Raise Your Hand if You Are NOT Running for U.S. Senate

We’re gonna need a bigger car

The Democratic field for U.S. Senate in 2020 hasn’t quite reached into the same clown car numbers as the 2016 GOP Senate field, but we’re getting closer with every week.

Two more Democrats entered the race for U.S. Senate on Tuesday — former U.S. Attorney John Walsh and former CO-7 candidate Dan Baer — which pushes the total number of officially-filed candidates into double digits for the first time. In early 2016, more than 13 Republican candidates were jockeying for the GOP nomination. Five names would eventually make it onto the ballot for the June 2016 Republican Primary (Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, Robert Blaha, Jon Keyser, and Ryan Frazier), with Glenn ultimately emerging as the GOP nominee to run a no-hope General Election campaign against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver).

A few more Democratic hopefuls may yet join the 2020 Senate field in the coming weeks — former House Majority Leader Alice Madden is expected to announce her campaign sometime soon — but the sheer number of Democratic hopefuls may actually be pushing this race closer to a tipping point. Unlike Colorado Republicans, who can still be choosing between a half-dozen candidates in a Primary Election, Democrats traditionally congeal behind one or two top contenders. As we’ve said before, the likely Democratic nominee in 2020 still isn’t in the race yet.

Here’s how we’d break down the field as of mid-April:

TIER 1Joe NeguseEd PerlmutterJohn Hickenlooper
The odds-on favorite for the 2020 Democratic nomination will likely come from one of these “big three.” None of the current candidates have the political gravitas — a combination of personality, policy ideas, and fundraising ability — that Neguse, Perlmutter or Hickenlooper can offer. It is unlikely that two of these potential candidates will run, let alone all three, so the first one in the pool will be the frontrunner.

TIER 2: Mike Johnston
Johnston holds this spot by virtue of his $1.8 million fundraising quarter. Johnston won’t rise further unless he can convince Democrats that he has a higher ceiling than his third-place finish in the 2018 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary would indicate.

TIER 3: Andrew Romanoff, Alice Madden, John Walsh
Each of these three candidates could eventually move up in the pecking order. Each could also be out of the race before the end of the year — none of them have a chance if any of the “Tier 1” candidates join the field.

TIER 4: Dan Baer
Baer showed decent fundraising chops during his brief run in CO-7, but he’s otherwise nowhere close to the candidates above him on this list.

TIER 5: Stephany Rose Spaulding, Trish Zornio, Lorena Garcia
Nobody on this list will impact the Democratic field one way or the other.

TIER NOPE: Derrick Blanton, Dustin Leitzel, Keith Pottratz, Diana Bray
Good luck picking any of these people out of a lineup.



15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    That seems an odd top 3:

    Hick – never held or shown any interest in holding a legislative position; always been executive.

    Neguse – he's been in office a minute, give him a break.  Also safe seat at 34, has tons of time, why run again?

    Perlmutter – bitched out of a statewide run for governor.  Does he really want to run a statewide race?  My guess is not much.

    Also, it makes no sense to put Johnston in a tier above Romanoff.  Andrew has the chops and plenty of access to money– some of it from Colorado, unlike Mike.

  2. Mike W. says:

    Not sure why you rate Baer, who has demonstrated fundraising capabilities and actually dipped his toes into a campaign before, below Walsh, who as far as I can tell has never campaigned or fund-raised before. 

    Frankly Spaulding should be in the same bracket as well. She brought in money and did as well against Lamborn as anyone else ever has, which suggests she’s at the very least a serious campaigner.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Is Cary Kennedy a definite “no” because I’d love to see her run.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    TIER NOPE: Derrick Blanton, Dustin Leitzel, Keith Pottratz, Diana Bray
    Good luck picking any of these people out of a lineup.

    1. Diana is the woman. That should be easy.

    2. Derrick Blanton is not running. 22MAR2019 "I have seen my name in media pieces and had people ask how my run for Senate has been going. I have also had a few people recently ask me to run for office or re-run for office. I closed my campaign out with the FEC almost a year ago…" https://www.facebook.com/unpaidprotesterderrickblanton/

    3. One of the boys of central European heritage has a beard. The other does not. The one without the beard looks like a Keith.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    Tier Doesn’t Matter:  All of the above.

    This race, more than any other in Colorado, will be nothing but a referendum on El Mangolito.  Whether or not we are stuck with another term of the Yuma used tractor salesman sycophant is gonna’ depend entirely on the Democratic Presidential nominee and the extent to which he, or she, has coattails.

  6. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I’m going with Andrew. From a rural perspective he’s done more for our communities outside the Denver metro area than any candidate in the race. 

  7. Gray in Mountains says:

    I expect to be voting for Andrew. I can't imagine who the candidate would be that I might choose over him

    • MADCO says:

      Reminds me of 2004 and how many caucus/primary Ds were so flipped on Mile Miles.

      I loved Mike Miles's campaign. That guy was great!
      I really wish he would have run for other office (s).

  8. kwtreemamajama55 says:

    Lorena Garcia is dynamic, campaigning hard all over Colorado, has raised $14,000.

  9. RepealAndReplace says:

    Just saw San Bauer on Andrea Mitchell. Came across well.

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      two typos in a name …. and leaves me a question of WHY was he talking with Andrea Mitchell.  Old friends? 'Cause I'm betting no other candidate has gotten a national news mention on MSNBC.

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