GOP Gubernatorial Candidates (Mostly) Get Bratty

Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Tom Tancredo.

Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Tom Tancredo.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports on the continuing reverberations from Tuesday's stunning ouster of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by an underdog Tea Party-backed challenger:

With precious days left to sway primary voters, three of the four Colorado Republicans seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination are aligning themselves with the anti-establishment wave that just toppled the second most powerful Republican in the U.S. House, majority leader Eric Cantor.

After Cantor lost his seat Tuesday night to a virtually unknown professor, Dave Brat, due to strong support from anti-Cantor forces within conservative talk radio and beyond, Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp openly celebrated.

“If I were a drinking man, I’d have been drunk last night. I’d have been celebrating like crazy,” Tancredo said on the Peter Boyles Show Wednesday morning after the host referred to Cantor’s defeat as a “bitch-slapping.”

Eric Cantor (R-Toxicity).

Eric Cantor (R-Toxicity).

Jason Salzman has more on Tancredo's jubilation after Cantor's defeat, being a perceived validation of Tancredo's own anti-immigration brand. As for the one Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate who is conspicuously not celebrating Cantor's defeat–the one Cantor endorsed, longtime Washington, D.C. insider Bob Beauprez? The Denver Post's Joey Bunch reports:

Beauprez characterized Cantor as “colleague and a friend.”

“”We worked together to pass the Bush tax cuts in 2003 and to support Israel,” he said, then referenced his ballot petition signatures. “While I appreciate his endorsement of our campaign, I’ve also been endorsed by more than 23,000 Coloradans who believe that I will be a conservative voice for them as Colorado’s next governor.”

Democrats and Republicans opposing Beauprez in e-mails and on Twitter Tuesday night challenged whether the Cantor loss signaled a distaste for such establishment candidates. Beauprez’s campaign spokesman, Roger Hudson, pointed out that Cantor made tactical campaign mistakes — essentially not campaigning nearly enough — that Beauprez won’t repeat…

One of these responses is definitely not like the others. Beauprez couldn't be in a worse position today, as a friend of Cantor's from Congress who sought and won Cantor's early endorsement in the Colorado gubernatorial race. Today, Eric Cantor's endorsement is the kiss of death in a Republican primary, of even less value than the Mitt Romney endorsement Beauprez was so oddly proud of last month. Rep. Cory Gardner faces similar problems as another erstwhile Cantor ally, which is probably why we haven't heard anything from Gardner about Cantor's defeat. Judging from Beauprez's response, Gardner's not going to have an easy time spinning this one.

What's the opposite of "coattails," again?

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    Cantor did not loose because of immigration

    Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, released a poll completed last Monday, the day before Cantor lost the primary, and it appears the narrative that he lost due to his moderation on immigraiton is baseless. The poll was taken in the 7th congressional district, the one Cantor represents. The poll results show Cantor's approval rating at 30% and disapproval of how he was handling his job at a whopping 63%. The numbers for the House Republican leadership are even worse. 26% approve of the way the leadership is handling the job and 67% disapprove.

    The numbers for immigration are exactly the opposite and stunning. 72% of the voters support the bipartisan immigration bill now before the Congress with 23% of the 7th CD voters opposing it. 84% of the 448 voters polled believe it is important or very important to take action on the immigration issue. If immigraiton was an issue in Cantor's defeat, it may be that he was perceived as someone, who because he is in leadership, had failed to take action on an issue the voters thought he should.

    Overall, the poll shows Cantor was unpopular in the 7th CD but his moderation on immigration certainly wasn't the cause of his defeat.

    The lesson here, based on PPP's poll, is Republicans should continue to moderate on the immigraiton issue. I still believe Tancredo will win the primary here in Colorado but it won't be because of his hardline stance on immigration. He'll win that kind of GOP voters for sure, but his win will be because the crowded field will chop up the vote so he can win with a plurality. 


    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Good analysis, R36.

    • gertie97 says:

      One observation: the poll found 23 percent opposed the immigration bill. That was the Republican primary electorate, the crazies who turned out. They disapprove of Cantor because they believe he rolled over to Obama and sold them out on the debt ceiling and government shutdown. The district-in-general poll is interesting, but the district-in-general didn't vote in the GOP primary.


      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Good point. Primaries are often about which candidate has the most enthusiastic supporters, not necessarily the one with soft support from a larger number, as turn out is comparatively low and confined to those who really take an interest.  

        Here in Colorado where we have a caucus system and primary system, you see the same dynamic as you get to an even smaller scale, more dedicated group. Often the winner of the caucus doesn't win the primary because those who attend caucus through state convention are much fewer and more actively political than by the broader base then a candidate the hard core base isn't so crazy about. And the smaller you get the harder it is to know how to model reliable polls.

        That said, I completely agree with Rep 36 that there were plenty of other factors at work in the Cantor debacle. And the internal polling was obviously exceptionally incompetent.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Another poll of *just* GOP voters confirms the PPP general electorate results:

        A new conservative-sponsored poll mirrors a liberal counterpart and throws more water on notions that the battle over immigration led to the downfall of Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

        Only 22 percent of Virginia residents who voted for Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, cited immigration as the primary reason for their vote, according to the poll. About 77 percent cited other factors, such as the Republican leader’s focus on national politics instead of local issues.

        Read more:

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      But, as we have often seen, a crowded primary field tends to net a party a weak general election candidate due to the win by plurality. 

  2. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Democrats should keep steering right…..eventually they'll get the gunrack/confederate flag vote they've been longing for.

    • Ralphie says:

      So what you're saying is that ideological purity trumps actually holding office?

      I hate putting words in people's mouths, so let me know.

      If that 's really what you're saying, you've adequately explained to everyone why I'm unaffiliated.  Radical ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum make me want to puke.

      Otto vom Bismarck once said, "Politics is the art of the possible."  For things to be possible, one has to actually hold office.

      Of course, if you'd rather than be right than in power, I fully understand.  Just don't ask me for money.

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Beauprez and Tancredo are both tainted with Cantor ties.

    • DavieDavie says:

      And then there's Gessler.  The man who spent millions chasing down 10's of thousands!, uh, several thousand!, wait no, hundreds!, aw shoot!, 3 (maybe) fraudulent votes in the last 4 years.

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        Millions? Now you're the one being silly.

        • DavieDavie says:

          Hahahahahahaha!  This from the pearl-clutcher who proclaimed that what ever Gessler spent was worth it because even 1 fraudulent vote endangered the entire electoral process?

        • Ralphie says:

          Gessler has a demonstrated history of pissing away money.  Please honor the first law of holes.  Otherwise we might have to school you with his request to the JBC.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Don't make me break out some budget statistics. You'll regret it.

          Here's the short version: Gessler has a 5 million budget hole, which he asked the Colorado legislature to fill. He's the only Secretary of State ever to have this problem, as the State department is self -funding from business, political,  and organization filing fees.

          Causes were predominantly the fee holiday he put in place, and by the way, he's doing it again! A little budget-busting welcome gift for Joe Neguse!

          but I found that he had also racked up an average 326,000 per year in unnecessary legal fees for the six years he's been in office, including $238,000 litigating his $1300 petty-cash dip, which led to his infamous ethics complaint. The rest were pretty much all Gessler trying hard to suppress voters in various ways.

          Damn…I guess I busted out some numbers, anyway.  So basically what you have in Gessler is a businessman who blows his budget unnecessarily, spends department funds on his own expenses, treats his clients (Colorado voters) like crap, and then blames other people (Democrats).

          And now he is the guy who is going to go out the door and leave a big stinking budget hole for Joe Neguse to fill. Fabulous.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            Correction: 4 years in office for Gessler (elected in 2010). But, the two years previous, Sec State Buescher had to deal with bogus lawsuits from Hackstaff/Gessler attorneys acting for Independence Institute and Marks' BS.

            So Gessler was still indirectly involved in and profiting from voter suppression litigation early on, although he wasn't elected at that point.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      And yet, each one is doing better than Scotty. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Well that's what you're getting Modster. And I bet you'll find it in your heart to vote for Tanc if he's your party's choice. Hope it's not too late to get your money back for the Gessler for Governor T-shirts and stuff.

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