You’re Not Making Sense, NRCC


Republicans are waiting to find out who will be their nominee in CO-07, as Tim “Demon Guy” Reichert, Erik Aadland, and Laurel Imer finish out a long Primary campaign tonight.

In the meantime, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is sending out nonsense statements to media outlets alleging that Democrat Brittany Pettersen is fully aware that she will need to run a political campaign until the General Election on November 8.

We get a lot of press releases here at Colorado Pols. Some of them are less effective than others.

This one is dumber than most:

What, exactly, is the point of reminding reporters that CO-07 is considered a “Likely D” seat? Hey, just wanted to let you know that we probably won’t win this seat no matter who gets nominated tonight!

And what is the “quiet part” that Pettersen said “out loud”? That she is encouraging supporters to get involved in her race?

This is just another reminder that if you don’t have anything to say…then just don’t say anything.


Polster Primary Predictions

Over the years at Colorado Pols we’ve frequently run totally non-scientific polls (like this one) asking readers to tell us who they think will be the victor in a particular race. We do this to get a sense of how perceptions might be shifting in a particular race, but we’ve also found that Polsters have been remarkably accurate at predicting outcomes in past elections. Today we’re gathering up all the various polling results from the last 6-8 weeks for the definitive guide to the future (one that begins at 7:00 pm tonight).

We’ll get into the details below, but first, here’s the slate of candidates that readers of Colorado Pols predict will be successful tonight in key Republican Primary races:

♦ U.S. Senate: Ron Hanks
♦ Governor: Greg Lopez
♦ Sec. of State: Tina Peters
♦ CO-03: Lauren Boebert
♦ CO-05: Doug Lamborn
♦ CO-07: (We forgot to poll on this race)
♦ CO-08: Lori Saine



In the race for the Republican Senate nomination, Polsters have never wavered over the course of three polls (1, 2, 3) in picking Ron Hanks over Joe O’Dea:


Over the course of three polls (1, 2, 3), our readers shifted from favoring Hiedi Heidi Ganahl to betting on Greg Lopez:


We only polled once on this race, but Polsters were overwhelmingly confident that Tina Peters would defeat Pam Anderson and Mike O’Donnell:



Polsters didn’t vary much in their predictions over the course of two polls (1, 2), giving the edge to Lauren Boebert over Don Coram:



We polled just once in this race, with Doug Lamborn the clear favorite over Dave Williams:



Over the course of two polls (1, 2) our readers stuck with Lori Saine over Barbara Kirkmeyer, with Jan Kulmann and Tyler Allcorn trailing far behind:


Will readers of Colorado Pols be correct in their Primary predictions? We’ll find out tonight!

What Does Voter Turnout Tell Us About November? Not Much

Voter turnout numbers in Colorado resemble 2018 more than 2020.

Political pundits often attempt to connect voter turnout numbers in a Primary Election as some sort of harbinger of things to come in a General Election. Most of the time there is little correlation between the two elections, and that is particularly true in 2022.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office released ballot return numbers on Friday indicating that Republican ballots are being returned in larger numbers than Democratic ballots. Should this trend continue through Tuesday evening, we’d expect some in the GOP to attempt to spin a narrative that Colorado Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting in 2022 than Democrats. There are two very significant problems with this story, however:

First off, the 2022 Primary Election in Colorado is very different than in years past. Republicans have contested races in three of the five major statewide races (U.S. Senate, Governor, Secretary of State) and in four Congressional districts (CO-03, CO-05, CO-07, and CO-08). Democrats, meanwhile, have NO contested statewide races and a competitive Primary in only one Congressional district (CO-03). For many Democratic voters, there are no races on their ballots for which a choice is even available. There’s little incentive for Democrats to even bother submitting ballots when there is nothing to be decided.

The second issue that is skewing ballot return numbers involves Unaffiliated voters. As Colorado Newsline explains:

This year’s preliminary ballot-return data shows that unaffiliated voters are largely responsible for the GOP’s turnout edge so far. Nearly 30% of the Republican primary ballots returned as of June 24 were cast by voters not affiliated with any party — double the number reported at the same point prior to the state’s previous midterm primary election in 2018. [Pols emphasis] Colorado law allows the state’s 1.7 million unaffiliated voters — a larger group than either its 1.1 million active registered Democrats or its 956,904 registered Republicans — to vote in either party’s primary election in a given year, but not both.

In other words, more voters are casting Republican ballots in the Primary Election — but that’s not an indication that Republican voters are more enthusiastic about participating in this year’s elections.

Primary Election turnout is generally not all that indicative of what might happen in November anyway, but this is particularly true in 2022. To borrow a quote often attributed to Sigmund Freud, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

The GMS Podcast: Predicting the Primary Election

This week in episode 112 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii make their final prognostications in advance of the June 28th Primary Election with the help of Armin Thomas of

We’ll also discuss calls from The Denver Post to shutter the Benson Center for Western Civilization Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado…thanks to its association with coup plotter John Eastman. And Eastman pal/gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl goes on TV with her first advertisement just eight days before Election Day.

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Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at Or send emails to or

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Will Republican Voters Split the Primary Ticket? Probably Not

CO-08 candidates clockwise from top left: Saine, Kirkmeyer, Kulmann, Allcorn

Ballots for the June 28th Primary Election are already being returned after being mailed out to voters early last week. Most of the action this month is on the Republican side, where there are an exceptional number of GOP battles that need deciding. In fact, we can’t recall a recent time when Colorado saw this many competitive Primary races for high-profile offices in the same election cycle.

We’ve heard persistent rumors recently that the race for the Republican nomination in CO-08 is essentially now a two-candidate battle between Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine and State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer. Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann continues to generate little interest, and not a lot of people have ever heard of a “Tyler Allcorn.”

Much of the discussion in GOP circles still centers around the “Big Lie” — the idea that the 2020 Presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump. As we’ve written many times in this space, years of Republican support for the “Big Lie” is a big problem for the Colorado GOP. And while the “Big Lie” is rapidly falling apart amid the Congressional hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, it’s unlikely that these discussions will change a lot of minds before most of the votes are cast in the June Primary Election.

Rumors about a Saine/Kirkmeyer showdown in CO-08 got us thinking about what sort of crossover impact might or might not happen in other top GOP battles. In short, our question is this: To what degree might Republican voters split their ticket between “Big Lie” adherents and those who dance around the topic?


For example, if a voter supports Saine in CO-08, should we assume that they are also going to back Ron Hanks for U.S. Senate, Greg Lopez for Governor, and Tina Peters for Secretary of State? The question works no matter which order you list the candidates; if you like what Peters is selling, is it safe to assume that you are also backing Hanks and Lopez? This is definitely a bet we’d be comfortable making.

Sure, there are going to be exceptions to this (or any) rule of thumb, but in general it makes logical sense that “Big Lie” believers are going to back the “Big Lie” candidates.

What happens with the Republican candidates who dance around the “Big Lie”? This group, which we call the “Big Lie Fence Sitters,” don’t explicitly say that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump but spend a lot of time talking about non-existent voter fraud and questioning the security of our elections in broad terms. A voter who leans toward believing the “Big Lie” could potentially talk themselves into backing a “Big Lie True Believer” in one race and one of these candidates on the next line.

Then there are the Republicans whom we call “Big Lie Non Believers.” Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, Secretary of State hopeful Pam Anderson, and CO-08 challenger Jan Kulmann have been (relatively) clear that they don’t believe the 2020 election was fraudulent. All three of these candidates also flirt with the idea that our elections need greater security or transparency, but overall they stay away from suggesting that Democrat Joe Biden is not the “legitimate” President of the United States.

Again, there will be exceptions, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for someone who likes Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters to also back O’Dea (as one example).

This brings us back to the rumors in CO-08 that the Primary outcome will come down to Saine or Kirkmeyer. If the race does shake out this way, this is almost certainly bad news for the likes of O’Dea and former Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson. If something similar is happening in CO-07 as well, then O’Dea, Anderson, and Ganahl are all in serious trouble.

Perhaps Republican Primary voters in Colorado will decide in large numbers to dismiss the “Big Lie” and vote in a different direction, though that would be at odds with everything the Colorado GOP has been advocating since November 2020. No Republican candidate has long enough coattails for others to ride out this storm.

Colorado Republicans Charge Into Abortion Buzzsaw

Tim Reichert (R).

National political debate during the month of May has been dominated by the leak early this month of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would, if adopted, overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions guaranteeing abortion rights to all Americans. The overturn of Roe would result in the immediate criminalization of abortion in over 20 states, and restrictions on abortion being aggressively passed by conservative state legislatures elsewhere are already causing a surge in patients coming to Colorado for care.

In Colorado, which has been a stronghold for abortion rights since before Roe, Republicans have historically paid dearly at the ballot for the obsession among part of their coalition for attacking abortion rights. In years where abortion ban ballot measures have appeared on the state ballot they have gone down in flames, and are generally considered to have done collateral damage to Republican candidates. The political cognitive dissonance with respect to abortion rights peaked in 2014 when Cory Gardner narrowly won despite a toxic anti-abortion record that Gardner succeeded in downplaying.

And then Cory Gardner helped appoint three conservative Supreme Court Justices in Donald Trump’s four years, flipping the court to its current configuration and proving the worst fears of Gardner’s 2014 opponents. In 2022, with that experience seared into the memory of a generation of Colorado Democrats, Gardner’s much-analyzed “Jedi Mind Trick” on abortion in 2014 would impossible to pull off today.

Especially, as the Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey reports in a fascinating look at the re-energized anti-abortion right, with so many Republicans in Colorado and across the nation throwing caution to the wind and gleefully embracing the coming new reality most Americans are dreading:

Although Republicans had been working toward this moment for decades, many of them didn’t want to talk about it. Tim Recihert wasn’t one of them.

Reichert, a leading candidate in Colorado’s 7th District, didn’t just want to talk about abortion on May 9; he wanted to publicly push back on GOP campaign brass for trying to change the subject…

During the debate in the small mountain town of Bailey, he argued this moment presents an “incredible opportunity” for the GOP to explain why their anti-abortion position makes it the “natural home” for women and for “the marginalized, the poor, and the smallest among us.”

Illustration of Baal (Bael) from Dictionnaire Infernal.

Republican CD-7 candidate Tim Reichert is a prime example of an ideologue who doesn’t want to hear from strategists and consultants who argue that while anti-abortion politics play fine with Republican primary voters, the issue becomes a massive liability for Republicans who actually want to win over a majority of general election voters in November. The prospect of Republicans actually achieving their long-sought goal of overturning Roe has infused the anti-abortion wing of the party with momentum completely heedless to the advice of smart politicos.

“Every abortion feeds the demonic and thereby contributes directly to the demise of the church, the demise of America and the demise of the West,” Reichert said. “Every single abortion is not just a tragic loss with two victims… It is much more than that—it’s fuel. Fuel for the demonic, because it is the sacrifice of a child at the altar of Baal.”

And as we’ve covered in depth, Tim Reichert doesn’t screw around with his beliefs.

“Its no secret that Tim is pro-life as it’s part of his Catholic faith and lived experience. He’s been very transparent about his position,” said campaign spokesperson Audrey Hudson. “This election is about economics and inflation that is crushing the middle class.”

Hudson argued that “the only people who are talking about abortion as a campaign issue” are Reichert’s Democratic rivals…

The problem is that Reichert himself, the leading Republican candidates in Colorado’s new CD-8, and Republicans up and down the ballot, have all made a liar of this spokesperson. CD-8 candidates are tripping over each other to prove to primary voters in that tightly competitive district they are the most anti-abortion candidate. Both Republican candidates in Colorado’s Republican primary for governor have vowed to roll back the state’s new law codifying abortion rights. In the U.S. Senate primary, fallback establishment pick Joe O’Dea has likewise condemned Colorado’s new abortion statute, and promised to appoint conservative federal judges if elected. If O’Dea survives the June 28th primary he’s widely expected to attempt a pivot on the issue, but he’s already given abortion rights supporters plenty of justification to not give him the benefit of the doubt Cory Gardner received.

The repeal of Roe v. Wade is such a longstanding political objective of the right that it’s silly for them to attempt to downplay it in states where that makes for problematic politics. It was far safer and more politically beneficial to Republicans for Roe’s repeal to remain an unfulfilled goal, because the ensuing backlash against this massive rollback of personal freedom could itself be generationally significant. The throwback social agenda so many moderates and independents thought they could sidestep in order to enjoy tax cuts and deregulation defines the GOP now, and there’s no pretending otherwise.

There will be serious consequences.

Three Losers Predict Next Winner

Eli Bremer, Greg Moore, and Gino Campana (nobody knows what Greg Moore looks like)

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, Republican Erik Aadland rolled out three new endorsements in his bid to become the GOP nominee for Congress in CO-07:

Three of the Colorado Republicans who unsuccessfully sought this year’s U.S. Senate nomination formally endorsed congressional candidate Erik Aadland on Thursday, calling the West Point graduate the Republicans’ best chance to win the open 7th District seat.

Aadland, who jumped from the U.S. Senate race to the congressional primary in December, announced that former rivals Eli Bremer, Gino Campana and Greg Moore are supporting him ahead of the June 28 primary election. [Pols emphasis]

This story reads like it could be from “The Onion,” but it is nonetheless factually accurate. Three people who couldn’t even make it onto the Primary ballot in the race for U.S. Senate say that Erik Aadland gives Republicans their best chance at winning in CO-07. Because if anyone knows what it takes to win an election, it’s these three guys!

Erik Aadland, thoroughly contemplating.

Naturally, Aadland’s campaign then put all of this in a press release and sent it out to actual reporters.

As you may recall, Aadland started the 2022 election cycle as a candidate for U.S. Senate, a campaign that probably peaked with the endorsement of former Congressman Tom Tancredo last October. Aadland left the Senate race in December to run in CO-07 instead, where he now faces a GOP Primary against Tim “Demon Guy” Reichert and Laurel Imer for the chance to take on Democrat Brittany Pettersen in November.

[SIDE NOTE: Unfortunately for Aadland, Tancredo had already endorsed Imer in CO-07, so he couldn’t keep the Tanc’s endorsement in his new race. Tancredo later endorsed Gino Campana in the U.S. Senate race, because of course he did.]

As Luning writes, Eli Bremer, Gino Campana, and Greg Moore all say they “were impressed with Aadland when they were running against him for the Senate nomination, citing ‘the depths of his intelligence, empathy, and thorough contemplation.'” Reichert and Imer were apparently only capable of moderate contemplation.

The only other question left is this: Should Aadland not win the GOP nomination in C0-07, will the “Three Amigos” enthusiastically endorse Reichert or Imer next?

The GMS Podcast: The One With the Epic Rant on Abortion Rights

This week in episode 107 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii welcome back Christy Powell once more for the latest news on fundraising numbers for statewide races and one unforgettable diatribe about abortion rights (seriously, it could be its own episode — jump to the 22:45 mark).

But first, Jason and Ian consider the political implications in Colorado of the demise of Roe v. Wade and make sure to update you on where Republican candidates for federal office stand on the issue. We also dive into the big news in the race for Governor and listen to Republican candidate Greg Lopez talk himself into oblivion in an interview with 9News.

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Colorado Republicans on Abortion Rights

If you’re reading these words we will assume that you are already aware that a leaked document indicates that the U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to overturn Roe v. Wade in what would be a stunning rollback of abortion rights. This news will obviously have an enormous impact on the 2022 election; how each individual candidate approaches the subject will be perhaps more critical than it has ever been for American voters.

With that in mind, we thought it would be instructive to take a look at the positions on abortion taken by the various candidates for major political offices in Colorado. Since we can’t list the positions of every candidate — well, we could, but that would take longer than waiting for Hiedi Heidi Ganahl to answer a question — we’re going to focus on the candidates in competitive races for federal office in Colorado (U.S. Senate and Congress).

But before we do that, here’s a fantastic example from Ganahl herself of how NOT to respond to these questions:

Colorado state lawmakers recently passed legislation called the “Reproductive Health Equity Act” (RHEA), also known as HB22-1279, that essentially protects the rights of Colorado women to choose an abortion without government interference — like if, say, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ganahl vehemently opposes this law, but she won’t say if she would sign legislation banning an abortion in Colorado (which pretty much means she would). In short, Ganahl made it clear (again) that she opposes abortion rights but is too politically-terrified to talk about it in public.

Okay, back to the candidates for Congress…

As far as we know, there is no Democrat running in Colorado in 2022 who does NOT support abortion rights, so we’ll skip ahead to note where the relevant Republican candidates are standing on the issue.



Voters don’t have much of an option on the issue of abortion when it comes to Republican candidates Ron Hanks and Joe O’Dea. The only real difference is that Hanks doesn’t even try to dance around on the subject:

You’re not going to get much further to the right than Hanks when it comes to abortion. If there were an “Outlaw Abortion” button, Hanks would have already smashed it to pieces with his enthusiasm. Hanks would support outlawing abortion anywhere, at any time.

Joe O’Dea (R-ando)

O’Dea is less transparent about his opinion on abortion. He says that abortion is an issue that should be left up to the states to decide, which is his way of trying not to answer questions about Roe v. Wade. At the same time, O’Dea opposes the Reproductive Health Equity Act recently passed in Colorado…which protects the right to an abortion AT THE STATE LEVEL.

O’Dea isn’t likely going to clear this up anytime soon, because he doesn’t want to be talking about abortion at all should he win the June Primary Election for the right to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

We aren’t suggesting that Joe O’Dea opposes abortion rights in all cases. But O’Dea isn’t saying anything to the contrary.

If you’re a Republican Primary voter, O’Dea is potentially with you on this issue. In the meantime, he’s following the advice of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has instructed GOP candidates to yell SQUIRREL! whenever they get a question on abortion or Roe v. Wade.



There are three Republicans running for Congress in CO-07. It’s safe to say that none of them support abortion rights.

Erik Aadland is a big fan of the ridiculous abortion restrictions recently enacted in Texas, so there’s no need to ask him about Roe v. Wade.

Laurel Imer thinks that women should be punished by the law in states that have outlawed abortion.

And Tim Reichert? Well…Tim Reichert thinks an abortion is a sacrifice to a demon named “Baal.” When you’ve reached the point in the abortion debate when you are talking about specific demons by name, you’ve pretty well made your opinion clear.




And finally, we come to the brand spanking new eighth congressional district. Here we have three four Republican candidates with fairly similar positions on abortion rights.

Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine is a staunch supporter of even the “Personhood” idea that a zygote needs a Social Security number. She makes no effort to pretend otherwise.

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann has made it clear that she opposes abortion rights and would work to dismantle them if elected to Congress.

State Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer is equally blunt on the subject. Kirkmeyer believes that “life begins at conception” and sponsored an abortion ban in Colorado during the current legislative session.

Oh, and Tyler Allcorn…well, we’re sure he has an opinion.


Anyway, if abortion rights are a key voting issue for you this November, then your answers are pretty clear in all three major federal races in Colorado.

The GMS Podcast: Get Off the People’s Lawn! (feat. Christy Powell)

This week in episode 106 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii welcome back Christy Powell, last week’s wildly-popular guest host, for a new segment breaking down the latest questionable spending in fundraising reports for federal campaigns in Colorado.

Later, we listen in as Republican gubernatorial candidates Greg Lopez and Hiedi Heidi Ganahl explain how THEY would have gotten control of the May 2020 riots in Denver [Spoiler Alert: They would have basically used a stern voice with protestors]. We also do our best to decipher a celebratory video from CO-08 Republican candidate Lori Saine.

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Federal Fundraising Numbers to Watch: Q1 2022

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal campaigns were due by midnight on Friday. Since many of you had signed off for the weekend long before that time, we’ll break down everything you need to know below…

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet maintains his sizable fundraising lead over the rest of the field of Senate hopefuls.

The numbers for Ron Hanks are interesting for a non-obvious reason. Yes, Hanks isn’t raising diddly squat for his campaign, but it also appears as though he’s not really trying to fundraise. Only 11 individual contributors appear on Hanks’s fundraising report; Bennet, by comparison, has hundreds of individual contributors. We suppose it’s possible that Hanks is just really bad at fundraising, but the limited number of contributors suggests that Hanks is intentionally choosing to do other things with his time. Hanks may be hoping for more unsolicited donations now that he is the top line candidate on the June Primary ballot, which is sorta what happened for 2016 Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn. Hanks also knows that if he wins the GOP Primary, he’ll get national fundraising help to some degree.

Joe O’Dea does appear to be raising money in the traditional manner — just not a lot of it. His numbers would be pretty good if he were running for a seat in the House of Representatives, but this is a weak quarter for a Senate candidate. Again, fundraising is likely to be a lot easier for O’Dea now that the GOP field is down to just he and Hanks, but this isn’t a great sign for a candidate who has more of a name ID problem than his Republican opponent.

Three other former Republican Senate candidates committed the cardinal sin in politics of losing with money in the bank. Gino Campana ($625k), Eli Bremer ($150k), and Deborah Flora ($209k) all failed to qualify for the June Primary ballot via the assembly process, which puts an end to their 2022 campaigns but does not zero out their candidate bank accounts.



Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to raise a lot money…but she’s also spending a good deal of her coin as well. Her opponent in the June Primary, Don Coram, isn’t doing well on the fundraising front and will likely need to rely on spending from third-party groups to boost his name ID and/or weaken Boebert.

As for the Democrats, Sol Sandoval continues to burn through her money at an alarming rate. Sandoval’s fundraising hasn’t been bad — she has pulled in more than $800k for her campaign thus far — but she has also spent more than $700k. The “poop guy,” Alex Walker, raised nearly $130k in just about one month, which would put him on a decent trajectory if he were able to maintain this pace. Adam Frisch, meanwhile, is sitting on $1.66 million in the bank — most of it coming from people named Adam Frisch.



Challenger Dave Williams had a decent fundraising quarter, though he has a long way to go in order to catch up to what incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn has in the bank. Lamborn’s $82,955 Q1 is pretty weak, but it’s not much less than what he normally raises in a given quarter. Money likely won’t play that big of a role in the June Primary, which will mostly be a battle over a smaller group of consistent Republican voters.



Democrat Brittany Pettersen turned in a solid first fundraising quarter, trailing only Boebert for the lead among candidates for the U.S. House in Colorado. Republican Tim Reichert technically reported more money in contributions, but $500k came in the form of a personal check. [Side note: Reichert laughably claimed in a press release that “70%” of his donations came from Coloradans…a figure that includes 100% of all Tim Reicherts in the state].

The other two Republicans in the race are struggling on the money front. Erik Aadland had a not-completely-terrible contribution number, but he spent most of it and now has very little left in the bank. Laurel Imer, meanwhile, would likely be trailing her opponents in a race for the STATE House of Representatives.



This entire list might qualify as the biggest surprise of the first quarter. Congressional district eight is a brand new congressional district with no incumbent in the way, yet no candidate is really crushing it on the fundraising front. Democrat Yadira Caraveo has the most in the bank, and she should be able to build on that lead now that she doesn’t have an opponent in the June Primary.

Republican Lori Saine, who earned top line on the June Primary ballot, seems to be taking a similar approach to that of Ron Hanks in the U.S. Senate race; Saine only has about 30 total contributions, which indicates that she isn’t putting any real time or effort into fundraising. Saine has good enough name ID in a four-way Primary that being a top fundraiser isn’t as important as it might be for other candidates.

Fellow Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer dropped the biggest turd of the bunch, though perhaps her low numbers indicate that she expects outside groups (such as Americans for Prosperity) to do the heavy lifting on her behalf. Meanwhile, Jan Kulmann’s numbers are fairly weak for someone who touts strong connections to the oil and gas industry. Tyler Allcorn produced a better quarter than we would have expected, though it helps to be able to write yourself a big check; still, Allcorn’s numbers indicate that he may have enough resources to play a spoiler role in June.


The GMS Podcast: For a Better Circus, Add More Clowns

This week in episode 105 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii guest host Christy Powell spend an entire episode breaking down the fantastic disaster that was last weekend’s Republican Party state assembly. Which other Republicans are dancing alongside Secretary of State nominee Tina Peters?

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The Republican Party’s Weekend Disaster in 9 Parts

Colorado Republicans spent the weekend in Colorado Springs finalizing candidate positions for various important races in 2022. In case you haven’t heard, the GOP State Assembly did not go well. Here’s what happened…


(1) Colorado Media Outlets All Saw the Same Thing

Colorado political reporters came to the same obvious conclusion following Saturday’s circus: The “Big Lie” reigns supreme in the Colorado Republican Party. Here’s a sampling:

♦ The Denver Post: “Colorado GOP embraces election conspiracy theories in nominations for Secretary of State, Senate”

Axios Denver: “Colorado GOP nominates election deniers to 2022 primary ballot”

Colorado Public Radio: “False claims about 2020 election front and center as Tina Peters clinches spot in GOP secretary of state race”

9News: “Far-right challengers gaining ground ahead of GOP primary”

Colorado Newsline: “Far-right conspiracy theorists triumphant at Republican state assembly”


(2) If This Weekend Surprised You, Then You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) was elected to her current post early last year after basically running on the “Big Lie.” She flat-out said at one point that the Colorado Republican Party is NEVER going back to the Pre-Trump days (though she later tried to walk that back). 

Presumptive GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Hiedi Heidi Ganahl has been flailing since her 2021 campaign kickoff about her persistent refusal to acknowledge that the 2020 election was legitimate. You can see from Saturday’s results why Ganahl has been so terrified to waffle on the “Big Lie” where the GOP base is concerned.

On Friday night, Republicans heard from a “Big Lie” keynote speaker at their Centennial Dinner: Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs.

Republicans spent HOURS on Saturday arguing over multiple efforts from groups trying to force the Party to abandon electronic voting in favor of paper ballots. Did Republicans really think that NOBODY would bring this up at their State Assembly? 

“We had to take two different votes on whether to do paper ballots,” said KBB on KNUS radio on Monday. One of the requests for paper ballots came from local militia group FEC United; KBB herself served as the President of FEC United prior to becoming State Republican Party Chair. 

On Monday, the founder of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, was still pushing an extensive, elaborate, and completely insane conspiracy theory about electronic voting “problems.”


(3) Danielle Neuschwanger Claims Fraud After Losing

Again, in the “of course this happened” category.

The odds that a Republican candidate was going to lose on Saturday and then immediately claim election fraud as the reason were approximately 100%.

Danielle Neuschwanger finished in third place in the race for Governor, behind Greg Lopez and Ganahl, but short of the 30% threshold that would get her name on the June Primary ballot. Neuschwanger then publicly alleged that there were some sort of voting irregularities and that she would refuse to concede (not that anybody needs Neuschwanger to concede in order to move on to June). We know this happened because Neuschwanger posted a video of herself making this very argument:

Near the end of the video, an unidentified man can be heard yelling, “We didn’t lose! We got screwed!”

On KNUS radio on Monday morning, KBB elaborated on this event, adding that Neuschwanger’s husband threatened to beat up her father! Totally normal stuff.



(4) Raise Your Hand if You Want to be on the Ballot!

Republicans allowed nominations from the floor on Saturday. This did not go well.

The first problem with this approach came when Oltmann was nominated for Governor (and seconded by State Rep. Pat Neville). Oltmann had no intention of accepting this nomination, but he DID use his time on stage to endorse two other Republicans: Ron Hanks for Senate and Tina Peters for Secretary of State. Both KBB and Republican Party Vice-Chair Priscilla Rahn bemoaned this on Monday on KNUS radio as a waste of everyone’s time. You’d think KBB might have had some advance knowledge of this given the fact that she basically worked for Oltmann 18 months ago.

Following the vote for Governor, two different people were then nominated from the floor for Attorney General. We wrote earlier about Stanley Thorne, but there was a second woman nominated for AG who admitted soon thereafter THAT SHE WASN’T EVEN AN ATTORNEY. Thorne, by the way, is a licensed attorney, but not in Colorado (he’s also apparently not a registered Republican). 

In the end, District Attorney John Kellner escaped Colorado Springs without a Primary opponent, but he can’t be feeling too pleased with himself. As we wrote on Sunday:

Apparently 42% of Colorado Republicans said they would prefer “any random asshole” for Attorney General rather than John Kellner…EVEN if that person is not even a registered Republican in Colorado.



(5) More Clowns = Better Circus

Saturday was unquestionably a dumpster fire for the Colorado Republican Party, but that didn’t stop KBB from attempting her own lame spin on the results:

It is true that State Treasurer candidate Lang Sias does not have a Republican opponent. As we noted earlier, AG candidate John Kellner would have had a Primary had Stanley Thorne actually been a registered Republican. In order to find a third candidate for this “no Primary”  narrative, KBB had to include some guy running for state school board.

Meanwhile, Republicans do have a primary fight for Governor, U.S. Senate, and Secretary of State. All three Republican incumbents in Congress will have a Primary in June, and both open seats (CO-07 and CO-08) have multiple-candidate Primary battles. Republicans also have NO candidates in CO-01, CO-02, or CO-06. 

But, sure, YAY for Sias, Kellner, and school board guy.

In case you were wondering, Democrats have no primary battles for any statewide race. Democrats also have no Primary fight in any congressional race. The Republican spin on this is just silly. 


(6) The Tina Peters Assembly

Greg Lopez  won top line at the assembly BECAUSE he promised to pardon Peters of any crimes committed during her tenure as Mesa County Clerk and Recorder. Stanley Thorne got 42% of the vote in the race for AG because he and others claimed that John Kellner failed to support Peters with sufficient vigor. 

The biggest surprise from Saturday’s assembly might be that no Republican candidate publicly proposed to marry Peters. 

This is the part where we remind you that Tina Peters spent a night in jail literally one month ago. She might yet be jailed on a contempt of court charge, and we don’t even know about the federal crimes she could get dinged for in the coming months.

If there is a ray of hope for the GOP, it is that Mike O’Donnell made the June Primary ballot, giving Republicans a three-way Primary for SOS. O’Donnell is a long shot to win, but he could be helpful to the GOP if he is able to siphon votes away from Tina Peters to the benefit of Pam Anderson (who skipped the assembly after getting on the ballot via the petition route).

This weekend Twitter take is…not wrong:


(7) No-mentum for Heidi Ganahl 

Despite her endless pandering to the Republican base, presumed GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Heidi Ganahl came in second to Greg Lopez, who collected basically the same vote percentage that he received in his 2018 bid for Governor. We don’t need to tell you that it’s bad news that Ganahl is basically an afterthought following the biggest weekend of the year for Colorado Republicans.



(8) All The Momentum for Ron Hanks

Just look at this photo, via Colorado Public Radio:


Republican operatives have insisted for months that Ron Hanks is not a real candidate for U.S. Senate and would have no chance in a GOP Primary. We’ve long believed that reality was exactly the opposite of this position. 

On Saturday Hanks SHUT OUT every other Republican Senate candidate, emerging from the State Assembly as the only person to make the Primary ballot via this process (if you’re wondering how this happened, see point #2 above). Hanks will face Joe O’Dea in June after O’Dea was the only Republican Senate candidate with the sense to collect petition signatures instead of relying on the GOP’s lunatic base.

Hanks has raised very little money for his U.S. Senate campaign and is about as far away from the average Colorado voter on policy issues as a candidate could get. But he might well win the Republican Primary in June, following in the footsteps of 2016 Senate hopeful Darryl Glenn

There is still a lot to be told on the other side of the GOP ledger. Gino Campana is a multi-millionaire former Ft. Collins City Council Member who regularly touted his connections to Donald Trump and even hired Kellyanne Conway as a consultant. He didn’t make the ballot.

Eli Bremer is a former Chair of the El Paso County Republican Party and a onetime Olympic athlete (albeit in the “modern pentathlon”) who was the first Republican candidate to enter the race in 2021. He didn’t make the ballot. 

Deborah Flora is a former radio host and onetime “Miss Colorado” who entered Saturday touting the endorsement of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. She also left Broadmoor World Arena on Saturday in need of a new hobby.

Campana, Bremer, and Flora spent a lot of time and paid a lot of consultants a lot of money for a whole lot of nothing. 


(9) Ken Buck, Canary in the Coal Mine

We knew things were going to be (extra) weird on Saturday after incumbent Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) almost failed to get his name on the June Primary ballot during Friday’s CO-04 assembly. Buck finished in second place behind somebody named Bob Lewis. Buck will likely still win the GOP Primary, but getting just 38% of the vote from your own base is pretty sad for an incumbent Congressman. 


Hold On to Your Hats, Republicans!

UPDATE #2: This is going well:


UPDATE: Over in CO-07, it looks like Republicans will have a three-way Primary on their hands. Erik Aadland (63%) and Laurel Imer (34%) both made the ballot through the assembly process. One other Republican candidate, demon enthusiast Tim Reichert, made the ballot via the petition route.


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder…

Incumbent Republican Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) damn near failed to make the Primary ballot at today’s GOP congressional assembly for CO-04, finishing with about 38% of the vote. As Sandra Fish of The Colorado Sun reports via Twitter:

Republicans are also holding assemblies for CO-02, CO-03, and CO-07 today. Given the craziness that has already ensued in other Republican assemblies, we could be in for a wild day on Saturday as the GOP selects nominees for Governor and U.S. Senate.

The GMS Podcast: Whose Demon is it Anyway?

Sen. Julie Gonzales and Scott Wasserman

This week in episode 104 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with State Sen. Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and Bell Policy Center President Scott Wasserman about what Colorado can (and should) do with TABOR refunds and affordable housing funding.

But first, we talk about a demon named Ba’al and why you should never use words like “sacrifice” and “altar” when you are a candidate for Congress and your name is Tim Reichert.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

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Who’s In, Who’s Out for Congress?

UPDATE: The Colorado Democratic Party confirmed this afternoon that Charles “Chaz” Tedesco failed to meet the 30% threshold for ballot access in CO-08. Yadira Caraveo is thus the Democratic nominee for CO-08 in 2022.

Democrats held most of their congressional assemblies on Tuesday, which means we have a pretty good idea of which candidates are going to be on the Primary ballot in June in the various congressional races in Colorado.

We’re still waiting on announcements regarding petition signatures for a few candidates, as well as the results from a handful of GOP assemblies. Republican congressional assemblies in Districts 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 are on Friday, April 8.


CO-01 (Denver)


😀 Incumbent Rep. Diana DeGette qualified via assembly
😐 Neil Walia is still waiting on petition verification


😮 No Republican candidate has filed to run in this district



CO-02 (North and West Colorado)


😀 Incumbent Rep. Joe Neguse qualified via assembly


😮 No Republican candidate has filed to run in this district



CO-03 (West and Southern Colorado)


 😀 Sol Sandoval qualified via assembly
 😀 Alex Walker qualified via petition
 😀 Adam Frisch qualified via petition
 🙁 State Rep. Don Valdez failed to make threshold at assembly; his campaign is now over.


 😐 Incumbent Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is going through assembly process
 😐 Maria Zimmerman is going through assembly process
 😐 State Sen. Don Coram is still waiting on petition verification



CO-04 (Eastern Plains)


😀 Ike McCorkle qualified via assembly


😐 Incumbent Rep. Ken Buck is on the ballot via the assembly (but barely)
😐 Bob Lewis is on the ballot after winning the GOP assembly




CO-05 (Colorado Springs)


 😀 David Torres qualified via assembly
 😀 Michael Colombe qualified via assembly


 😀 State Rep. Dave Williams qualified via assembly
 😀 Incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn qualified via petition
 😀 Rebecca Keltie qualified via petition



CO-06 (Aurora-ish)


 😀 Incumbent Rep. Jason Crow qualified via assembly




CO-07 (Jefferson County-ish)


 😀 State Sen. Brittany Pettersen qualified via assembly


 😀 Tim Reichert qualified via petition
 😐 Erik Aadland failed to qualify via petition but took top line at assembly
  😐 Laurel Imer qualified for the Primary ballot via assembly



CO-08 (North Metro-ish)


😀 State Rep. Yadira Caraveo qualified both via petition and assembly
🙁 Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco did not qualify for the ballot via assembly; his campaign is now over


😀 Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine qualified via assembly
😀 State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer qualified via petition
😀 Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann qualified via petition
😀 Tyler Allcorn qualified via petition
🙁 Jewels Gray failed to qualify via assembly; her campaign is over pending petition review


Tim Reichert on Abortion, Demons, and the Altar of Baal

Illustration of Baal (Bael) from Dictionnaire Infernal.

We’ve written before in this space that Republican Tim Reichert is probably the most boring candidate in Colorado in 2022. From what little we’ve seen and heard from Reichert on the campaign trail thus far, you’d have trouble making an argument otherwise.

But that may all depend on how openly Reichert continues to talk about one particular issue.

Reichert is running for Congress in CO-07, and like most Republican candidates, he is firmly “anti-choice” on the issue of abortion. Reichert is about as far right as you can get on this issue, opposing abortion with no exceptions, even for victims of rape or incest. But at the point where most Republicans stop talking, Reichert keeps on going…through a whole different level of radicalism and all the way into the “sacrifices for demons” category.

As The Huffington Post reported on Friday:

“Every abortion is a human sacrifice,” Reichert said last year in an acceptance speech for an award from Catholic Charities of Denver, a ministry-based charity that opposes abortion rights. “Every abortion feeds the demonic and thereby contributes directly to the demise of the church, the demise of America and the demise of the West.”

“Every single abortion is not just a tragic loss with two victims,” he went on. “It is much more than that ― it’s fuel. Fuel for the demonic, because it is the sacrifice of a child at the altar of Baal.” [Pols emphasis]

Uh, yeah. Take a look for yourself at Reichert’s comments from 2021 (below), which we excerpted from a longer, equally-creepy video featuring Reichert alongside his wife, Martha. Just don’t look directly into Reichert’s dead eyes:


If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Baal (or Ba’al or Ba’el), it is a demon mentioned in some sects of Christianity that is said to have the head of a cat, man, and human — simultaneously, somehow. Baal is also sometimes depicted with the body of a spider.

In short, Reichert apparently believes that every abortion is akin to sacrificing a child at the altar of some Cat/Toad/Man/Spider thing, which is…different.

Reichert is thus far the only Republican candidate who has qualified to appear on the June Primary ballot after having his petition signatures approved. That is likely to change following the Republican CO-07 assembly on Friday, where fellow Republicans Laurel Imer and Erik Aadland will attempt to qualify for the ballot via the assembly process.

Telling scary stories about demons may be popular with the right-wing Republican base, but this won’t play as well in a General Election should Reichert’s campaign advance to November. Colorado is a solidly pro-choice state whose voters have handily rejected abortion bans on the ballot on four separate occasions in the last decade.

With the potential for the Supreme Court to soon outlaw all or part of Roe v. Wade, abortion may well be a defining issue in 2022. If that’s the case, you’re probably going to see this video clip again…and again…and again.