Beauprez vs. Tancredo? The Difference For Dems

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

We're awaiting another 9NEWS Truth Test from reporter Brandon Rittiman, this time analyzing two ads from Democratic-aligned groups attacking two Republican gubernatorial primary candidates: Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo. As we discussed last week and FOX 31's Eli Stokols reported, there's a straightforward logic behind Democratic spending on this Republican primary–but it's nothing for Republicans to feel good about.

The 30-second spot focused on Beauprez, titled “Both Ways”, hits the former congressman for voting for “earmarks and spending bills while the national debt ballooned” and for supporting “the individual mandate that’s the cornerstone of Obamacare”, two lines of attack that are likely to turn off conservative primary voters.

The 30-second spot focused on Tancredo labels him “one of the country’s strongest opponents of Obamacare”, notes he called the Affordable Care Act “a scam” and concludes with this: “Tom Tancredo: He’s just too conservative for Colorado.”

That’s likely to be catnip for conservatives.

“It’s a good period of time while there’s some attention on this race to try and reinforce some negatives,” a Democratic operative close to the group told FOX31 Denver.

Make no mistake: the Beauprez ad is designed to hurt the GOP establishment’s choice with more conservative primary voters while the Tancredo spot, ostensibly an attack ad, is likely to solidify his support with conservatives who widely disdain Obamacare.

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

​Since word of these ads broke last week, there's been plenty of speculation as to whether this apparent Democratic strategy to attack Beauprez with messaging that genuinely hurts him with conservatives, while pumping up Tancredo with what amount to back-handed compliments, reflects worry by Democrats about having to run against Beauprez. Naturally, at the top of the list of persons who hold this view are Beauprez supporters.

The bottom line? Beauprez's supporters are right. But only a little.

The overarching fact is one that we've been clear about from the beginning, and is now becoming evident among most observers: Gov. John Hickenlooper faces no serious threat to his reelection. If you accept the judgement that none of the candidates running against Hickenlooper have a viable shot at winning, the question becomes what effect the gubernatorial race's foregone conclusion of an outcome has on other races. In their best case scenario, Democrats would like Republican weakness in the gubernatorial race to affecting voting both down the ticket in legislative races, as well as in congressional races and the marquee U.S. Senate race.

We have only begun in this space to recount all of the many reasons why Beauprez cannot win a general election against Hickenlooper, and will most likely be defeated by a margin rivaling his historic 2006 disaster campaigning for the same office if nominated in 2014. We've been talking about Beauprez's support for the individual mandate for weeks. Tancredo also can't beat Hickenlooper, but Tancredo's high profile as a leading nationwide anti-immigrant firebrand would make him a uniquely repellent candidate with which to brand Republicans at every level. Combine that singular disadvantage with Beauprez's ability to self-fund a vanity campaign for governor, which would necessitate at least some diversion of resources, and it's obvious why Democrats would prefer Tancredo.

But there's a big difference between preference in an embarrassment of riches…and "fear."

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    I voted for the GOP primary winner. Tommy!

  2. horseshit GOP front group says:

    I'm giving you an " I voted" E-sticker to put on your shirt davebarnes.  Good job on keeping the hate party crazy.

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    You guys think the Dems messing around supporting a weaker GOP candidate in the primary to help your candidate is genius.  Did you read what the GOP in Virginia did to take over the State Senate?  Now that is genius.

  4. Moderatus says:

    Total distraction. Gessler is the only Republican who can win, and he will win the primary.

    In two weeks we'll be having a very different conversation.

  5. FrankUnderwood says:

       We Dems are on the horns of a dilemma as to which of two seriously flawed (but for very different reasons) Republicans should hope to see be the GOP nominee.  

       On the one hand, Tanc will alienate anyone who is not a white, heterosexual, middle to upper class, suburban male voter.  He did get 37% running as third party candidate in '10.  Assume for the sake of argument that Maes wasn't on the ballot; his 10% would have gone to Tanc, bringing "El Jefe de los Gringos" to 47%.  But that was a fantastic year for the GOP.  (Even Ken Buck got more than 47%.)

       On the other hand, BWB ran a campaign in '06 which could only be described (charitably) an inept.  The photo of him standing alongside Mr. Ed's butt symbolized his entire campaign.  Both Ways didn't even come close to getting 47%.  He got somewhere in the neighborhood of 41%.  While '06 was not a very good year for the GOP nationwide, BWB was running against a Dem candidate ftowards whom many Dems had ambivalent feelings.  (Remember the last minute attempts to recruit a solid pro-choice alternate to Ritter in the spring of '06?)

       It's ashame the GOP has squandered two seriously flawed candidates on one race.  If only Tanc had been the GOP senate candidate and BWB the gubernatorial, things would have worked out better…..

  6. mamajama55 says:

    The bigot vs. the birther – I can't pick the lesser weevil this time.

     They're both kind of crazy – they're both "true believers" in the latest GlennBeckistan conspiracies, and at the same time, willing to promote whatever brings in the donations, credible or not.

     Tancredo has the better chance to win – his base is younger, and angrier.  

    Either one has the potential to wreak the kind of havoc here that Scott Walker has wrought in Wisconsin. 

    Then there's Hickenlooper, who makes up statistics about 100,000 oil and gas jobs, assuming that he'll never be held accountable on it. He really is the lesser weevil. 


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