The Sad Final Days of the Top of the GOP Ticket

Ganahl and O’Dea are less of a “Dream Team” and more of a “Creamed Team”

You can count the number of days until the end of the 2022 election cycle on one hand. As Election Day looms, Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and GOP gubernatorial no-hopeful Hiedi Heidi Ganahl are caught in a weird illogical loop of desperation and internal lies.

Before we update you on the strange last days of each campaign, it’s important to keep this in mind: The last two public polls in each race have shown both O’Dea and Ganahl losing by YUGE margins. On Wednesday, the University of Colorado’s American Politics Research Lab released polling data showing Democrat Michael Bennet leading O’Dea by 12 points and Democrat Jared Polis running ahead of Ganahl by 16. These numbers come on the heels of a poll from Global Strategy Group indicating an 11-point advantage for Bennet and an 18-point lead for Polis.

You could argue about methodologies and polling mechanics until you are purple in the face — and it’s more likely than not that both of these races end up being somewhat tighter after the actual votes are counted — but it’s pretty unlikely that these two recent polls are completely wrong. The question for O’Dea and Ganahl, then, is not if they can win on Tuesday, but if they can avoid being completely annihilated.

With that in mind, here’s what O’Dea and Ganahl have been doing in the last few days aside from avoiding populated areas of Colorado


Lighting Money on Fire

O’Dea put another $1 million of his own money into his campaign on Monday, upping his total personal commitment to more than $4.2 million. Ganahl wrote her campaign another big check last month and has now committed about $2 million of her own money ($1.4 million in loans and $600,000 in contributions).

O’Dea’s $1 million contribution on Monday is an egregious example of a candidate getting positively robbed by his own consultants. By every public metric, the Colorado Senate race is not close enough that a $1 million contribution in the last week will make much of a difference. O’Dea’s previous personal contributions are certainly excusable but are a sunk cost at this point; writing your campaign another $1 million check in the final week is the very definition of good money chasing bad. Any respectable campaign consultant should have told O’Dea that this late contribution was too little, too late.


Running to the Right

Ganahl didn’t really try to moderate her positions after the Primary Election. O’Dea did make that attempt — poorly — but in recent weeks he’s become much more of a right-wing nutter. For example, O’Dea followed up his nightmare interview with Jake Tapper of CNN on Tuesday by talking gibberish on MSNBC, calling Democrat Hillary Clinton the original “election denier.”


There are a lot of Colorado Republicans who wouldn’t blink at making this claim, but O’Dea was supposedly different. O’Dea claimed to be a less-insane Republican who was “not a politician,” but you know who else says insane shit like this? Right-wing Republican politicians.

Ganahl, meanwhile, sent out this message in an email late Wednesday:





We feel more than comfortable saying that the ONLY people who would be excited to know that Ganahl was talking to freaking NewsMax are right-wing Republicans who were already committed to supporting her campaign. There’s a better than even chance that Ganahl is interviewed by Alex Jones before Tuesday.

It’s bad enough that Ganahl took the time to talk to NewsMax, but it’s insane that she sent out an email crowing about her appearance. Is it possible that Ganahl thinks she is running to be Governor of Alabama?

Whoever thought this was a good idea apparently also convinced O’Dea. The Republican Senate candidate made his own inexplicable appearance on NewsMax today. Again, if these candidates are worried about their base heading into the final days of the election, then they’re royally screwed.


Time Travel

Supporters of both Ganahl and O’Dea have been spending a lot of time this week trying really hard to downplay the anti-choice positions of their candidates…and then getting punched in the teeth immediately afterward:



O’Dea supporters have been attempting the same switcheroo, with the same basic results.



If you’re wondering why Ganahl and O’Dea are trying to reassure their base at the same time that supporters are working to make them look less-extreme…well, so are we.



Facing Reality

They’re not laughing WITH you.



National media outlets are also finally starting to realize that the “O’Dea Surprise” is more like a weird casserole than a tasty treat. As Jim Newell reports for Slate:

“So are you doing the ‘this race is going to be closer than you think’ story too?” A Colorado politics reporter asked me my first night in Denver.

I was not the first national reporter to do a “fly-in” from D.C. to see Mitch McConnell’s “perfect candidate.” We were becoming tiresome. Perhaps all the more so because Bennet had been maintaining a roughly 10-point advantage on O’Dea in polling averages. Sometimes they’re “sleeper races” for a reason. (“I’m doing something post-that,” I said, stupidly.).

As we’ve written before in this space, all of the other national stories about Colorado’s Senate race had followed the same pattern of asking if Bennet could be in trouble and then coming to the conclusion that Bennet is not in trouble. Newell, at least, skips to the end:

Being the “perfect candidate” in a long-shot state sounds exhausting. Had Colorado Republicans nominated the nearest available warm body, they would not have had any expectations of possibly winning, and the warm body would have coasted freely to an unremarked-upon 15-point loss. O’Dea, though, built up hopes among Republicans and fears among Democrats. Barring some wild change in polling, he could be walking on eggshells to a much remarked-upon 5- to 10-point loss. (For all of McConnell’s talk about how he would be “all-in” on the state, his aligned super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, only kicked in a perfunctory $1.25 million in mid-October.)

As for Ganahl, she’s finding out that her “Mad Mom on a Meme Mission” nonsense is not resonating with, well, actual moms.


Via The American Politics Research Lab at the University of Colorado.



The Ganahl and O’Dea campaigns have been two of the strangest statewide efforts that we have seen in Colorado in a long time. Perhaps we should give them some credit for keeping it weird until the bitter end…

But really, we’re just ready for them both to go away.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Instead of kicking these two while they're down, how about the status on CO-8, the close races for the state House & Senate, and for SoS, AG, & Treasurer?

    • unnamed says:

      I most definitely agree that CO-8, the close state legislative races, as well as the row office races should get a lot higher priority than kicking tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dumber while their down.

      They deserve to be kicked when their down, but you're correct about needing to focus on other races more.

      • Colorado Pols says:

        We hear you. Two things: 1) There's not a lot of news coming out of these other races, and 2) The top of the ticket will drive a lot of other results.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I spoke with Dylan Roberts yesterday at his and Jared's Whistle Stop tour in Gilpin County.  He said Republicans have spent four million and Dems two on the SD 8 race.  Both see it as a winnable race for control of the state senate.  Tuesday should be an exciting day for political junkies.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          Definitely not the interesting crazy stuff you get from the others. But I think there's interesting stuff coming out from a number of these.

          Maybe ask the campaigns for something crazy or weird their opponent did?

  2. MartinMark says:

    Hey, we are told that these are savvy successful business people.  If they want to light some more of their money on fire, there must be a good reason.

  3. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    Happy this will be over next week, but I don't look forward to the next chapter, which is undoubtedly Benghazi parts two, three, four, five…

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      If only it was all about Benghazi ….

      It is going to be all about Hunter Biden’s laptop, and Hunter Biden’s drug addiction, and Hunter Biden’s crack hoes, and Hunter Biden’s work for the Ukrainian oil company.

      There will also be the investigation into the 1/6 Committee, including whether it maligned the good names of anyone mentioned during the hearings. People will be subpoenaed to appear before the Committee Investigating the 1/6 Committee Investigation. The chair, Marjorie Taylor Green, will issue subpoena with great joy for Adam Schiff, Zoe Lofgren, and Liz Cheney. They will be jailed for direct contempt if they do anything other than appear and (a) testify, or (b) plead the Fifth.

      There will be hearings into who won the 2020 presidential election. That may end up being a joint committee co-chaired by Ted Cruz and Matt Gaetz.

      There will be at least three impeachments of Joe Biden, and almost certainly cabinet secretaries (Homeland Security and AG being at the top of the list).

      There will be a committee investigating the “Border Crisis.”

      Kamala Harris will be impeached, either individually or in tandem with Biden.

      There will be multiple votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Or perhaps they will vote to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the Affordable Care Act.


      • NOV GOP meltdown says:

        Exactly LBPOS. I should have been clearer, meaning Benghazi-type nonsense "investigations" like you just highlighted above. Going to be a sad dysfunctional fucking circus.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        I think we should heed Willie’s advice today, particularly in regards to our Pfürer, the drunken pear.  Who’s going to tell him that removal (which he seems to confuse with impeachment) would take 67 votes in the upper chamber?  

        What a moran. 

        • unnamed says:

          True.  And don't dress up like pfurher for halloween, or anything else for that matter.  Because, it would look like this:

        • JohnInDenver says:

          Impeachment takes 67 votes to convict.  Ain't going to happen.

          I'm more worried about the House going Republican and the crazies taking control enough to decide they will NOT pass a new debt limit, allowing government borrowing.  I keep hoping there are enough sane Republicans willing to join with Democrats to avoid defaults — but if Kevin McCarthy [or an even worse Speaker] & co. control the agenda, I'm not certain there are enough to force the issue to the floor.  And this isn't an instance when Republicans have to actually PASS legislation — merely the lack of action will cause the crash.  And there isn't a damn thing a Democratic Senate, a Democratic President, or all the king's horses and all the king's men can do about it.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            I read recently where Schumer and Pelosi have been discussing raising the debt limit in the lame duck session a sufficient amount to get us through the next year-ish. 

      • DavidThi808 says:

        The thing on Hunter Biden is that there likely is some legitimate corruption to unearth. At a minimum there's the legal corruption of his getting jobs solely because of who his father is.

        And they'll use that to make it sound like all their other investigations are finding legit issues.

  4. Genghis says:

    asked on MSNBC if he’s comfortable with election deniers in his party, Joe O’Dea brings up … Hillary Clinton

    In a twisted sort of way, it’s almost comforting that Clinton Tourettes is still a thing after all this time.

  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Krista Kafer occasionally puts out some common sense conservatism to which I can nod in agreement.

    Ross Kaminsky doesn't.

  6. Gilpin Guy says:

    For the kind of cash Hiedi Heidi and O'Doh pumped into their respective campaigns, they should get some participation trophies to put on their fireplace mantles in their McMansions.  Trying although badly should count for something.

  7. JohnInDenver says:

    Today's news release from the Sec of State shows votes as of Nov 2 —  6 more days of voting before the 7 pm Nov 8 end of the election. Rounded off:  UAF 363k …. Dem 320k …. Rep 287k.

    2018 equivalent was the Sec of State Nov 1 release, showing votes to Oct 31:  UAF 324k …. Dem 381k … Rep 382k. 

    Shift:  UAF is +39k   Dem is -61k.  Rep is -95k. 

    Given the shellac spread in 2018, the diminished vote in 2022, AND the current reality that Republicans 'R' Revolting & so some registered Rs don't seem absolutely committed to voting for "RINO" Rs — preferring a blank line or a positive vote for "real conservatives" like some Libertarians — it may be a banner night for Colorado Democrats.

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