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August 16, 2019 09:58 AM UTC

They Need Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Denver Post’s political duo Justin Wingerter and Nic Garcia report, and we’re obliged to take note:

State Democratic insiders agree that Hickenlooper would be a formidable candidate against Gardner, but a majority of the 11 Democratic candidates already in the field want Hickenlooper to know they won’t be rolling over if he decides to run for the Senate.

“He has his aspirations, and we can’t control what he does, but what I’m concerned about is Washington insiders interfering with Colorado voters in their selection of a Democratic nominee,” [Sen. Angela] Williams said in an interview Thursday morning, hours before Hickenlooper ended his presidential run. “I believe women and people of color deserve a voice in the United States Senate.”

“He’ll have a fight on his hands,” Williams added. “That’s what I believe.” She accused Hickenlooper of attacking “the progressive values of women and people of color on issues like health care reform” during his ill-fated run for president.

In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that former Gov. John Hickenlooper would end his presidential campaign and give “serious thought” to running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020, at least three Democrats already running for the seat have suggested they won’t be peremptorily driven from the race if Hickenlooper gets in. Michael Johnston in particular has a sufficient war chest on hand with which to fight on, and at the end of the day nobody can force any declared candidate to pull out.

No person can do that, but reality has a way of working itself out.

We have been clear in this space that based on every available data point, including corroborative polling data and years of experience observing the trends and power centers in Colorado politics, John Hickenlooper as a candidate for the U.S. Senate would be orders of magnitude stronger than anyone else presently in the race for the Democratic nomination. A recent poll showing Hickenlooper’s name ID and persistent favorability crushing his Democratic rivals by 51 points is hotly disputed by supporters of other candidates, but it sensibly reflects the built-in advantage of a popular two-term governor against a primary field consisting mostly of current and former state lawmakers. Another recent poll showing Hickenlooper handily defeating Sen. Cory Gardner in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, though we don’t doubt other candidates can also compete well, is not an expression of anyone’s bias. It’s reality.

With that said, conventional wisdom has been upset before. All of the factors that we have identified as giving Hickenlooper the upper hand in a Democratic primary will need to be proven out once again. If our analysis is correct that Hickenlooper will dominate if he enters the Democratic primary and quickly relegate opposing campaigns to minor status, that prediction will be borne out by events.

We’re just the messenger, but feel free to prove us wrong–if you can.


24 thoughts on “They Need Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night

  1. It might not be a bad thing for Hick to get into shape with a couple of primary opponents. Ken Salazar had Mike Miles and it never hurt him. Jared Polis had three (or more accurately two and half) serious primary opponents and still managed to eek out a 55%-45% win over Walker Stapleton.

    I cannot picture Madden, Romanoff or Williams going away so pissed off after the primary election that any of the three allow Gardner to be re-elected.

  2. A more realistic take on Hick's Senate chances can be inferred from Morning Consult's take: Hick is at 41% favorability rating overall with Colorado voters. Most think he was an OK, but not a great, governor. We remember that he often wavered or outright balked on his support for cannabis reform, for oil and gas regulation, for civil rights legislation, and more.

    538's Nathaniel Rakich is outright skeptical about the validity of the PPP poll showing Hick dominating the Senate race.

    I don’t think that PPP poll shows us much beyond name recognition. Plus, that poll was sponsored by 314 Action, which definitely has a vested interest in tempting Hickenlooper to run for Senate (314 Action is a group that promotes scientists running for office; Hickenlooper is a former geologist).

    As far as the much-vaunted (but invisible) poll showing Hick beating all Senate rivals by 51%,  I see that the Post's Justin Wingerter is no longer citing the invisible Garin-Hart-White poll in his newest pieces on the Senate race; nor did Wingerter respond to my inquiries about the poll. There is no Garin Hart White Colorado Senate poll on 538's "latest polls" page; and there is no such poll featured on Hart Research's site.  Mr. Garin also did not respond to my inquiries.

    My guess is that, if it existed at all, it was an internal poll by an organization of Hickenlooper supporters, and they don't want to admit that, since it seems less reliable.

    For someone who has failed at a Presidential bid, and who has said he doesn't want the Senate job, and wouldn't be very good at it,  the consolation prize is that at least 41% of Coloradans like him and recognize his name. That doesn't mean that he would have an overwhelming edge in a Senate campaign.

    1. You just can't let it go, can you, MJ?   41 pct favorable is totallydifferent than 41 pct knowing who you are. I doubt if any of your gaggle of left favorites  hits 2 pct recognition.  

    2. For someone who has failed at a Presidential bid, and who has said he doesn't want the Senate job, and wouldn't be very good at it,  the consolation prize is that at least 41% of Coloradans like him and recognize his name.

      And yet he still maintains a 50% lead over his closest putative primary opponent. What does that say about your pet candidates….

      Hick at his worst beats any of them at their best.

      1. I have to admit, you seem to be genuinely in the tank for the great and powerful Hick.

        But that kind of hyperbole will out you as a relative…or an oil and gas guy.

        1. I'm in the tank too Duke.  Knew him personally in the past when he was a geologist.  Great guy.  I'll vote for him or Andrew in the primary.

    3. um, yeah

      Because campaigns are about ideas and policy and the best ideas and most popular policies are what win. Almost everytime.

      What I would rather talk about is how the current Senator won his primary and generla back when. No one knew he was running until just before … and then the filed cleared (for all practical purposes) and then he had some pictures with windmills and teeth and bam! victory.
      Who is it going to be this cycle? Elway? Manning?

      1. Elway also took time out from his duties drafting terrible quarterbacks to appear in an attack ad at the behest of the oil and gas lobby, urging voters to vote NO on banning those same companies from slant-drilling their way under area schools and whatnot to suck dry any precious natural gases they please. The ad worked. The proposition failed. HOORAY! Biggest win of the year for you, Bronco Nation. CAN YOU SMELL IT? Smells sulfurous and highly flammable!

        This is entirely in line with a front office that, for the better part of a decade, has been drunk around the clock. Elway appears to be the only sober one of this bunch and he’s an ASSHOLE who drafts abominably and looks more like Gary Busey with each passing day. Elway is the kind of GOP-bred shitbag who believes his own past success validates everything else he’s ever done or ever will do. That’s why he keeps drafting Browning Nagle clones and inexplicably shooing away any coach who has accomplished something of note under him. Can’t have anyone else steal the glow from poor John’s halo. Why don’t you go feed yourself a sugar cube, you toothy shit?

    1. But don't you know, PR…..

      There are no unaffiliateds remaining. There are only White Supremacist Nazis and Millennial Bolsheviks. 

      We are starting to resemble Spain circa 1935.

  3. Here's a well-written piece from Westword today.  You all know my leanings in this race but like everyone else will vote blue no matter who (unless it's Joni Ernst)

    (MSNBC reported last night that Mrs. Hops has maxed out to Dan Baer). 

    Hickenlooper Could Beat Gardner in 2020 — and So Could Everyone Else

    Democrats who want to see Gardner gone shouldn't get complacent, but neither should they psyche themselves out and let fear of another Gardner term cloud a very clear picture: All signs point to serious trouble for Colorado's junior senator in 2020, no matter which Democrat he's up against.

    1. Instead of psycho out, Dems should be psyched up to show Gardner the door along with Trump and keep Colorado on the progressive path.  We love leading the nation towards a renewable economy and sensible pot regulations.

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