Tancredo, Beauprez, And The “Great Democratic Headfake”

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels updates the state of play in the Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary, where top contenders Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo are running neck-and-neck in polls widely rumored but as yet unseen:

With the primary election around the corner, Tom Tancredo said Friday he believes he has slipped from being the front-runner in the GOP race for governor to second place behind Bob Beauprez.

Tancredo blamed a radio spot that claims he supports the legalization of hard drugs and two TV ads paid for by Democrats that are attempting to influence the GOP primary outcome.

Tancredo said he has been told Beauprez leads him by 1 percent in a recent poll that was commissioned on another issue, but included a question about the four Republicans running for governor…

Over the last few days, Republicans have been up in arms over Democratic-funded ads "attacking" both Tancredo and Beauprez, which seem in hindsight to have been a little too transparently written to boost Tancredo with conservative primary voters–"Tancredo HATES Obamacare!"–while hitting Beauprez in more authentically negative ways that conservatives won't appreciate.

The ads were designed to make Tancredo more appealing to GOP voters and Beauprez less appealing, political analysts said.

"What has happened instead," Tancredo said, "is Republicans are upset Democrats are trying to pick the nominee."

Former state Sen. Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, said the Democratic meddling has made her rethink her decision to support Tancredo.

"I'm leaning toward Bob Beauprez," she said. "If the Democrats think Beauprez is the one to beat, then as a good Republican why shouldn't I?" [Pols emphasis]

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

​​As we noted when these ads first debuted a couple of weeks ago, it's far from unprecedented for an opposing party to run ads intended to influence a primary election, and/or begin to define one's likely opposition before the primary. And there's nothing exceptional about the candidates in that primary attempting to use such ad buys for their own advantage–"it means they're scared of me," candidates targeted can plausibly claim.

But in this case, we can assure readers that Democratic campaign strategists are afraid of neither Tancredo nor Beauprez. Recent polls show clearly that Gov. John Hickenlooper is pulling away from the entire pack of Republican challengers, and Beauprez's own consultants released a poll showing him losing to Gov. Hickenlooper by a devastating fifteen-point margin. Democrats have plenty to worry about going into this midterm election, but the Colorado gubernatorial race is rapidly losing its competitiveness.

So why would Democrats spend money on this GOP primary if they can easily beat whoever wins? There are two principal reasons. The first is simply a numbers game. Bob Beauprez is personally quite wealthy, so even if the Republican Governor's Association and other national funding sources write off the Colorado gubernatorial race, Beauprez can fund a vanity campaign out of his own pocket. That means Democrats would have to divert resources to an otherwise noncompetitive race–and with so many other races needing attention, that would hurt Democrats. This factor alone may be reason enough for many Republicans to prefer Beauprez–the biggest downside being the the vast array of looney tunes statements Beauprez has made in recent years, which could well negate any advantage he brings by sullying the whole Republican brand. It's worth noting that, although our readers have become well-acquainted with Beauprez's long record of downright crazy statements since exiting electoral politics in 2006, the media has yet to pick it up.

When they do, it's not going to be pretty for Beauprez.

With that said, there is no politician in Colorado politics today more capable of self-harming the Republican brand than Tom Tancredo. Tancredo's very high name recognition, and nationally prominent association with immoderate anti-immigrant demagoguery, are nothing short of poisonous for a Republican Party hoping to appeal to the state and nation's fastest-growing segment of voters. Tancredo as the gubernatorial nominee would set back state GOP chairman Ryan Call's "Latino outreach effort" by–this is not hyperbole–several decades. Unfortunately for Call and other Republicans hoping to turn over a new leaf with Latinos, recent developments among the GOP grassroots, manifesting in the ouster last week of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by an unknown Tea Party anti-immigrant opponent, undeniably boost Tancredo. Tancredo has no ability to self-fund his campaign, and combined with the toxicity he would bring to the Republican ticket this November, it's plain to see why Democrats regard a little spending in this race to be a worthwhile investment.

But folks, there's no need to read more into this than what there is. To the extent Democrats prefer Tancredo to Beauprez, it is an incremental preference–and they'll be able to use either one to their advantage.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. dwyer says:

    Talking heads on MSNCB, (and  I can not remember which ones) had this observation:  Democrats have conceded Senate seats in West Virigina, Montana, South Dakota (which was never really in doubt) to the Republicans.  They are now turning their attention to races that may still be winnable….with more resouces to spend….Iowa and Colorado are now heading the list.  

    I might add that it really pisses me off that faced with a real fight for the Senate, Democratic Senators in West Virgina, Montana and Iowa decided to retire instead of staying to fight.

     "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party." Typing exercise from 1957……

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      As a senior citizen yourself, would you commit to six more years in the circus?

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Dwyer, Dems in the house have already conceeded they will lose seats.  Most of the national money is going to defend existing Dems, not to take on Republicans.  The idea that Dems would take back the house and retain the Senate has always been happy talk for the masses.  If you want to know what is going on, watch how they spend the money.

      • BlueCat says:

        I don't know any Dems, masses or other, who have been saying Dems are going to take back the House, AC. It's one of those things righties and rightie radio worshipping dwyer like to claim silly Dems are saying. Probably a connection there. 

        On the other hand, Tanc or Beauprez won't matter as Hick is definitely staying. Keeping the US Senate is by no means a lost cause and here in Colorado, Keeping Udall in the Senate is most likely and taking CD6 for the first time is a real possibility.

        Looks like Colorado Repugs are going to be embarrassed again just like they were in the last year touted as an R tsunami year. You Colorado Repugs are still having a lot of trouble pulling your weight this century. Judging from your trolls' performances on this blog that's hardly surprising. You haven't figured out how to function in a state that isn't pure wacko red.

        • dwyer says:

          The replies are out of order.  I believe AC understand now.  I am sorry that BC is having trouble.    I have not heard anyone, right, left, red, blue or green, say that the dems have a chance of taking back the House….that may have been said in the brief lovely moment between the goverment shutdown that made the whole country pissed at the repubs and the awful ACA roll out that made the whole country pissed at the dems….but that was more than six months ago. 

          dwyer says:

          Sun June 15, 2014 at 1:37 PM MDT

          I am not talking about the House, it is the Senate that is up for grabs. 


          – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/59393/tancredo-beauprez-and-the-great-democratic-headfake#comments

          • BlueCat says:

            My reply above is to AC. That's why it's inside AC's comment box where it should be if one hits the reply button in AC's comment box. It isn't out of order and if yours are, that has no bearing on any exchange between AC and me. Your reply above is in my comment box so I must assume you hit my reply button and meant it for me even though you refer to me in the third person. Regardless, as is often the case, I can't make sense of whatever it is you're trying to say or to whom you're trying to say it. Sorry.

        • Andrew Carnegie says:


          Is Steny Hoyer a Dem?


          How about Debbie Wasserman Schultz?


          I believe Draft Punk on this site predicted the Dems will take the house.

          None of them are righties.  They are Lefties.

          Giving up on the House and saying you never thought you could do that is moving the goal posts.  Don't get me wrong.  I agree you won't take the House but that was what the Lefties were claiming they would do six months ago.

            • BlueCat says:

              See what I mean AC?  Puppy's got to be one of yours or a self created parody for laughs. Certainly doesn't reflect the views of Dems with higher IQs than you'd expect to find in your average fence post. I was about to say piece of toast but was once admonished for insulting nice warm buttery pieces of toast. Fans of fence posts, please forgive me.

          • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

            You believe wrong you fucking idiot, it was Dust Puppy.  I've corrected you before, so your stupidity has no excuse.

            • dustpuppydustpuppy says:

              I still maintain my outlook: Tea Party are on their way to self-destruction.

              Democratic House will be achieved, and the Senate will remain status quo.

              And no, we are not  conceding Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. We will fight as if they were ours.

          • Ralphie says:

            AC–Nobody wants to talk to you. Go fuck yourself.

          • Republican 36 says:

            I'm sure your correct about Rep. Hoyer and Rep. Wasserman but of course they are Democratic leaders in the House and they can't really sy they're going to fail to take back the House in 2014 without demorlaizing the base.

            When I was young and an active Republican, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate leadership began in 1956 predicting every election cycle they would take control of both houses and of course they never took control of the Senate until  24 years later (12 cycles later) in 1980 and the House not until 1994 (19 cycles later) in 1994. The Democratic leaders are trying to rally the troops just like the Republicans did all those years. Neither party can do otherwise.

          • BlueCat says:

            Oh please AC. That means nothing. What are party leaders supposed to say? And I suppose Colorado Republican leaders are out there admitting they've got no shot at defeating Hick?  Do coaches of teams with no chance say so before big games?  Do candidates who know they have no chance announce that at fund raisers? Incidentally you do have your DPs mixed up. Dust Puppy is the one who spouts over the top librul nonsense. Probably one of yours so you have one clueless liberal to point to here since the rest of us refuse to oblige. 

            • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

              I remember Andrew Romanoff making similar claims in 2004 about the Colorado House and thinking he was dreaming.  How'd that turn out .

              • BlueCat says:

                I was replying to AC concerning remarks by Hoyer, among others, in reference to the US House, not the State House. Even there I wouldn't say utterly impossible as all kinds of unforeseen stuff happens in politics. But to prattle on like Puppy does about how Dems taking the US House is a sure thing, rather than an extreme long shot, is ridiculous. Since I find it hard to believe anyone could be as clueless as Puppy on that and other subjects, I strongly suspect the Puppy persona is a satyric put on.

                • Curmudgeon says:

                  DustPuppy is apparently a sockpuppet for AC, put here to make arguments AC can easily dismantle, thus giving him cover for avoiding more cogent arguments. 

                  • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                    Disagree – dustpuppy is real, if deluded, and you're giving AC way too much credit. 

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Didn't mean AC created Dust Puppy. Meant that either Puppy was some rightie's creation or a self created parody. If Puppy is real and indeed believes the nonsense that he/she puts out, that's pretty sad. Thank goodness most Dems aren't nearly that stupid or we'd still be living in an almost all red state under the second McCain administration with unbreakable conservative hegemony in the Supreme Court. 

                • BlueCat says:

                  Meant satiric which, in turn, really should be satirical, I suppose. From satire not satyr. Oops again.

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    Dems must have nothing better to do with their dough if they're doing this.  Neither Tanc nor BWB is a threat to Hick's re-election.  Both are seriously flawed candidates will lose albeit for very different reasons.  Tanc will energize the Democratic base with his racist rants.  (Remember his rendition of "Dixie" back during his '08 campaign?)  Both Ways will simply run a campaign so inept it will make the '06 race look well managed.

    Better to spent the money exposing Cory Gardner for what he really is……

    • BlueCat says:

      Oh please. It's called forcing the other side to shell out a little more dough. Rs do it, too, even in races they know they're going to win. The big dough is going to be invested in Udall and Romanoff so don't get your undies in a twist.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        It also shows a little deviousness and makes Republicans think that Democrats are playing 3 dimensional chess to get inside their heads.  The other thing that no one talks about is how the ad on Tancredo sets him up for some brutal ads in the general when reasonable people vote who value affordable health care and he is seen as a Snidely Whiplash asshole who wants to take away their health care for nothing in return.  Hating affordable health insurance is going to be a real turn off this time around.

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