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June 26, 2008 07:52 PM UTC

Colorado Political Draft: Round 2

  • 31 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

We did the first round of our “Political Draft” in honor of April’s NFL Draft. Tonight is the NBA Draft, so we thought it would be a good time for Round 2.

We took the top vote-getters (anybody who received more than 4 votes) from the first draft poll and put them in a poll below. House Speaker Andrew Romanoff was a runaway winner in the first poll, followed by Secretary of State Mike Coffman in a distant second.

If you were going to start your own political machine in Colorado, which politician would you pick first? Keep in mind things like: Who gives you the most access to money, volunteers, interest groups, etc? Who would be the best to help your other candidates get elected? You might also take age in consideration, because a #1 pick should be able to carry your political machine for years.

Click below to vote and to read who we would choose…

Colorado Political Draft: Our Choices

We’ll give you one from each Party, depending on your political tastes. For Democrats, we would pick Rep. Ed Perlmutter. For Republicans, we’d choose Secretary of State Mike Coffman. Here’s why:

Rep. Ed Perlmutter

As a first-term congressman, Perlmutter is already well on his way toward becoming the go-to member of the Colorado delegation. He’s got deep roots in Colorado politics and has been raising a ton of money for his re-election campaign, and he’s also been smart about doling out contributions to other members of congress. That’s how you build power and make friends, and Perlmutter is doing that better than any other Democrat in Colorado’s delegation.

Perlmutter also represents, in Jefferson County, the most important swing county in the entire state. He won his first election in a landslide, despite a district that – by definition – should have been much more competitive. And he did it by getting support from across the political spectrum, most notably from powerful Jeffco developer Greg Stevinson, who normally supports Republicans. Perlmutter will be on the short list for any Democratic opening in the near future, be it Senate or Governor, but in the meantime he should be safe in his congressional seat for as long as he chooses to remain. If he’ll continue to build his relationships on Capitol Hill while helping to lock down Jefferson County for other Democrats, Perlmutter will be the most influential Democrat for years to come.

Secretary of State Mike Coffman

Despite years of Republican beat-downs, Coffman has steadily remained as the only GOP candidate who can consistently win statewide election. He’s a virtual lock to be elected to congress in CD-6, where he’ll hold that seat for life (or until a drastic redistricting). Situated in the middle of Douglas County, CD-6 is one of the richest congressional districts by population in the entire country. A congressman who is active in the district and interested in more than just one pet issue should be able to become a real power broker in very little time.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is in real danger of losing her seat in CD-4, and the ineffective and irrelevant Rep. Doug Lamborn looks more and more likely to hold his seat in CD-5. That would lead a newly-elected Coffman as the de-facto leader of the Colorado Republican Party, putting him in a great position to lead the way for the forseeable future – without ever having to worry about losing his own seat.

Who Would You Take #1 In a Colorado Political Draft?

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31 thoughts on “Colorado Political Draft: Round 2

  1. Due respect to Perlmutter but Andrew Romanoff is the smartest guy in Colorado politics (Dem or Republican).  The sky is the limit for him.

    That said, I am having trouble figuring out his political calculation on TABOR reform.  Granted it is needed and Gov. Ritter is a no-show on doing anything with his shiny 60+% approval rating.  But the timing really does not seem auspicious right now.  Is he just trying to get the issue to the table as a platform for later campaign?  To push Ritter et al?  I would be interested in others’ perspectives.

    1.    I think that goes without saying.  but just out of curiosity (and all snarkiness put aside for a moment), who would be the smartest Republican in Colorado?  Hank Brown?

          1. You’ve got that right, but it’s pretty much by default. If Suthers is really heading for greener pastures in two years, does that leave anyone but Coffman with a statewide profile among elected Republicans?

    2. …because it’s the right thing to do and is needed now. There’s an immense amount of power in doing the right thing – that’s why I think Romanoff is easily the one with the brightest future here.

  2. Josh Penry and Mike Coffman are the two best Republicans our state has. In fact, I hope Penry will run for governor and think he is the best chance we have at winning back the mansion. Coffman has won statewide 3 times and has been one of few Republicans that we can count on over the last couple years. I think he will be a great Congressman and a strong voice for the state of Colorado.  

  3. Lamborn has a solid conservative record and looks like he is going to win his race and keep his seat. With Coffman’s background and experience I can see him being a major player on the Military Affairs or Ways and Means Committee. Penry is young, smart and has a bright future in the state. Having said that, if I had the #1 pick I would take Coffman. He has the potential to do the most for our state and has a solid track record that we can count on.

    1. if he were really all that strong, he would not have two credible primary challengers.

      I agree with your assessment on Coffman though.  Colorado Republicans have a pretty weak bench and he is the one with real star potential.  Frankly, I’m surprized he didn’t go for the senate seat this year….

      1.    Two reasons. First:  Coffman’s smart guy and probably figured that this was not going to be a good year for the GOP at the national level.  (It is, however, a good time to hunker down in a safe House seat like C.D. 6, and wait for daylight for the Republicans.)

          Second reason:  Didn’t the state chair announce early on the the GOP had a de facto Senate candidate, and he then invoked some obscure rule to clear the field of any possible challenger?  

          Coffman probably asked himself, why run an expensive primary campaign against Schaffer just for the dubious honor of losing to Mark Udall.

        1. but I still think that Coffmann would be in a much stronger position right now than Schaffer is….and he would have been a stronger general election candidate against Udall.  

          He’s won statewide twice, and doesn’t have a pesky voting record to attack.

          Granted, the 6th is a much easier plum for him to pick than is the Senate seat, I just think he would have a much better shot at Udall than Schaffer.

          1. Coffman barely won the SoS office in 2006 despite being elected state Treasurer twice.  I have some doubts that he can step up to something higher when he had so much difficulty with lateral move

            1.    Sure, John Suthers ran a little better than Coffman, but Coffman had a serious opponent while Suthers had someone with no name recognition and no money.

                Coffman did barely win the S.O.S. office, but there were a few other Republicans who were struggling in ’06 as well.

              1. I don’t want to be overly picky here, but Coffman won 51-49%, Suthers won 53-43.  Suthers did two points better in the actual percentage earned, and bested his opponent by 10 points.

                Granted, Coffman had a better opponent then Suthers.  But if Coffman was stronger, why couldn’t the Democrats put a stroner opponent against Suthers?

  4. I can see where Pols is coming from with their comments on Coffman.  However I think Coffman has shown weaknesses when it comes to his “machine”-the sort of thing he would need when it comes to being the number one pick.  Coffman tried to run for Governor in 2006 and despite his experience and resume, was cooly passed over in favor of Bob Beauprez.  Combine that with the fact that he barely won the Secretary of State office in 2006, despite winning statewide in past elections by good margins and the fact that a lot of the “establishment” Republicans are endorsing Wil Armstrong (despite the fact that Coffman is the favorite to win) it seems that his machine is struggling.  While he may become the defacto leader of the Colorado Congressional delegation, it seems that the title goes to him by default-not by a consolidation of power.

    Then there is Sen. Josh Penry.  Frequently mentioned as a statewide candidate, he seems to be at the forefront of a lot of legislation and battles in the state Senate.  However, the narrative that accompanies him is that he’ll be a great candidate some other time.  I think it would be jumping the gun a bit to say he’s the head guy right now.  Give him some more time to get more name ID throughout the state, consolidate his status, and get some other accomplishments and he could be there.

    But we missed another choice, you could be the more obvious choice-John Suthers.  His election as Attorney General in 2006 should be enough to at least make him a contender-his winning margin was the largest a Republican earned in the state since 2002- (larger then Coffman’s, who ran statewide multiple times) but that’s not all.  He flexed his muscles in 2008 by being an active and avid supporter for Mitt Romney, which proves that whatever machine he has did translate into actual support for Romney (but he cannot claim all of the credit for Romney’s big Colorado win).  Like Penry but unlike Coffman, Suthers has been mentioned as a strong candidate for higher office.

    So while he was not an option, I think that Suthers is the stronger pick

    1. While I respect Suthers and think he has done a great job, he will retire after this term and is a passive voice. He does not have intentions for higher office. He will go back to the private sector and make good money. Sounds like you are trying to lay the groundwork for when you announce his youtube video. Otherwise there is no reason to bring up Wil as he will never be a strong voice or dominate player. Those endorsements are because of his dad and you know it. I like how you tried to dress it up though. Coffman’s machine is stronger than ever as he has dominated the fundraising battle for the last two quarters and has a commanding lead in the polls. The one issue in his SOS campaign was money. He does not have that problem this time around.

      1. Sorry buddy, but you’ve gotten this all wrong.  I am not really sure what you’re thinking, but I’m going to guess you’re under the impression that I care a whole lot about CD-6.  Let me just clear a couple of things up for you.

        1)  I live in CD-5, which is south of CD-6.  I am a Jeff Crank supporter.  I don’t have a horse in the CD-6 race and I consider myself to be an unbiased observer.

        2)  I don’t know who you think I am that if I did have a horse in the race that my production of a YouTube video would help anyone.  I am flattered, however if you knew who I really was I’m sure you would be unimpressed.  

        3)  I resent the implication that my anaylsis is motivated by person gain or advancing my candidate.  I am a lover of politics.  While I have strong views of which candidates I like, they will come and go.  My love of the political system and my observations of it are my only driving force.

        Having said that, you basically backed up the point I was trying to make about the weakness of Coffman’s machine when you said

        there is no reason to bring up Wil as he will never be a strong voice or dominate player. Those endorsements are because of his dad and you know it.

         The point is that if Coffman represented this big powerful machine, why is he losing endorsements to a weak voice and someone who “will never be a strong player”?  If Coffman can’t rally the party behind him as a thrice elected statewide Republican against someone who is running on little more then his father’s name, how am I supposed to believe that he is going to be the most powerful Republican in the state?

        I don’t know much about Suther’s future plans, but the facts I stated above otherwise remain in tact.  If he wants it, it’s there.  People would defer to him in a way they haven’t deferred to Coffman

  5. I understand that Jared is money in the bank, but what happens if/when he loses in a couple months? Is he still your first pick? By then he will have made a number of enemies and shown that he can’t be trusted to put together a good campaign even after throwing in millions of his own dollars.

    Your first pick shouldn’t be a huge gamble. You can’t always count on the cocky guy out of high school (read: Kwame Brown).

    1. Yeah, it would be pretty stupid to draft a guy who had impeccable pedigree, was quite obviously ready for the big time and had all kinds of game.

      You might get Kobe Bryan.

      Or you might get Kevin Garnett.

      That would suck.

      1. It may even take Polis a few years to develop but then you would get Andrew Bynum. That wouldn’t suck either. Its often better to have a cocky new kid like Polis then a old veteran who can’t get up and down the floor. Or one who takes PAC money and whose husband is a former big oil executive.

        1. If Polis goes on to represent CD-2, I think it would be a great pick (KG-esque). But if he loses to JFG, which many still think he will (ahem, Pols, ahem), then would he be such a good choice to build your team around? Romanoff, Coffman, and even Udall all have, IMHO, a better future than Polis.

    2. If Jared wins, we all voted for him. If he loses, none of us did.

      Seriously, I think Jared’s vote is more involved campaign workers excited about their candidate – understandable and a good sign for Jared.

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