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April 20, 2022 12:08 PM UTC

Colorado's Worst Campaigns: The Best Loser

  • by: Colorado Pols


After multiple rounds of discussion, we have at last reached the end of our quest to crown the WORST major campaign in Colorado in this century. According to our completely non-scientific poll of readers, the championship of this crappy tournament came down to two former campaigns for Governor: Bob Beauprez in 2006 and Dan Maes in 2010.

Click below to find out who is the losing-est loser of them all…



Bob Beauprez for Governor, 2006!

Congratulations, we guess, to Bob Beauprez’s 2006 campaign for Governor of Colorado!

Yes, the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of Dan Maes was so bad that Republicans were almost relegated to “minor party” status in Colorado. You could certainly argue that Maes getting 11% of the vote in 2010 assures him the top spot here. But our goal was to crown the worst major campaign in the last 22 years, and that trophy has to go to the Beauprez operation.

As we detailed in our post on the “Ugly Eight,” Beauprez was a good candidate on paper who seemed to check all of the boxes (name ID, fundraising ability, etc.). Dan Maes, on the other hand, was just some random dude who for a variety of strange reasons ended up as the Republican nominee for Governor. Beauprez would go on to become the GOP nominee for Governor in 2014. Maes would go on to…honestly, we don’t even know if Maes even still lives in Colorado.

The Maes campaign was bad, sure, but it would have been hard to do much with that candidate. Beauprez’s gubernatorial campaign was an outright disaster. The Beauprez campaign is responsible for what is probably the worst candidate TV ad of the last two decades (the infamous “horse’s ass” spot), and no other candidate for major office in Colorado has lost by a larger margin in a General Election (Democrat Bill Ritter beat Beauprez by 17 points).

Beauprez’s 2006 campaign for governor is #1 at #2 for now, but don’t get complacent; 2022 Republican gubernatorial hopeful Hiedi Heidi Ganahl seems determined to take the title for herself.


16 thoughts on “Colorado’s Worst Campaigns: The Best Loser

  1. I'm not sure about this. Please launch a months-long 3rd party audit that involves transporting the data to some remote location in Montana, re-do the count using watermarked paper ballots, hire Gessler and Staiert to sue whoever came up with the results in the first place, then threaten somebody. Maes 2010!!!

  2. Four Democrat campaigns and two of them were Romanoff? Please. What about Hickenlooper and Bennet for President? Doesn't matter which one.

    I know you hate Andrew Romanoff but there's a lot more Democrat fail to choose from.

    1. "there's a lot more Democrat fail to choose from."

      Again, Fluffy, you demonstrate how illiterate you are. (I caught you in a grammatical lapse in the John Keller thread a few minutes ago.)

      "Democrat" is a noun; "democratic" is the adjective. An adjective modifies a noun. In your case, the noun which "democratic" was modifying was "failure" although you misspelled it as "fail." Last but not least, you ended the sentence with a preposition. 

      And you are among those who scream about English-only. Indeed….



    2. You know who should have made the list but didn't Fluffy?  Gardner in 2020.  Because he ran a really tone-deaf campaign and didn't listen to Coloradoans.  Race decided Election Day: Tuesday November 3rd, 2020, 7:01 pm local time.

  3. I maintain that Scott McInnis should have won this. Both Ways looked like a fool during his campaign – the video of him standing next to the horse's ass said it all – but he lost a race in 2006 which was unwinnable for any Republican. (Now Beauprez '14 was more of a disaster since 2014 was a Republican wave election, Cory Gardner was able to take down an incumbent senator, and Both Ways – at least on paper – had a shot at winning.)

    Dan Maes should get an award for exceeding expectations. Perhaps he was a foreboding for what was to come in 2016 at the national level.

    1. Beauprez's '06 campaign was laughably bad, whatever chance of winning he had.  I would say going in, he had a chance.

      I might have to buy your argument about his '14 campaign being worse, based in part on the results vis-a-vis the environment that year.  He also had RGA run most ads on his behalf.  The only ad that was his, was him blaming Hick for the murder of former DOC Executive Director Tom Clements.  A shitty ad that Clements' family vehemently objected to being aired.

      1. "He also had RGA run most ads on his behalf." 

        That's right, he had Governor Donuts from New Jersey and the RGA pulling for him. And they were kind enough to knee-cap Tom Tancredo in the primary.

      2. Who can ever forget the “Yes to the (Boo PRAY) dress” ad? I wish I could. It was 60 seconds of moronic, condescending hell. I don’t know what the RGA or College Republican consultants were thinking when they advised Bob Beauprez that this ad would close the deal, but it contributed to BooPRAY losing big time. 

        Rick Palacio, then-chair of the CDP, got in some classic snark:

        College Republicans —

        We wanted to thank you for spending $1 million to show America just how out-of-touch Republicans are with young people. While Democrats are fighting to make sure young women can afford a good education, have access to healthcare including affordable birth control, get paid equally, and much more, Republicans are treating women as if all they care about are dresses and reality shows. You didn’t have to draw that contrast for us, but you did, and we can’t thank you enough! Thanks for everything you do! It doesn’t go unnoticed across the aisle.

        The College Democrats of America

  4. Agreed that McInnis should have won. He had it all: tremendous campaigner, outstanding fundraiser, great name ID and favorable conditions for a statewide GOP candidacy. His loss was completely self-inflicted by being a cheap ass.


  5. re: "honestly, we don’t even know if Maes even still lives in Colorado."

    having heard a random mention of Dan Maes in a different context, I looked him up on LinkedIn.  Most recent posts there talk about a move to Branson, MO, including his appreciation for people helping him with loading and unloading U-Haul trucks.

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