Can Elway Save Colo Republicans With a Run for Office?

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Elway and Neville

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At this point, the Colorado Republican Party finds itself in a situation like the one John Elway faced in 1987 in Cleveland, with five minutes on the clock and the 98 yards to go to win the game. They need an Elway miracle to win a statewide election here.

Except they have Donald Trump on their team, not Elway.

But what if John Elway came to their rescue? His name pops up when the dregs of a political conversation turns to GOP miracles.

That’s because Elway is a Republican whom Coloradans actually like (sometimes). And over the years, he’s considered a run for office, if you believe the rumors.

Elway seems to like politics. He’s a reliable GOP donor, and he endorses Republicans in key races.

And he’s unafraid to be associated with losers–which would be a requirement if he ran for office in a blue state like Colorado.

In 2018, Elway backed, among others, then-state Sen.Tim Neville (R-Littleton), who lost his seat that year, as well as other state senate candidates whose collective losses resulted in a Democratic takeover of the state Senate.

More recently, during last year’s election, Elway gave over $85,000 to federal GOP candidates, mostly losers, including Donald Trump. He gave over $15,000 to the losing Republican efforts in the Georgia Senate races.

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Elway & former GOP lawmaker Martinez Humenik

Elway’s winning connections last year included far-right conservative U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

So would Elway run in Colorado?

Democratic pollster Chris Keating doesn’t think so.

“I don’t think John Elway is going to do it,” Keating told me last week. “I don’t think he wants to put himself and his family and his football career through the wringer. “I’m sure people are going to tell him it’s a great idea. I would tell him it’s really dumb idea. We love you John. Even Democrats like myself, we remember fondly all the stuff he’s done. And we don’t want to think about that other stuff. We love the Broncos and John Elway. “It’s insanely stupid for him to do that. He would just get dragged down into it. That’s not necessary.”

And Elway would have another problem: He’d lose.

Elway would likely clear the Republican primary because he’s a Trump backer and because he’s John Elway.

We don’t know if he’s an election conspiracist, but you’d think so based on the GOP cohort.

Then Elway would face the same unaffiliated voters whom any other Republican would need to win in Colorado. A clear majority of these swing voters are Trump-hating and progressive–and lean heavily toward Democrats.

There aren’t many athletes like Elway who’ve jumped successfully to big-time politics. In Colorado, U.S. Ben Nighthose Campbell was an Olympic star. Republican Jack Kemp of New York was an NFL quarterback. Wresting sensation Jesse Ventura was governor of Minnesota.

And you have to consider the fact that Elway oversaw a losing football team in recent years.

It all adds up to a political nose dive, not a winning drive, for Elway.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    Tommy Tuberville's a horrible example, but football fame with limited civic experience could win in Alabama. Nebraska coach Tom Osborne is probably less of a horrible example, but he won his popularity contests. I want to hope Colorado could resist the Elway name and brand and consider what he'd really stand for as a politico, but you never know. In fairness, I could probably vote Jokic!

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    I think Elway's proven himself sufficiently dumb enough to make an acceptably good Ttumper . . .

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    My all-time favorite Elway late-in-the-game-miracle moment . . .

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Among active voters as of May 1, Republicans were 26.37% and Democratic were 29.57% of all active voters.  Unaffiliated were 42.22%, and in recent statewide contests have been producing a clear majority for Democratic candidates.  The higher participation rate among Republican voters no longer seems to be enough to overcome Democrats.  Being an incumbent is pretty highly correlated with wins and increasingly Senate results are tied to the most recent Presidential contest in a state.

    Those are only some of the challenges Elway would be facing.


  5. Meiner49er says:

    Elway was always great only when someone else was calling the plays. On his own, he ruins pretty much anything he touches. Either way, the campaign would be a fumble. Just look at who would be calling the plays!

    • JohnInDenver says:

      My guess?  If Elway chooses to become a candidate, he would hire someone with the best available credentials for winning and let him or her be "the coach."  All the way from what plays should be run when down to the choice of uniforms. 

      So it would really matter who was presented and chosen to be "the coach."

  6. spaceman2021 says:

    Elway was a helluva football player.  And that is it.  He's a lunkhead and would be a disaster in public office.  

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