Darryl Glenn Holding Onto 18-Point Deficit in Senate Race

Darryl Glenn in his most accurate campaign metaphor.

Darryl Glenn (R-Rear)

If you are a Republican or a supporter of Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, here’s the good news: Glenn isn’t losing by 20 points (yet).

Just one week after Glenn laughably claimed that he was running in a “virtual tie” with Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver), Quinnipiac University released new polling data on Colorado’s Senate race that pretty much confirms what everyone else already knew:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet leads El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, the Republican challenger 56 – 38 percent, widening a 52 – 43 percent lead September 23…

…Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has a 62 – 30 percent lead among independent likely voters. He gets Democrats 95 – 1 percent, while Republicans go to Darryl Glenn 90 – 9 percent.

Bennet also leads among men, women, white and non-white voters. [Pols emphasis] 

Sure, Sen. Bennet may have a lead among people of every sex and race, but there’s no indication that Glenn has lost support among asexual reptiles.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 18)

Get More SmarterIf the 2016 election is as rigged as Donald Trump claims, can we just go ahead and declare Hillary Clinton the winner and save everyone a few weeks of yammering? It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Your ballot is in the mail (probably). Election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday, which means Coloradans could be casting their 2016 votes as soon as Wednesday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to JustVoteColorado.org. If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.


► Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is in Colorado today, making campaign stops in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, just as a new poll shows Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton maintaining a healthy lead in our state thanks in part to a big boost from Unaffiliated voters. Trump will have to deal with plenty of questions today about his absurd claims that the election is being rigged against him; election officials (from both political parties) across the state condemned Trump’s fraud allegations in no uncertain terms.

Why is Trump so freaked out? Perhaps because he is on pace for an historic beatdown on Election Day.

Elsewhere on the top stump, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will be making a stop in Durango on Wednesday. On Monday, Clinton’s former Primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrapped up a two-day visit to Colorado aimed at encouraging GOTV and voter registration efforts.


► Democrat Gail Schwartz seems to have the momentum in her CD-3 challenge of incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Durango). Schwartz doubled Tipton’s fundraising haul in Q3, and has picked up endorsements from the Durango Herald and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Here’s an excerpt from today’s Sentinel endorsement:

Republican Scott Tipton wants a fourth term in the U.S. House representing the people of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District.

We think Democrat Gail Schwartz is a better alternative.

That should say something. In the past three general elections, we’ve endorsed Tipton twice, along with Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in 2014 — all Republicans.

But in an era of unprecedented partisanship and gridlock on Capitol Hill, we need lawmakers who can put the needs of the district over party interests — or their own…

…We think Schwartz leans left far less than Tipton leans right. We think it’s time a more moderate representative got a crack at advocating for the interests of the district.



Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Debate Diary: Live-Blogging the U.S. Senate Showdown

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP challenger Darryl Glenn aren't even close to being tied in the polls -- but they both HAVE ties.

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP challenger Darryl Glenn aren’t even close to being tied in the polls — but they both sometimes wear ties.

The first — and only — televised debate in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race takes place tonight at the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver (hosted by 9News).

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is well on his way to a blowout victory over Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn — nevermind Glenn’s ridiculous claim today that the race is a “virtual tie.” But this is the only televised Senate debate of 2016, and we can’t pretend we aren’t interested to see what kind of absurdities come out of Glenn’s mouth as he tries to convince voters that he isn’t actually the worst statewide candidate in Colorado history.

That’s reason enough for us to roll out another Debate Diary. Let’s get ready to bumbllleeee…

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.  

Final Thoughts
This was the Denver Broncos versus Bell Middle School in football. Michael Bennet answered questions directly, provided context and detail, and looked and sounded like…a Senator. Darryl Glenn could not have been more overmatched. He was petulant and silly, insisting on pushing irrelevant points to the detriment of his own time that could have been used to answer questions. Bennet is going to defeat Glenn by a wide margin in November, and as we saw in this debate, he very well should.


Bennet Trending Toward Historic Blowout in U.S. Senate Race

History may be made in Colorado's U.S. Senate race.

History may be made in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race (Michael Bennet, left, and Darryl Glenn).

As we mentioned today in writing about the new Monmouth University poll, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) continues to widen his polling lead over Republican challenger Darryl Glenn.

According to Monmouth, Bennet now leads Glenn by an eye-popping 18-point margin (53-35), with Bennet picking up five more points since the last Monmouth poll in July. To put this in perspective, the total margin of victory in the last four Colorado Senate races works out to 18 points.

In other words, polling numbers show Bennet beating Glenn by at least as much as the margin in the last four Senate races combined.

That’s absolutely ridiculous…for Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn Just (Awkwardly) Talking to the People

Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is not the most accessible candidate in Colorado. Glenn easily (and surprisingly) won the June Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate nomination, but since then he’s been harder to track down than an Hispanic female supporter of Donald Trump.

Glenn likes to spend his campaign time speaking only in front of friendly audiences, which is why he has shunned most Colorado reporters and is rarely seen outside of highly-partisan right-wing events. With just a few weeks left until ballots drop in Colorado, Glenn is turning to Facebook to spread his anti-collaboration message.

Glenn is answering questions during a “live” town hall event on Facebook that was scheduled to begin at 3:00 today. Glenn has been in Washington D.C. this week, and he took some time during his travels to shoot an incredibly-awkward video promoting his Facebook outreach.

Here’s Glenn standing in front of The Capitol Hill Club (?) in Washington D.C., pretending not to be reading off of a script or teleprompter or something. Enjoy!

“I look forward to being your next Senator…[pause]…In Colorado.”

DO NOT Mess With Lily Tang Williams

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Lily Tang Williams.

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Lily Tang Williams.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, they’ll have three podiums on stage for next Saturday’s Club 20 U.S. Senate debate in Grand Junction–a development that might make the night’s nominal marquee event, well, more interesting than it was:

Thanks to a slight increase in the number of registered Libertarians statewide last month, the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate reached the threshold to qualify to participate in this weekend’s Club 20 debates.

Lily Tang Williams, who’s running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP rival Darryl Glenn, will be on stage at Two Rivers Convention Center on Saturday…

Williams’ appearance at the debates won’t mark the first time a third-party candidate was allowed to participate, but the first for a statewide race in recent memory.

Even in 2010, when Democrat John Hickenlooper was running against Republican Dan Maes for governor, the third-party candidate, former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, didn’t qualify because he had joined the American Constitution Party, which didn’t meet the 1 percent threshold.

Lily Tang Williams’ inclusion in Saturday’s U.S. Senate debate is very good news for her campaign and Libertarians in general–a minor party enjoying some added support this year as Donald Trump renders the Republican ticket toxic for a substantial number of voters who would otherwise trend GOP. But it’s also more good news for incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, since whatever support Williams attracts to her campaign will logically be subtracted from GOP nominee Darryl Glenn.

In terms of what to expect from Williams in Saturday night’s debate, she has a reputation as a fiery witness in testimony on legislation at the Colorado state capitol–especially gun legislation, which generally sees Williams testifying with room-silencing passion and intensity about growing up in communist China. The story is not always very relevant to, you know, the legislation being debated, but don’t even try to interrupt her.

Anyway, look for Williams to liven up Saturday night’s big debate in Grand Junction. Considerably.

Colorado Senate Race Now “Safe Democratic” Seat

Per CenterForPolitics.org


Nationally-known political pundit Larry Sabato, Jr. has updated his regular “Crystal Ball” rankings for the U.S. Senate races, and look at what has happened to Colorado:

Today we add one further alteration: We are moving Colorado from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic. This also does not affect the Electoral College total, though it does push a competitive state further toward Clinton. Public and private polling, plus our own survey of key Democrats, Republicans, and independent journalists suggests that the GOP is not very competitive in Colorado this year. That includes the Senate race too, which we are moving from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic. [Pols emphasis] Sen. Michael Bennet (D), a very close winner in 2010, should be able to run ahead of Clinton against an underfunded Republican opponent, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who national Republicans appear to have written off.

This isn’t a huge surprise, of course, but it is noteworthy to see that there is a consensus opinion forming that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), once the top incumbent target of Senate Republicans, is no longer even considered vulnerable in 2016.

Lame Duck Sessions, the TPP, and Michael Bennet

Even though the 2016 Democratic Party platform will have a weak statement against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, I am not convinced that some of our members of Congress, particularly Senator Michael Bennet will heed their advice.  In spite of the fact that virtually every labor and environmental group opposes the deal, President Obama wholeheartedly supports it.  In fact, he’s its biggest promoter and wants its passage in order to solidify his legacy.  So do all of the Republicans who currently control both houses of Congress.  And that’s what makes me think that they will attempt to pass the TPP during a lame duck session after the election.  That way, those who are leaving Congress cannot be held accountable and those who remain will be the furthest away, in time, from their next election.  There will be plenty of time for people to forget.  In Bennet’s case, six years.

Bennet has been a supporter of TPP from the start.  And recently, he was reminded of that fact when he became the only member of the Congressional delegation from Colorado that did not receive the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet issued surprise rebuke from AFL-CIO

He was also one of only thirteen Democrats in the Senate who voted with Republicans to fast track the bill by voting for the TPA.


Based on what I have seen from Sen. Bennet’s actions in the past, I have to think that he would gladly vote for passage of the TPP during a lame duck session.  I hope he has the good sense to change his position and vote NO if it does come to a vote.  But I doubt that he will unless the folks who sent him to Washington in the first place let him know where they stand.  I stand opposed to the TPP and, since the TPA rules do not allow it to be amended in any way, it should not come to a vote at any time, particularly during a lame duck session.  And if it does, Sen. Bennet needs to vote NO.

If anybody reading this post has a chance to ask Sen. Bennet whether he will vote for or against the TPP during a lame duck session, please let it be known what he says.  I would love to hear that this is a non-issue.  But in the meantime, if you have the same sneaking suspicion that I do, that Sen. Bennet will vote to pass the TPP during a lame ducks session, please take a minute to add your name to Sen. Bernie Sanders petition by following this link.


Sierra Club Endorses Bennet, Because Obviously

Sen. Michael Bennet at Chimney Rock National Monument.

Sen. Michael Bennet at Chimney Rock National Monument.

A press release from the Sierra Club this morning announces an endorsement that’s both unsurprising and significant:

Today, the Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Colorado Senator Michael Bennet for re-election.

“The Sierra Club is proud to endorse Senator Bennet for re-election,” said Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune. “For the past seven years, the Senator has worked tirelessly to protect America’s treasured public lands, expand our rapidly growing clean energy economy, and tackle the threat of climate change. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Senator Bennet to preserve places like Camp Hale, transition to clean, renewable energy, and prevent further climate disruption.”

Since taking office, Senator Bennet has been a vocal advocate for tackling climate change head-on, protecting our public lands and waterways, and increasing clean energy technology like wind and solar.

“The Sierra Club has been a crucial partner on our work to protect natural treasures like Browns Canyon, Hermosa Creek and Chimney Rock, as well as helping to grow our state’s renewable energy economy,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “Coloradans understand the importance of clean air, clean water and clean energy to our everyday lives and environment. Together, we’ll win in November and keep working on collaborative solutions to protect Colorado and our planet for future generations.”

As a comparatively moderate Democrat, support from trusted conservation organizations like the Sierra Club greatly helps Sen. Michael Bennet shore up support within the Democrat base. It’s not like those voters would be likely to support any of the Republican primary contenders, but lingering bad feelings from Bennet’s primary victory in 2010–and of course Bennet’s middle-road voting record–could depress enthusiasm.

Between support from major players that voters recognize and the specter of any of the Republican alternatives, we’d guess that Bennet’s “base problems” won’t be much of a problem by the fall.

Bennet Joins Post-Orlando Gun Safety Filibuster

As the Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins reports, Colorado’s senior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined with fellow Democrats this week in a day-long filibuster to call attention to the need for enhanced gun safety legislation following last weekend’s terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, up for re-election in Colorado this fall, joined 30 of his Democratic colleagues in D.C. for a filibuster about gun laws [Wednesday] following the latest massacre, this time in Orlando, which left a bloody mark as the worst single-gunman mass shooting in U.S. history…

When Bennet took the floor, he talked about the difference between the ways Colorado lawmakers and Congress have reacted to gun violence. Colorado has passed new laws; Congress has not.

“Unlike Washington, in Colorado our legislators actually rose to the occasion to take some tough decisions … they got together and they actually strengthened our background check system. Colorado’s legislature closed the gun show loophole and the internet loophole and required a background check for every gun sale,” Bennet said.

The Senator then ran down the list of what that has meant for Colorado in practice within the past year.

“I want to be precise about this,” he said, noting that in 2015 background checks had blocked 7,714 people from buying guns, a figure that made up about 2 percent of the applications for firearms purchases.

Those within that 2 percent included murderers, rapists, domestic abusers and kidnappers who were denied guns because of the new rules, Bennet said.

“Is there anyone who is going to come to the floor of the United States Senate and say that Colorado is worse off because we’ve kept guns out of the hands of murderers or kidnappers or rapists?” he asked. “This isn’t mythical. This is the actual fact of what’s going on in a Western state that has background checks.” [Pols emphasis]

Bennet’s defense of Colorado’s landmark gun laws is in fact very important to the national debate now taking place over strengthening federal gun safety laws. One of the most critical reforms sought nationally has been standard practice in Colorado in part since 2000 and fully since 2013: universal background checks, both on gun purchases made at gun shows (2000’s post-Columbine Amendment 22) and on most private transfers of guns outside immediate family members (2013’s House Bill 1229).

Colorado’s experience with closing loopholes that allowed weapons to be purchased without a background check has shown that these are workable policies that do result in thousands of gun sales to criminals being stopped–both outright denied purchases, as well as the deterrent effect of having the policy in place. That a Western state like Colorado with its long tradition of gun ownership can successfully implement strict background checks on gun sales shows it can be done nationally–neutralizing a key argument of the gun lobby against them. Politically, Colorado is increasingly a model for passing gun safety legislation and then successfully weathering fierce political reprisals from gun rights zealots. After the high water mark of the 2013 recall elections, the new laws have notably failed to become the cautionary tale the gun lobby wanted them to be.

As desperate as the gun lobby was to stop Colorado’s push to tighten gun laws after the Aurora theater massacre, or failing that to at least contain their spread by exacting a heavy and lasting political toll, their failure is evident with each horrific killing spree. At least for a little while, the conversation inevitably comes back to the easy availability of military weapons that can cut down dozens of people effortlessly. Colorado didn’t want to take the lead on gun safety, it was a responsibility placed on our state by events no one would ever wish for.

When the rest of America is ready, Colorado will still be the model.

Michael Bennet is Exactly Who You Thought He Was

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Colorado Republicans have endured weeks upon weeks (upon weeks) of positively brutal headlines as the race for the Republican Senate nomination enters its final month, so we can understand why some in the GOP would be overjoyed to come across some negative news about Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.

Before we get to bursting the GOP’s bubble on this particular piece of Bennet news, let us pause to allow our Republican friends to bask in the dim glow of this story from the Denver Post:

The Colorado AFL-CIO dealt a surprising rebuke to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet over the weekend when the union federation declined to endorse the Democratic incumbent in his bid for re-election.

Bennet was the only Democratic lawmaker in Colorado’s congressional delegation who failed to gain the support of the state’s AFL-CIO chapter…

…Sam Gilchrist, executive director of the Colorado AFL-CIO, said the vote on Bennet was close, but that he fell short of the required two-thirds majority needed for an endorsement because too many union members were unhappy with Bennet’s support of a measure last year that gives the White House more power to cut international trade deals.

That authority is broadly seen as a pathway for the Obama administration to approve a new agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would ease trade barriers among 12 Pacific Rim countries, from the U.S. and Canada to Japan and Chile.

While the Colorado AFL-CIO declined to endorse Bennet’s re-election campaign because of the Senator’s perceived support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Bennet hasn’t exactly been bullish on the idea, either. As the Colorado Independent reports:

Bennet has not yet taken a public position on TPP.

But Bennet voted on a measure giving Obama the authority to “fast track” negotiations for it and other global trade agreements, and Bennet has drawn fire from the AFL-CIO for his stance on trade before. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have come out against TPP.

Failing to lock up the endorsement of the Colorado AFL-CIO is certainly not a positive development for Bennet, but it’s not nearly as problematic for 2016 as Republicans would like you to believe. Bennet is a moderate Democrat who goes about his business on Capitol Hill as a moderate Democrat would be expected to act. Bennet’s moderate credentials may not make him beloved by the liberal Democrats in Colorado, but he is who he is. Maintaining his centrist approach to the Senate is a big part of the reason why he is widely favored to win re-election this fall.

Bennet may not get the official support of the Colorado AFL-CIO, but he should have plenty of backing from other labor groups who prefer Bennet over any of his Republicans challengers. Concerns about the TPP issue as a political millstone are overblown as well; you may recall that Bennet supported the Keystone XL oil pipeline in 2015, yet still received the endorsement of prominent environmental groups such as the League of Conservation Voters and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The very fact that the AFL-CIO felt comfortable enough to not support Bennet also bodes well for progressive politics in Colorado. The AFL-CIO made its point with Bennet; the message was received and understood, but not at the expense of mortally wounding the only swing-state incumbent Democratic Senator up for re-election this year.

Sen. Michael Bennet Increasingly Favored to Win Re-Election

Political pundits are bullish on Bennet.

Political pundits are bullish on Bennet.

This isn’t a huge surprise given the Raging Outhouse Fire that is the Republican field for U.S. Senate at the moment, but it’s noteworthy nevertheless.

As Roll Call reports:

…none of the GOP candidates have demonstrated the ability to put together a campaign strong enough to knock off an incumbent in a state that looks likely to go heavily for Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.

The race certainly isn’t over and Republicans claim Bennet’s numbers are soft. But the senator’s advantage is significant and it’s hard to see how the GOP nominee will overperform Trump enough to win. We’re changing our rating from Lean Democratic to Democrat Favored. [Pols emphasis]

Unless Republicans can gain some ground in Colorado, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s open seat in Nevada will be Republicans’ lone takeover target in the Senate. And that race could be a struggle as Democrats increase their edge in voter registration.


Sabato: Colorado Senate Race Moves to “Likely Democratic”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver)

Well-known political pundit Larry J. Sabato has updated his regular “Crystal Ball” forecast of U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races throughout the country, and there’s a significant change in Colorado. From the Center for Politics:

Colorado: Coming into the 2016 cycle, it was pretty clear that the Republicans would largely be on the defensive. Only two Democratic-held seats stood out as ones the Republicans could hope to win, one of which was Colorado (with the other being Nevada, now an open seat on account of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s retirement). Sen. Michael Bennet (D) has proven to be more resilient than some might have thought…

…At the outset of this cycle, Bennet appeared a slight favorite to start, but now it looks as if he may hold a stronger edge. Bigger-name GOP politicians — including Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R), and Rep. Scott Tipton (R) — declined to challenge Bennet in a presidential cycle. Instead, the Republican field is a logjam of double-digit proportions, though only five candidates officially filed petitions to get on the primary ballot. Other candidates will try to get on the primary ballot by getting at least 30% of the vote at this weekend’s state Republican convention. Whoever wins the GOP nomination on June 28 will have a serious financial deficit to overcome as Bennet had $6.7 million in the bank at the end of 2015. More importantly, just as the circumstances at the presidential level have weakened the ratings for a number of GOP Senate incumbents, they have improved Bennet’s odds as the only potentially vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbent. The Centennial State race shifts from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Quite frankly, this change isn’t a huge surprise. The Republican Senate field is crowded with seriously-flawed candidates no matter how you slice it. We’re still waiting to hear about any Q1 fundraising numbers from the candidates, and rumor has it that every major GOP candidate has been careful in recent weeks to keep the expectations bar set very low in terms of money raised in the last full quarter before the June 28th Primary.

Unless at least one of the GOP candidates are able to come up with a strong fundraising haul — or anything, really, that could begin to separate one candidate from the rest of the Republican field — the trend lines on Colorado’s Senate race are likely to continue moving in favor of incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver).

BREAKING: Jack Graham Enters GOP Senate Race with $1M and a Wadhams

A visual guide to the Jon Keyser for Senate campaign this morning.

A visual guide to the Jon Keyser for Senate campaign this morning.

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate just changed in a big way. As Ernest Luning reports for the Colorado Statesman:

Former CSU athletic director Jack Graham is planning to petition his way onto what could be a crowded Republican primary ballot for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet, and he seeded his run with a $1 million deposit to his campaign account yesterday.

Not only is Graham seeding his campaign with a cool million, he’s bringing on former Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams as his campaign manager.

We’ll admit that we don’t know a lot about Jack Graham politically, but $1 million and Dick Wadhams is more than enough to shake the foundations of the massive GOP field running for U.S. Senate. Wadhams is no longer the feared political operative who guided Wayne Allard and John Thune into the U.S. Senate, but he does give Graham a legitimacy that he otherwise would have had to work hard to establish on his own.

Former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham

Former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham

On the fundraising side, seeding his campaign with a million dollars instantly gives Graham a warchest that the 10-12 other GOP candidates may not be able to match. Graham is a former Athletic Director at CSU, and the job of AD at a major university is largely related to fundraising; Graham no doubt has a hefty rolodex that he can consult as he starts dialing for dollars.

Graham’s loud entry into the Senate race changes some of what we wrote just yesterday in assessing the state of the Republican field of candidates. State Sen. Tim Neville is still in the driver’s seat to win the June Primary because, for one thing, he doesn’t really have to worry about getting his name on the ballot. Neville should have little trouble generating more than 30% of the votes at the State Republican Convention (the minimum amount needed for ballot access), and he’s a known and trusted quantity to many in the far-right base of the GOP.

And then there’s Jon Keyser. To borrow a Trump-ism, Keyser just got schlonged.

Keyser was the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) big recruit for the Senate race, and he pushed all of his chips into the center of the table by resigning his seat in the State Legislature as well as his job at a big Denver law firm. Keyser’s campaign got off to an inauspicious start, with questions about campaigning while on military duty and a general  indifference from the media about his chances. The plan was for Keyser to hunker down and raise money — he reportedly had soft offers of support for millions in campaign cash — but Graham, Wadhams, and $1 million may scurry that support in a hurry.

Graham’s entry into the Senate race really changes the math for Keyser. Anybody can try to petition onto the ballot (Graham, Ryan Frazier, and Robert Blaha are already going that route), but it’s a giant pain in the ass and a significant drain on resources, time, and money to go that route. Keyser’s team has already indicated that he will go the petition route, but that assumes that big donors are still onboard with the NRSC’s Keyser experiment following Graham’s bombshell. Remember, there was already a self-funder in the race in Blaha, and Frazier claims to have raised at least $200k, which gives him a good head start on the petition process. Writing a big check to Keyser suddenly looks like a long-shot bet.

Keyser could try to switch strategies and go the convention route, but Republicans don’t really know who he is, and there are — at most — three available ballot spots through the Party. Neville will certainly claim one of those spots, with Peggy Littleton and Darryl Glenn (or someone else) potentially fighting it out for 30%.

With just a few months to go until the June Primary, serious GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate need three things: Ballot Access, Television ads, and enough cash to fuel a staff of at least a half-dozen people. How many Republican candidates can still check all three boxes this morning?

It would seem the only Senate candidate smiling this morning is incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet.

Another Day, Another Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

IMPORTANT POLICY CHANGE: If you live in Colorado and have been a registered Republican for about a year, Colorado Pols will henceforth assume you are running for U.S. Senate in 2016 until we hear otherwise.

Jerry Natividad, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

Jerry Natividad, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate


Okay, we’re kidding…sort of. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post, Colorado Republicans will have yet another candidate seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate:

Jerry Natividad, a leading Hispanic businessman in the Denver area, is preparing to announce a bid later this month for the GOP nomination. “I’m at the stage where I’m probably going to do this thing,” the 65-year-old told The Denver Post…

Natividad is the president of American Facility Services Group and owner of the Jeffco Regional Sports Facility in Lakewood. For decades, he worked the sidelines of the political field, serving as a board member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and a member of Mitt Romney’s Hispanic leadership team in 2012, according to a biography from the Koch-funded Leadership Institute, where he was a guest speaker…

Depending on your definition of a “U.S. Senate candidate,” Natividad is at least the 9th Republican candidate to enter the 2016 field. Why would Natividad want to try to squeeze into this clown car? He doesn’t like the current occupants:

“When I take a look at (the GOP Senate primary),” he said, the candidates are “just more of the same.”

Fair enough.