With 94% of GOP precincts reporting, the Colorado Caucus straw poll for governor is: McIniss 60%, Maes 39%. The Senate Race is a dead heat: Norton 38, Buck 38, Wiens 16. Anyone interested in the left and lefter competition between the Dems is advised to read the DP in the morning. Yawn. EPEL has no interest in them at this stage, other than to observe that Romanoff is the more photogenic of the pair.
Live blogging at the Denver Post has been a blast, lots of smart and nice people reporting in real time–Don Johnson, Brophy, Wiens, People’s Press Collective, Lynn Bartels, AC Maurer, Evergreen TParty and Scott McIniss. Turnout doesn’t sound great, but it’s an off-year election too. Much more excitement on the Republican side, as would be expected given the David and Goliath governor’s race.
In the treasurer’s race, I thought Colorado’s own political energizer bunny, the dashing Ali Hasan got around, tweeting all over as HasanDaddy. But JJ Ament just reported in at 10:00 p.m. that he visited 60 different precincts. Lynn Bartels, who must have a helicopter to takeoff and hover as fast and furious as she manages, just talked to Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield. Mitchell summed up the state scenario in his usual direct fashion: “People are not happy with the direction of government or with the establishment of either party. ” Yep. And Jane Norton’s weak showing is a strong sign of this.
Speaking of the party establishment, Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams charactized tonight’s caucus results as the kickoff for the August primary:
“It’s going to be very definitive where they stand right now among the most active Republicans in the state. They still have time to get their acts together ahead of the county and state assemblies.”
Wadhams no doubt must be pleased by Scott McIniss’ strong showing. Dan Maes should follow Wadhams’ advice and get his own act together, in fundraising and media saturation, between now and the May assemblies.
Norton undoubtedly regrets her support for Referendum C, which allowed the state to keep more tax dollars and helped erode TABOR. She’s an attractive candidate and a strong campaigner with lots of dough. Jane’s best approach at this point would be to do a big fat mea culpa over Referendum C.
Tom Wiens made a respectable showing, but needs to ramp up his campaign big time. As the Denver Post notes, Wiens has lots of personal funds to put into his campaign and he needs to start spending them now. If Norton keeps her McCain-esque compromiser image and does not firmly define herself as a conservative, the competition between Buck and Wiens will be the survival of the fittest.
Update: Drew Dougherty from Ali Hasan’s campaign just wrote that Ali visited eight of the nine House Districts in Denver for a total of 300 precincts in the caucuses last night. Looks like Ali is dashing in more ways than one.