The 2020 Primary Election is now behind us (except for those few races that may need a recount). If you are a Democrat, you should be ecstatic. If you are a Republican, you might want to go into hibernation until 2022.
Let’s take a step back and examine the view of the 2020 Primary from 30,000 feet (or what you remember the view to look like from 30,000 feet, since nobody is going to be on an airplane anytime soon).
Lesson #1: Republicans Who are Known Entities Were Roundly Rejected
Even Republican voters are sick of the current batch of Republicans. Take a look at this brief list of well-known Republicans who were shown the door on Tuesday:
♦ Six-term Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) — who was endorsed by President Trump — lost to QAnon true believer Lauren “Yosemite Samantha” Boebert.
♦ State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Firestone) lost her campaign to return to the State House…by 30 points.
♦ Former State Rep. Justin Everett was handily defeated by Rep. Colin Larsen in South Jeffco.
This list does not (yet) include State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), who will likely need to wait for a recount to see if she won her race for an open seat on the Weld County Board of Commissioners.
Lesson #2: Pat Neville and RMGO Failed Everywhere
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville “led” Republicans to a beatdown in 2018. His preferred Primary candidates in 2020, most of whom were supported with tens of thousands of dollars from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), were all soundly defeated:
♦ HD-22: Justin Everett, a longtime Neville/RMGO loyalist, tried to retake his old House seat with a disgusting far-right message. He lost to Rep. Colin Larsen by 12 points.
♦ HD-48: Two-time loser Grady Nouis lost by 12 points to Tonya Van Beber. Voters were apparently not impressed with the fact that Nouis is basically a Nazi.
♦ HD-63: Neville and RMGO liked them some Pat Miller, who was Tom Tancredo’s running mate for Governor back in 2010. Dan Woog beat Miller by 25 points. (Fun Fact: This is Cory Gardner’s original State House seat)
♦ SD-23: In one of the nastier Primary battles of 2020, RMGO spent big bucks trying to prop up Rupert Parchment against former County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. This race was also not close, with Kirkmeyer winning by about 12 points.
Lesson #3: Cory Gardner is in DEEP Trouble
Lessons #1 and #2 would be scary enough for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who is seeking re-election in November, but that’s not even the worst of it.
Prepping for former Gov. John Hickenlooper to defeat former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the Democratic Senate Primary, Gardner’s campaign sent out a rambling, ridiculous memo on Tuesday afternoon (“Cory Gardner Isn’t Dead Yet Probably”) arguing that Hickenlooper was the “worst senate candidate in America” and that a Democratic voter registration advantage in Colorado is “nonsense.”
A few hours later, Hickenlooper beat Romanoff by 20 points.
Last August, Hickenlooper was polling at about 61% support in a potential Democratic Primary. He’s going to end up winning the Primary with about 60% of the vote…after Republicans spent $2 million in negative ads attacking Hickenlooper for ethics charges and a hard-to-understand public-private partnership “scandal.”
Re-read that last paragraph. Republicans (and Romanoff) spent many millions of dollars over several weeks trying to tear down Hickenlooper. They might have moved the race about one point in the end.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) July 1, 2020
Colorado voters saw and heard about the ethics complaints against Hickenlooper; either they didn’t buy it, or they didn’t care. Gardner used a silly commercial to try to convince voters that Hickenlooper didn’t really want to be a Senator; that didn’t work, either.
Gardner has been a hot mess in the last 24 hours (more on that in a later post). If we were Gardner, we’d absolutely be freaking out today, too.
The 2020 Primary Election went worse for Republicans than observers — including us — could have even imagined. Today is the first day of the 2020 General Election in Colorado. It’s going to be a LONG couple of months for the GOP.