Lynn Bartels at the Denver paper is reporting that Democratic Senators Brandon Shaffer and John Morse are both considering running in CD-6, where Joe Miklosi and some dude named Perry Haney are already seeking the Democratic nomination.
We’re not terribly surprised to read this, as we have heard rumors for awhile that Shaffer may ultimately look to CD-6 and abandon what most observers believe to be an unwinnable race in CD-4. We’re not sure where Morse really fits into this discussion, but we’d guess he’s just throwing his name out there for the chattering class more than anything serious.
While Miklosi has pulled in a lot of endorsements from Democrats, he is not raising the kind of money that will get him on national target lists and lead to the really big funding a Democrat would need to beat Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. The incumbent Coffman raised $415,000 in Q4 and is now sitting on a million-dollar warchest.
Miklosi raised just $130,000 in his first quarter of fundraising, a paltry sum for a top challenger in one of the more statistically competitive districts in the country (the benchmark is closer to $200,000 per quarter, but top-tier candidates should be closer to $250k). Campaign finance reports from Q4 should be available anytime now, and the fact that Miklosi has not proactively announced his fundraising totals suggests that he did not do much better in his second three months.
Neither Miklosi nor Shaffer is particularly well-known in the new boundaries of CD-6, so there would be little built-in disadvantage for Shaffer to move his sights to the new district. Shaffer has, however, shown a better capacity for fundraising. And let’s face it, folks: as much as anyone wants to complain about it, money matters a lot. It doesn’t just matter because you need it to reach voters — it is a show of support in and of itself. If Miklosi isn’t raising it, then he cannot — cannot — beat Coffman in November. With a district this favorable for taking out a Republican incumbent, Democrats can’t, and shouldn’t, give a challenger the benefit of the doubt.
All this might be a moot discussion if it comes out in the next 24 hours that Miklosi really raked in the cash recently. Given the timing of this news, however, we’re guessing that won’t happen.