you really think putting Pueblo on the table will make up for letting Hick carry all of metro Denver? If Hick runs against McInnis, he will win - as we saw in the polls this week, he's just too popular in suburban Denver.

Alva Adams

Jon may be right. There is a strong school of thought in the Ken Salazar ranks that he won statewide BECAUSE of Denver. This would be against most common opinion about Denver's role in elections, but there are numbers to suggest that Salazar pulled so many voters out of Denver - and in such a high percentage - that it offset any advantage Coors had elsewhere. The old "Denver politicians can't win statewide" thing USED to be true - but it may not be true anymore.

jon

A look at the numbers tells that exact story. Coors pulled a margin out of Douglas/El Paso that was 17,644 votes better than the average for competetive statewide races (kudos for that region go, I believe, to George Culpepper). Coors pulled a margin out of Adams, Arapahoe, and JeffCo that was 52,645 votes worse than average for competetive statewide races. He increasd the margin 5,382 in Mesa county, more than making up for Salazar's increased margin in Pueblo county of 5,100. So while Salazar's increases in rural areas were important, the huge increase in the metro area more than drawfs all other numbers.

RedHawk

Beauprez is in. Period.

In a simple one-on-one matrix between BB and SM - BB wins hands down. The best SM can hope for, at this time, is to position himself for a Senate run - either against Ken Salazar or for Allards current seat.

Lefty Rivera

Let me be clear. I think Beauprez will, in fact, run for Governor, and I think that he's got the upper hand in the race, as far as the primary's concerned. He probably even starts out as a favorite in the general election.

But I don't think you can absolutely rule out the prospect of him returning to Congress. Especially if there's a three- or four-candidate race in the gubernatorial primary, in which I think the chance of him coming out on top is significantly impacted. In a three-way race, between him, Holtzman and McInnis, I think that either Holtzman or McInnis could come out on top; Holtzman by emphasizing his outsider status and his bankroll, McInnis by emphasizing his Western Slope credentials.

You speak of McInnis' "RINO" status; in a general election, I'd argue that his seeming moderation is exactly what would make him more electable. Of course, I think that would doom him with the base, but if Republicans want to shoot themselves in the foot, who am I to argue?

Finally, I don't know that Owens is such a mortal lock to run for Senate in '08; I imagine that the same issues that kept him from running last year would rise again. So seeing any of the three (Beauprez, McInnis, Holtzman) in that race wouldn't be so farfetched--assuming that Allard, of course, retires.

RedHawk

The other issue we need to keep in mind concerns TALENT. BB has managed to corner the best and the brightest for his strategy team and is rumored to be looking for a CM already.

With a “Draft Scott” campaign, too much time can be lost – allowing BB to truly monopolize politico players and leaving Scott-y Boy to look outside the state for a campaign team; historically a poor decision.

Jon

I'm under the impression that the Beauprez people are looking out of state for a CM, and McInnis is not.

RedHawk

Jon - that's an interesting discussion. If you had to choose one campaign position to be out of State – who would it be? Your Strategy Team, General Consultant, Campaign Manager, Political Director or Finance? Your Mail House? Your Media Guy? Your Field Staff?

I'd suggest that if everyone else can be home-grown - a talented out of state CM could work magic.

out of stater

I've noticed that, even more than most western states, Colorado has a strong bias for home-turf experience. In the east, it's taken for granted that there are certain unique points to each state, but that there are also certain universals in campaigning that you can master more easily by working in multiple states (and regions). Colorado need to recognize that in order to take their campaign sophistication to the next level.

I'd have to argue that the most important home-grown postition is who ever is in charge of organizing, be it the PD or a coalitions director, or whatever. That's where you need familiarity with the "who's who" list in each county. Most of the field staff will always be in-state people, because nobody goes out of state to be a grunt worker (except Deaniacs). And a pollster/media guy who has at least worked a couple cycles in the state. The rest of it can be imported from out of state without harm, as long as they understand when to listen to the locals.

Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow

I'd hire a CM from out of state - simply someone to make the trains run on time.

Strategy, media, spin, mail... all of those are easy compared to campaign management, and their high profit margin means that the best and brightes managers have moved into the glam jobs.

You can't pay a manager enough to get the best home-grown talent to do the job. I'd grab a desk jockey from DC.

Stan Davis

I have known Jim for a long time and wanted to clarify the earlier post. The address for Friends of Jim Polsfut isn't Jim's house. It's a PO box so that Friends of Jim Polsfut has a place to receive mail separate from a personal home. Jim grew up in Arvada. He's moving back there when construction of his home is finished later this Spring.

Stan Davis
Lakewood, CO

neo

Seems to me that the R's BIG POWER BROKERS are afraid of Holtzman. What is their problem?

paleo

they don't like him because he can't win.

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