Writes the Colorado Independent’s Taran Volckhausen:
American Constitutional Party candidate Tom Tancredo fired back at Colorado Republican nominee for governor Dan Maes Wednesday, calling on the brand new nominee to do the right thing now that he has won the nomination and withdraw from the race. After winning the GOP primary Tuesday, Maes called on Tancredo, a right wing icon in the state, to withdraw his third party bid for governor. Tancredo told the Colorado Independent he was having none of it.
“I have the same request of [Maes],” Tancredo said. “I think that he’s the third-party candidate and it’d be a good idea for him to drop out to reduce the split among conservative voters.”
Maes was equally frank in talking about Tancredo at his victory party Tuesday.
“Tonight is a celebration, but there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room we must address,” he said. “Mr. Tancredo, stop your campaign tonight!”
The Independent notes the recent Public Policy poll showing that, if the election were held this week, Tom Tancredo would actually earn more votes than the GOP nominee–this has a way of lending credence to Tancredo’s assertion that he is the ‘real’
Republican conservative in this race. The actual GOP, on the other hand, seems to have resigned itself to the fact that Dan Maes is not going to pull out of this race, and Jane Norton (or another competitive candidate) will not be rescuing the party from this self-inflicted disaster as fleetingly hoped. Moreover, contrary to some suggestions we’ve received, we don’t think big GOP donors will want to pull a Joe Lieberman and switch to Tancredo, as Maes’ defiance would render such a move highly embarrassing–not to mention the toxicity a show of support for Tancredo would rub off on other races.
It’s been reported widely that Maes did not receive any significant congratulations from GOP leadership outside of the obligatory and grudging variety following Scott McInnis’ concession yesterday morning, and nobody we’ve talked to has delusions that Republican wallets will open for Maes to any significant degree. After all, he’d probably just write checks to himself with it. Efforts are reportedly turning to channeling those resources into state legislative races, and developing a message for the GOP downticket that minimizes the damage Maes–and Tancredo–can do.
And that, barring a supernatural event, is the story of Colorado’s 2010 gubernatorial election.