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February 29, 2016 02:33 PM UTC

All Eyes on Tim Neville At Tomorrow's GOP Caucuses

  • by: Colorado Pols
Cory Gardner, Tim Neville.
Cory Gardner, Tim Neville.

The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews wrote in detail this past weekend about the Republican U.S. Senate primary race, which could emerge as the main event at tomorrow evening’s Republican precinct caucuses after the highly debatable decision by Colorado Republican Party leadership to cancel that party’s presidential straw poll:

[F]or two candidates, El Paso County Commissioners Darryl Glenn and Peg Littleton, the March 1 event represents the first, best chance to ignite campaigns that have struggled to break free in a crowded GOP field.

The reason has to do with an event scheduled about five weeks from now: the state convention on April 9. At that gathering in Colorado Springs, about 3,000 select Republicans will vote on who should appear on the June 28 primary ballot. It’s not a winner-take-all thing; a candidate only has to break the 30 percent mark to qualify.

But with state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, expected to surpass that threshold easily, the challenge for Littleton and Glenn is to marshal enough support to crack 30 percent as well. Anything less for those two, and that’s it — campaign finito. So March 1 is critical to Littleton and Glenn because they must get their supporters on the path to be among the 3,000 select Republicans who vote April 9.

Heading into tomorrow night’s precinct caucuses there are really only two U.S. Senate candidates to watch closely: state Sen. Tim Neville and El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton. Another El Paso County commissioner Darryl Glenn is also taking the caucus route to the ballot but isn’t expected to perform strongly. Other U.S. Senate candidates like Rep. Jon Keyser and Robert Blaha are bypassing the assembly process altogether, and collecting the requisite signatures to petition directly onto the June primary ballot.

As history has demonstrated, the winner of the caucus/assembly process is not assured of victory in the primary election. With that said, the caucuses do provide an invaluable opportunity for candidates to win over the party’s activists grassroots, who wield their maximum influence in the primary segment of the election cycle. Neville’s choice to take he assembly route to the ballot is a no-brainer given his close alliance with the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and that organization’s pervasive influence in Colorado GOP politics.

Also working in Neville’s favor, as the Washington Post reports, is a national political environment on the edge of unprecedented chaos.

Pointing to his latest endorsements, Trump told the raucous Alabama crowd, “I hate to say it, but I’m becoming mainstream…”

“It’s scary,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has endorsed Rubio, said on ABC’s “This Week.” She added: “I think what he’ll do to the Republican Party is really make us question who we are and what we’re about. And that’s something we don’t want to see happen.” [Pols emphasis]

As Donald Trump continues his apparently unstoppable march to the GOP presidential nomination, Tim Neville looks increasingly like the least of the GOP establishment’s problems. The vacuum at the top of the Republican ticket as it’s shaping up today is a golden opportunity for Neville–both to turn out naturally aligned voters energized by Trump, and to campaign in a climate that is already de-rationalized politically.

Bottom line: with Trump’s continued success, we increasingly see a scenario in which Trump helps clear Neville’s path to the GOP Senate nomination. Neville’s first test is to dominate the assembly process, if possible by squelching them off the ballot entirely.

With Colorado a non-factor in the GOP presidential race, here is where the red-on-red action will be tomorrow night.


10 thoughts on “All Eyes on Tim Neville At Tomorrow’s GOP Caucuses

    1. Trump will not be the presidential nominee.

      Neville will not be the senate nominee.

      This post is nothing but typical Colorado Pols Moderatus wishful thinking

    2. That answered my question, Moddy. You're still in the anger and bargaining stages of grief over Donald Trump. Not ready for acceptance quite yet.

      Haven't you seen the writing on the wall. It's over. The fat lady – or in this case, the governor of New Jersey – has started to sing for Trump. 

      1. Wasn't it Don Meredith, on the original ABC Monday Night Football, who  would start singing, "turn out the lights, the party's over.." when a team was pretty much put away…?

        Well, Modster….better start looking for the light switch….

  1. Senate nominee is irrelevant.

    its going to be Gardner. See, they'll clear the field, he'll petition on if he has to. Then, he resigns, the State legislature decides the voters must be heard, and hold over his replacement until after the next election.  

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