The Andrew Romanoff Campaign in a Nutshell

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, the Romanoff campaign sent out an email to supporters claiming that he won the debate on Tuesday…citing five anonymous social media messages.


The Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate took part in a 30-minute debate on Tuesday evening that was not particularly enlightening for undecided voters. But it was the aftermath that proved more telling.

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff faced off — via video link — with 9News anchor Kyle Clark moderating (click here to watch the entire debate). It was hard for either candidate to really engage in a discussion because of the inherent delay in doing this sort of thing via remote video link; this was probably a disadvantage for Romanoff, whose attacks on Hickenlooper were harder to sustain when all speakers need to pause for a few seconds after they finished talking.

Via Colorado Public Radio (6/9/20)

As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Hickenlooper, the establishment favorite, promised to fix “government dysfunction in Washington” and at times seemed to be debating Sen. Cory Gardner, the incumbent Republican.

Meanwhile, Romanoff staked out a progressive call for “bold structural change” and sharply criticized Hickenlooper throughout the confrontation. He even said Hickenlooper should withdraw from the race after the state’s Independent Ethics Commission’s recent findings against him.

Romanoff’s call for Hickenlooper to withdraw from the race was strategically sound, though it’s likely not going to be as effective as Colorado Republicans would hope. The most telling moment of the night, however, came in the post-debate spin cycle, where Romanoff’s campaign face-planted HARD:

“Martin” Booker and “Gregory” Floyd? Yikes! These aren’t just copyediting mistakes; you cannot make this error when Romanoff just got finished telling voters that he is the “real” progressive candidate in the race. It doesn’t really matter who is at fault here, in terms of individual staff members, because it reflects a Romanoff campaign that has always been not quite ready for prime time.

Former Senate candidate Trish Zornio, who is supporting Hickenlooper, put a bow on this idea a bit later:

It is inarguable that Romanoff’s campaign is putting all of its eggs into a June 30 Primary basket. This is not the wrong strategy for Romanoff at this point, but it does open him up to concerns about how his campaign might pivot to a General Election matchup if he were to defeat Hickenlooper. Romanoff’s campaign has always had June 30 circled in red marker and November 3 in pencil.

Romanoff supporters will say something to the effect of, “Senate Democrats will support whomever wins the Primary,” and they aren’t wrong in that regard…but it’s an incomplete argument. If Romanoff were to become the Democratic Senate nominee, his General Election campaign would essentially be starting from scratch on July 1. Hickenlooper has already proven that he can marshal the resources necessary for November — he led all candidates in fundraising in the last quarter, with $4.1 million raised compared to $2.5 million for incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and $420,000 for Romanoff. Meanwhile, Republicans are doing everything they can to prop up a reeling Gardner, and that job gets significantly easier if a hollowed-out Romanoff campaign limps into the General Election.

Hickenlooper has always been the heavy favorite to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, and he remains the frontrunner despite his troubles in the last week. What Romanoff’s campaign really proved on Tuesday night was that it is still nowhere near ready to be the campaign it needs to be — for the Primary or the General Election.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. OpenSpace says:

    However, it was amusing to get an email today from Hick with the subject line: "I need a minute to explain."

    I thought he might actually be explaining his ethics commission blunder but it was just a generic appeal for money.

    I had been planning to hold my nose and vote for Hick for the greater good but his last couple weeks — buddy buddy with Mizel? Ugh — have me thinking I may not be able to do so.

  2. harrydoby says:

    While Hick's ethics issue doesn't hold a candle to "Champagne" Cory Gardner's high-rolling pay-to-play ways, my wife and I decided that we would register a small protest vote in favor of Andrew Romanoff, whose ethics have never been in question.

    At this point, I trust either Hick or Andrew could beat Gardner.  Their biggest hurtle seems to be avoiding shooting themselves in the foot between now and November.

    Either would make a fine senator. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Hickenlooper and Romanoff would fit into the Senate’s Democratic caucus — in different positions.  I’d consider either of them as an acceptable senator — and much preferable to the current junior senator, who has now responded with an email on the general topic of what I wrote about to two of the many comments I left on his Senate site. 

      I’m still waffling on a primary vote.  I don’t think the “ethics” issue will bite very deep — and I may join you in a “protest” vote. But I also have questions about someone raising 1/10th as much as a primary competitor AND not seeming to find ways to run on the cheap.   His Youtube ad put up on June 3 now has 1,147 views and 18 thumbs up. 

  3. doremi says:

    You guys must be paid Hick staffers.  

    Jesus said something about pulling the splinters out of someone's eyes, whilst ignoring the log in your own eyes.  (ethics violations (you dismissed that), everyone matters instead of black lives matter (I don't think you ever even mentioned that), apologizing to the sheriffs for signing the high capacity magazine ban (now he campaigns on Standing up the NRA….., actually, he stood up and then ran like a dog with its tail between its legs), and never assisting the Democrats who were fighting recall effort (guess he wasn't part of any team). 

    Keep it up…you'll get another mediocre senator like you helped us get in 2010, 


    • Voyageur says:

      I’m curious, doremi.  Obviously, you disagree with George Floyd’s brother, Philonise,who just told Congress “His life matters. All our lives matter. Black lives matter.”

      Yep. He said all lives matter, the same belief that enraged you when Hick said it.

      So, please provide a list of those whose lives don’t matter to you.

      Also, it would be nice to know your criteria for determining which lives don’t matter.

      Okay, we can all agree Moddy’s life doesn’t matter and I assume Moscow mitch doesn’t either.  But since you are the expert on which lives matter and which ones don’t I’d like to see your list.  

    • kwtree says:

      Doremi, you probably already know that there’s no point in engaging with V once he starts telling you what you feel and think, extrapolating ridiculously, and throwing out logical fallacies. 

      But here’s a good compilation of responses on why “All Lives matter” is an insensitive , minimizing and undermining response to “Black Lives Matter”. My fave: If I tell you I’m raising funds to fight breast cancer, and you respond with, “Well, there’s other cancers, too! Why don’t you care about prostate or lung cancer?”, we would all see the logical and empathetic failure in that response. 

      Statistically, black males are the most likely to die in a police encounter or police custody, because of systemic racism. 

      We had 100 people, including me, with Black Lives Matter signs protesting at the corner of Alameda & Bear Creek Blvd on June 9. Hundreds of cars honked and drivers showed support. They got it. 

      • Voyageur says:

        So, flightess bird, do you think George Floyd's brother is a racist or just insensitive?  He did tell Congress "all our lives matter."

         Ahh, the perils of political correctness.

        We still need to hear from Moddy about whether his life matters.


    • Genghis says:

      Romanoff will be receiving a 4-0 clean sweep from our house, but I have little doubt that Hick will get the nomination. The entertaining part, for large enough values of that term, will be seeing how the buffoons running Hick's campaign engineer a general election loss to America's Most Vulnerable Senator.

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