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January 16, 2007 08:08 PM UTC

Who's the Better GOP Candidate: Senate

  • 62 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

With Sen. Wayne Allard on his way back to the veterinarian’s office, who is the best Republican candidate for Senate?

And we’re not going to include radio host Dan Caplis on the list, despite his attempts to be listed as a candidate as a PR stunt.

Who Would Be the Best Republican Candidate for Senate?

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62 thoughts on “Who’s the Better GOP Candidate: Senate

  1. Really … how could you be so unfair to Dan Caplis? He’s a lawyer, he’s married to Amy Sporer, he proposed to her on TV, he has a radio show, and he is right about everything — everything.

    That alone is reason enough for him to be considered a real possible candidate, right?

  2. most notably because, unlike the others, he has won a statewide election and with the help of a weak Democratic nominee and a near endorsement from Ken Salazar upon his initial appointment, did so handily.

    McInnis could have stayed in Congress, and instead voluntarily resigned for reasons unclear to most, causing the seat to flip to a Democrat.  Why should he want to return now and why should the GOP let him?  He also has old scandals and a voting record to dog him.  While he is running, and is stronger than many of the names in the mix, nothing produces success like prior success.  A majority of Colorado voters have voted for Suthers in the past.  The same is not true of McInnis.

    Schaffer is an unmittigated asshole and in the spotlight of a statewide campaign for U.S. Senate that would become clear, which isn’t to say that GOP primary voters are smart enough to recognize that.

    Owens has decided he wants to make money before he dies, and doesn’t appear to be in the running.  It is widely rumored that he secretly has one or two kids out of wedlock (although diligent efforts by many have failed to deliver the goods on that rumor), that is marriage is likely to fall apart now that the need for political appearances is gone, and he has run down his own kids in front of a public forum and newspaper reporters claiming that he wishes that they have an Asian work ethic (not that their episodes of mischief don’t warrant a little private parental disappointment).  Still, if he could overcome family issues and decided to return to public service, his excellent fund raising abilities, experience, and less than absolutely dismal performance as Governor, along with the fact that he is more moderate than many of the potential contenders, who give him a decent shot.

    Tancredo isn’t terribly popular in his own party, outside one faction of hardcore activists, is reviled by Democrats, and can’t parley enough support from anti-immigration independents too make a race fly.  He is also an underwhelming fund raiser.

    1. Does it matter who the GOP candidate is in 2008 if the anti-GOP tide has not peaked by then?

      I think ohwilleke’s summary makes a lot of sense, but every politician has a record and “skeletons,” so I’m not sure which ones can be overcome and which can’t.

      Perhaps the real question is, how could any of these prospects present themselves to win the primary and general without being called BWB?

      Shaffer, Tancredo and BwB are Repulsive Republican Radicals, and they can’t get away from that.

      McInnis doesn’t seem to be so starkly defined and probably could present himself as a “fresh” face to most of the state, if not to his CD-3.

      I take Owens at his word. I don’t think he will run. He needs to make money while he still can.

      Udall is sharply defined as an environmental radical and a hard lefty on most issues. If the Dems run a hard lefty for president, the GOP will have a good chance of winning the WH in 2008, and hard lefties like MU will have a tough time getting elected if they face strong opponents. Those are some big ifs.

      What would be a winning platform for a GOP senatorial candidate in 2008?

      For a Democrat?

  3. Did anyone else catch the article in the Gazette that mentioned Bentley Rayburn as a candidate?  After watching the race in the 5th last year, I am convinced that Rayburn will run.  He has a enormous ego and thinks the world of himself and thinks everyone else does as well.  I dont think he will be a serious player when all is said and done, but he could be a spoiler for one or more of the more conservative candidates.

      1. But that is not the point.  He will run even though he can not win.  He thinks he is God’s gift to Colorado and that everyone will recognize that some day.  My point was that I think he will run no matter what and that will impact any candidate who runs on the right side of the Republican candidate in this primary. 

        Incedentally, Jeff Crank must be ecstatic.  This could open up the door for a head to head between Crank and Lamborn in the assembly.  That could be disastrous for Lamborn. I’ll bet Dougie would rather have Crank and Rayburn both run than just Crank.

        1. should be happy about a primary. However, I would expect Rayburn being out would help Dougie more than Jeff. The big help for Crank will be having Lionel and Anderson out. The results were:

          Jeff Crank 22.56%
          Doug Lamborn  26.56%
          Duncan Bremer  6.39%
          Bentley B. Rayburn  18.83%
          John Wesley Anderson  12.10%
          Lionel Rivera  13.56%

          I would expect Doug to get the majority of Rayburn’s support but for Crank to get almost all of Anderson and Rivera’s support. That gives Crank a 7% pickup – more than enough to win a primary.

          1. I think that Rayburn and Bremer were fishing out of the same pond which composes 25% (I would call that the anti-insider and anti-Lamborn/Bruce conservatives).  I give that an even split between Crank and Lamborn in 2008.  I completely agree that the Anderson and Rivera camps would probably back Crank to large extent.  That would probably put Crank up by your 7-10 points.  The question is can Crank pound Lamborn hard enough in the assembly to be credible after a loss this last election?

            1. whats most important is that crank won every county on election day, it was the absentee ballots (which had been returned before lamborn started tanking hard) that lifted lamborn to victory. i’ve always wondered how many of those absentee voters wish they could have their vote back.

              1. that Lamborn would have lost only about 10% of the absentee vote if it had come sooner.  He really appealed to the wacko types and a bunch of them vote absentee since they already know who they will vote for.  What I find interesting is that Lamborn is probably the second least liked politician in the 5th behind Doug Bruce.  Furthermore, he is lazy and will not cultivate the assembly delegates which might open the door for Crank to win there. 

                I think that the assembly is important because it will give Crank credibility and excite the anti-Lamborn types if he can win.  Then it will probably come down to a straight up money race in the primary.

                1. However, I believe many who aren’t wacko types vote absentee because it is just easier. The assembly is important, but I believe Crank’s ability to rally the troops long before the assembly is really key. Many people were dejected and upset after the last go-around and getting them to be disgusted with lamborn two years later is crucial. another key is whether crank can keep others out of the race.

                  I still think CD5 could produce a better candidate than any that ran last cycle…but probably none worse than Lamborn (and Bruce is a circus freakshow, not a candidate).

                  1. Crank’s ability to tap into the resources of all the other candidates that makes the difference in the end.  Since 75% of primary voters did not like Lamborn, Crank’s best rout will be to try to put together a coalition of the supporters of the other candidates.  If he can get 3 or 4 of the other candidates to back him and throw their support to him very early on, Lamborn will have a hard uphill battle to keep his seat. 

  4. Bob can bring this party back together.
    Bob has a proven record of fiscal accountability.
    Bob knows the issues and can articulate an inclusive message of conservativism. 

    We Need Bob in this race.

  5. Sadly it looks like the McInnis crew are edging out the Schafferites… The good news is BWB sucking Tail End Charlie. My vote went to Schaffer, but I’d rather see anyone else on the ballot besides Both Ways Bob.

    1. that Team Scotty has the early edge.  But I think Republicans and Coloradans genearlly have become desperate for conservative leadership.  You’ll see the conservative grassroots speak up.  My opinion is that the party is finally willing to listen.  End result: Bob Schaffer gets the nod.  Besides, everything I hear is that the national party is leaning towards Schaffer.  If that’s the case then this thing is already over.  Bob Schaffer is the guy.  Sen. Ensign from Nevada–the new NRSC chair–specifically highlighted Schaffer and McInnis in an interview today.  I think the order–Schaffer THEN McInnis was significant.  That’s the GOP’s top choice.  They are just waiting for him to announce.

  6. I think it’s going to suck to be a Republican even more in ’08.

    G.W. Bush is determined to run Iraq out and leave it to the next President. And that means it’s going to be an even bigger issue in ’08.

    And he will veto lots of legislation feeding the core of the core and making it clear to the rest of the country why they need Republicans in to represent the interests of most of the populace.

    This is like the Republican primary in CO-2 – not terribly interesting.

  7. I would have to go with Schaffer.  Met both of them recently and heard both speak at different venues.  As a newby to Colorado Politics, and one who considers herself a Republican I would have to vote for Schaffer.

      1. I would definitely prefer Schaffer over any other.
        My concern up until reading your post was that Bob wasn’t interested in the race. Now I’m thinking that he really is in the race. But while McInnis dials up the “movers and shakers”, the Schafferites are coming out of the woodwork. If they are still pissed and Bob wants the seat, Scotty doesn’t have a chance.

          1. Is the Congresswoman going to give it a go for the Senate?  What is the relationship like between Johnson and Musgrave.  Johnson isn’t exactly a “NEO CON”.

  8. down this road can someone who believes the next R candidate for a major office needs to be a “serious conservative” or a “good conservative” or the “right kind of conservative” please explain what attributes go with those terms.  I’m really interested.  Thanks.

    1. From conversations I’ve had with others on this site, a conservative:

      believes that citizens without government dictating the terms.  This would apply to work, family and schools (what else am I forgetting).

      believes the US should be well protected and our armed forces should be strong enough to respond to any threat our country faces.  This does not include, however, amassing billions of dollars in debt to accomplish this goal.

      believes that American values reflect our society.  If our values are weak than our social fabric is weak.  We can become a stronger country if we can instill strong values in our families.

      believes in change, but implemented over time, not radical shifts in policy.

      I know there are others, but those are some core beliefs of “true” conservatives.  The issue these days, IMO, is that the word conservative has as many connotations as the word progressive.  It isn’t black and white, boundaries have grayed and it isn’t as easy to label people anymore.

      For those who are new (and there seems to be quite a few of you lately, for some reason), I’m what some on this site would call a DINO, so if you think I’m way off on the above points, feel free to call me on it.

        1. And that’s why the GOP got slaughtered last year.  Conservatives are simply hacked off at the Republican party and either voted for capable Democrats or stayed home.  I’m too much of a partisan hack to have done that but I didn’t work as hard as I have in the past.  And I sympathized with the conservative apostates who did go to the Dark Side.

          1. R’s or D’s, although they tend to be R’s.  Right now D’s are the more fiscally sound and predictable party.  It would be fairly easy for a fiscal conservative to “lay down on new grass”.

            Social conservatives could only rarely consort with D’s.  Social conservatives are changing the face of the R party.  If a fiscal conservative gets the R senate nomination, the race plays out tightly and the split is there but not so evident because  the conversation is different.  If a social is the nominee, the R party continues to be publically split.

            It would be an unusual person who could ride the divide.

            1. Maybe we should say, an unusual person who ‘will’ ride the divide.

              In any case, I’m glad to see good candidates. Nobody enjoys watching the bad ones.

        2. Is it possible that true conservatives are gone and the neoconservatives have hijacked the platform?  Much like the radical left has hijacked the meaning of liberal?

          Is it possible to be a conservative in today’s day and age?  How does a conservative legislator reconcile the needs for security and progress with the idea of fiscal responsibility and small government? 

          I would argue that it is as difficult being a conservative as it is being a liberal.  So who will the lucky man be? McInnis, Schaffer, Crank, other?  If they can’t play music for the middle, it doesn’t matter (and that goes for both sides).

          1. But could you name a radical liberal and describe what makes them such? Slight caveat, of course, but I must insist that they have input in policy, or they can be described as the face of the Democratic party.

            1. That was a serious post. For the life of me I am drawing a complete blank of out-front radical liberals (that is, people who would be described by the average person as a  radical liberal).

              1. Kennedy is a radical liberal in my mind, more from stories I’ve heard than what I know about his voting record.  Udall is painted well as radical, but he isn’t. Other than that, I can name many others who are liberal, but not radical. 

                Take the Presidential candidates for example.  Out of all of the possibles so far, that I know something about, Edwards seems the most liberal, but none are radical. 

                A radical liberal:

                Believes there’s a government solution for most everything. Help people pull their boot straps up.

                Believes in a social state, not by rejecting capitalism, but, what, like a national community.  This belief applies to foreign affairs as well.

                Believes the environment is worth saving and restoring.  Man harms the planet so we must help cure it.

                Believes that everyone has a right to health care, employment, belong to a union, a fair life and good looking kids.

                Are there many radical liberals in Congress, no.  But this is what people see liberal as, so in that sense the idea of the radical liberal has hijacked the meaning of liberal.

                The radical conservative, unfortunately, has too many faces in the Republican party.  That is the fight now. Who retains control of the conservative label, the social or the fiscal R’s.

                1. I assume you mean Edward Kennedy, not his son. Stories do a lot to a reputation, and while I am not refuting your point (as I havent researched him as well as much as I would like), I cant agree out of hand either.

                  On the points, I agree with your contentions on some, but find myself as a person who can be defined by others. For instance, I want to have good looking kids and a fair life. Seriously though, I dont think that the government has a solution for everything, nor do I believe that they are problem. 

                  By definition a nation is a community. I know what you are saying, but a society should strive for its members to succeed across the board. I am not calling for equality of results, but to say that there is equality of opportunity, currently, in this country is a farce.

                  I believe the environment is worth saving and restoring. I hardly think that that makes me a radical liberal.  I think that you  are saying someone like Gore and his environmental message is “radical,” and that is your opinion. I think we have a moral obligation to better the planet; to do more than just sustain the status quo.

                  To me health care is a fundamental right, and not just for seniors and children. I heard today on the radio that cancer rates are dropping drastically. This has probably been accomplished by education, prevention, and increased health care availability. I often hear conservatives claim that people need to get a job. Eradicating unemployment is unrealistic, but helping to train unskilled laborers, providing child care to single moms, offering job assistance are all essential, in my view to helping people get jobs. Unions, in my opinion, get a bad rep, and, really, are not as influential as they once were. But, they are also, in my opinion, protected by the first amendment. They have helped workers get living wages, fair employment practices, and protection.

                  Congress is always defined by the big names, and framing. I think that the party that controls the debate controls the framing. I also think that it takes the average american a lot longer to understand the issues, and see them for what they are.

                  I appreciate your comments, and agree that many people see these issues as radical. I think that that may change in the near future, actually its more of a hope.

          2. don’t just disappear because on some levels the party is being run by a different breed. It just makes existence harder and the task of communicating their/our ideal’s harder for conservatives who have chosen to be Republicans.

  9. Dan Caplis has a beautiful family, high name ID, the support of the pro-life movement and looks good. The fresh face will defeat the has beens should he decide to run.

    1. Caplis was a tri-Executive (ie president of the student body) at C.U. when I was there. Ran on and governed with a very very liberal platform – by the standards of the late ’70s.

      By today’s standards he would probably be viewed as a socialist. You think that will get dreged up if he seriously runs?

      1.   I don’t know anything specific about Caplis other than what I’ve seen posted here……that he’s just another right-wing freak with a big mouth.  (I’m not into “talk radio.”  In fact, the only time I’ve ever knowing and willing turned on one of those programs was when Pete Boyles was interviewing Mike Jones.) 
          That said, from what little I’ve heard about this guy, I don’t think he’ll actually run.  I think he’s just enjoying having his name “out there.”

  10. I think the Schaffer people now out-number liberals on this once very-left leaning blog.  Amazing.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt about what needs–and what most likely will–happen over the next four years…

    Schaffer wins Senate seat in 2008
    Elway comes from behind to beat Ritter in surprise 2010 win…pundits call it “The Drive III”

    1. Doc, for months before the last election, you or others similar to you spent those months telling us how BWB was going to rout Ritter (Hello, Moonraker), ROD was going to pull it out, etc.

      Us lefties, yes, had high hopes for AP, the Colonel, etc., but seldom was a blind prediction made. Hopes were pinned to polls, not believing in Santa.

      You are a smart man (presuming the gender, there.) You are passionate.  You are activist.  I admire all of those traits in anyone.  But, please, put a sock in these “predictions” until at least summer 08 and 2010. 

      They diminish your quality traits.

      1. That stuff before the election was Republicans posturing.  But in private we knew we were freaking doomed.  Rick O’Donnell–with whom I primarily worked–actually disowned Bob Beauprez during the GOTV effort.  Word never got out about that but we all knew the GOP was DOA in Colorado.  We didn’t expect Musgrave to come to so close and we thought we could take the State House.  But the Beauprez and O’Donnell stuff?  Pure posturing.

        I feel a lot better about ’08.  Though, you’re right, things could change if the GOP gets stuck on stupid again.  PS…you got the sex correct.

    2. I say the same thing to these Obama supporters, give me a break.  The guy is barely in the Senate and he’s running for Prez.  Good enough reason to not vote for him.

      1. Worst. Beer. Ever. But cheap. So of course that was what I drank when I was too young to legally do so… My stomache is flip-flopping more than a Dem who voted for the war 4 years ago just thinking about it.

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