Michael Bennet Big Winner After GOP Senate Primary

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP nominee Darryl Glenn

Sen. Michael Bennet and GOP nominee Darryl Glenn

As the Washington Post reports this morning, Republicans are feeling glum about the chances of GOP nominee Darryl Glenn (R-Colorado Springs) knocking off incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) in November. In fact, the Post goes so far as to say that “Senate Republicans are basically writing off Colorado”:

Republicans can’t afford any mistakes, and Tuesday’s GOP primary in Colorado looks like it qualifies. In that swing state, Sen. Michael Bennet is one of Senate Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents — or at least he was supposed to be. Republicans stumbled to find a credible challenger, and a messy, chaotic primary ended Tuesday with the one candidate Senate Republican operatives really, really didn’t want to win: El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. [Pols emphasis]

…Glenn turned a shoestring primary campaign into a victory. The problem is that he’ll have to repeat that all over again to have a chance in the general election. It’s a long shot — so much so that his own party doesn’t really see a path to victory.

In the overarching race for control of the Senate, Senate Republicans just took a big hit.

Republicans have already reserved some $40 million of air time for TV ads in key states; tellingly, Colorado is not one of them.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it's a mistake to write this guy off?

  2. Early Worm says:

    He had no money and a low profile, and he emerged from a crowded primary field to claim victory. That alone buys him credibility. Also, whether you are willing to admit it or not, Gardner beat Udall in no small part because Gardner is simply a more charismatic politician. Bennet is not a natural politician and starts with a serious charisma deficit to Glenn.  Glenn has a HUGE hill to climb, and the Bennet campaign will not "write him off," but the fat lady is not singing.

    • BlueCat says:

      Gardner wasn't a guy who won 37% of a crowded field. He was never perceived nor did he sell himself as a Tea party extremist. Udall could have had all the charisma (ruggedly handsome, charming, mountain conquering Colorado guy) in the world but his team chose not to use it, running an all scolding and scowling all the time campaign when they should have been running positive I approved this message ads and leaving the negatives to supporting groups. Like Bennet is doing. Glenn will be doing the angry stuff in the limited ads he can afford or get someone else to pay for.

      Glenn is the extremist survivor of a clown car load. Bennet's brilliant ads are creating an image of him as the guy who is not ideological, just loves helping people. Glenn will never have the money to bring that down.

      All Bennet has to do is keep those great positive I approved this message ads coming (he's got enough money to do so and then some) and leave the Glenn is a dangerous extremist stuff to outside groups. He will also have a much better ground/party operation than the guy with 63% grass roots voters and an entire party that wanted somebody else. 

      Once again, anything is possible but  a Senator Glenn is at a how low can you limbo level on the possibility scale.

      • Jorgensen says:

        Good points, BlueCat! And Bennet is already on message, as you pointed out, and is fully prepared to fend off this challenger. Glenn does not have the charisma of Gardner, and is playing it to the extreme right unlike Gardner who portrayed himself as a moderate.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Glenn does have "charisma", in the sense that he has the speaking style and cadences of a charismatic evangelist pastor. Glenn is an accomplished public speaker; even if most of what he has to say is nonsense, he can say it well.

          Bennet will have to step up his game. His laid-back style will make him seem comatose in contrast to the energetic Glenn.

          • BlueCat says:

            Gardner won by going sweet and moderate. Glenn never will. Colorado will not elect an extreme Christian Sharia law enforcer statewide. His charisma as a would be preaching legislator who will fight for the same uncompromising gridlock will not go over with a majority, even if he magically comes up with enough money to compete.

            Bennet isn't trying to forge an image as a charismatic star. He knows that's not his strong point. His ads are instead establishing him as the opposite of an ideological star. They are all aimed at showing him as a good guy who fights to help people. That will play much better than Glenn's angry Christian take no prisoners routine in Colorado just as Gardner played better than Udall. 

            I know it's hard for you Bennet is the personification of pro-corporate evil (in reality on pretty much the exact same point on that scale as Obama has always been) people to grasp but most voters don't give a hoot about Bennet not being progressive enough for the left wing of the Dem party. They aren't even aware of it. They don't know much about him at all. His ads are filling that vacuum. Garden variety Dem voters and voters open to voting Dem will like what they see in Bennet's ads just as they liked what they saw in Hick's.

            Go ahead and insist that Glenn has great chance of winning and s we should that thought appeals to you. Not even the RNC shares that view.  Hope you won't be too disappointed when Bennet wins.

            • mamajama55 says:

              Bluecat, you're terrible at reading my thoughts and speaking for me. I wish you'd refrain, but I wish in vain.

              Here's what I actually think, as opposed to your mind meld medley:

              *I don't wish Glenn to win, as I've written several times.

              *I never said he had a "great chance of winning", although I think it will be closer than we'll like, due in part to Glenn's "charisma" and Bennet's lack thereof.

              *I'll reluctantly vote for Bennet in the general, as I've written several times, although I did gleefully undervote him in the primary.

              Fallacy: Appeal to Extremes.

            • Duke Cox says:

              I gave up political prognostication a few months ago in a fit of self-preservation. It was one of the very few smart things I have done lately.

              That said…Michael Bennet is highly likely to be re-elected. I would even go so far as to place a small wager on that outcome… note the emphasis on small.

              I will not, however, refrain from pointing out my misgivings about our senior senator and his prediliction for protecting powerful people while placing the plight of the poor and dispossessed at the posterior position in his personal platform. (howwuzzat, V.?wink)

              This comment points to my concern…

              a good guy who fights to help people. 

              help which people? I don't think he cares about my family, at all. he pays lip service to progressivism, but his heart is on Wall Street…yes, BC…just like Barack and Hillary….


          • MichaelBowman says:

            He's about as sweet and cuddly as this guy. 

  3. Writing off Glenn is a bad idea, but the Bennet campaign has already reserved some pretty massive air time, so I don't think we're in danger there.

    That being said, Glenn is an ultra-conservative who, unlike Cory Gardner, has not tried very hard to weasel his way out of answering some damning policy questions. Glenn, for example, has certified to the Colorado Right To Life group that he is 100% "pro-life" (which CRTL takes to mean that he supports Personhood amendment language). He says he supports Ted Cruz for Supreme Court – someone who would gut separation of church and state. He's a climate change denier.

    The danger with Glenn is that's he's a smooth talker. He says our problem is that we talk past one another in politics these days, but he himself holds extremist positions that seem immune to rational discussion.

  4. Davie says:

    I don't know… Who wouldn't want an extreme right-wing Christian Gundamentalist who wants to impose his religious beliefs and prejudices on everyone, regardless of their own principles and beliefs to represent us in the Senate? 

    I mean, the fact that he'll absolutely refuse to negotiate or work with Democrats (or those RINO liberal Republicans like McConnell) is like the best possible characteristic of a Senator representing just the couple of hundred thousand Coloradan whack jobs that voted for him.  Forget about representing the 5 million Colorado pagans, atheists or non-Christians that are a pox on the world, right?

    Christian Sharia law RULES!

    • BlueCat says:

      And that will be the gist of the outside ads run against him by groups supporting Bennet while Bennet will keep on running I approved this message ads about how he dedicates his time in the Senate to passing stuff that helps people, everybody, not just people who agree with him politically. People like sick kids, small innovative business owners, farmers.  Who isn't for all of those?  

      Meanwhile Glenn will be for getting really mad about a country that doesn't support all of his crazy extremist Christian Sharia stuff in a state that passed recreational pot but always defeats anti-choice personhood  (Gardner felt he had to pretend not to support it, remember) initiatives by landslides.

      I'm gonna go out on a limb and agree with the RNC that Bennet's seat is off the table.

    • Voyageur says:

      You've screwed up for the last time, Davie.  I'm reporting you for eating meat on Friday.

      • BlueCat says:

        Meat on Friday? No problem. It isn't written in the Torah, but beef brisket on Friday night, the beginning of the real Sabbath (take that, Christians and Muslims!) may as well be.

        Just don't let me catch you eating shrimp. Any day!

        • Voyageur says:

          The Catholic Church stopped calling it a sin to eat meat on Friday in 1966, but Catholics who do so are asked to perform some other act of penance instead.   Old Order atheists like me usually abstain from McRib sandwiches instead.  I mean, have you ever tasted a McRib?  Trick question, no one has, they are utterly tasteless.  I also abstain from Peppermint Schnapps.   I mean who but a 17 year old girl drinks Peppermint Schnapps?   As for you, BC. sitting there in your cotton/rayon blend blouse munching your cheeseburger, I think we all know where YOU will spend eternity.   Though Pope Francis says he'll grant you an indulgence (free pass) if you'll share some of that brisket. Preferably with a yuuuge dill pickle.  

      • Davie says:

        Hah! Not just any meat on Friday — Texas Roadhouse BBQ — the best I've found in Denver.  It's worth going to Hell for 😉

  5. cpolind says:

    "the one candidate Senate Republican operatives really, really didn’t want to win"

    So their pick of a stumbling, bumbling Jon Keyser who wound up on the ballot because of signatures a woman is charged with forging would have turned the race? They think Keyser had a real chance to bring in moderate D's and Independents despite all the baggage he had? Give me a break. Darryl Glenn won the primary. The low turnout favored him because he was the one the "grassroots" voted for at the caucus, and they turned out to vote for him yesterday.

    The thing that favors Bennet obviously is the money he has for ads where it's printed and he doesn't speak or staged to show his good side. If Darryl Glenn is adamant about debating him on a frequent basis and people actually see it, Bennet's lack of charisma will be a real drag on him.

    • Jorgensen says:

      The GOP failed to nail its first string of preferred candidates, and got more than a dozen B teamers. They probably tossed a coin between Keyser and Sen. Tim Neville.  We all give credit – or some credit – to Glenn for running a shoestring campaign but face facts, his final impact was due to a special interest conservative PAC buying TV and radio ads to promote him. Glenn is not some free wheeling rebel, he's bought by the PAC and owes his future to them and will vote the way they want – not for his constituents who he identified last night as Republicans and independents. Glenn EXCLUDED DEMOCRATS in Colorado.  How do you think that will play in the general election?


      • cpolind says:

        You're right. The low turnout favored Darryl Glenn, but without those ads and endorsements the "grassroots" votes would only have gone so far. I agree on the notion that Glenn owes that PAC big, so he now has to do their bidding. However, the PAC represents the constituents that voted for him in droves, like El Paso County, but as you said, that was only the primary. Darryl Glenn excludes Democrats, moderate Republicans and Independents at his own peril for the general election if that's what he chooses to do by not at least trying to moderate parts of his message. If he doesn't evolve as a candidate on a bigger stage, he'll lose.

        When it comes to Michael Bennet, as an Independent I could care less about the narrative about him voting with the President 90+% of the time. So what? The voting records of the major R Senators during Bush's disastrous administration probably showed THEY voted with Bush 90+% of the time, including to put our country in a ridiculous war we had no right to be in. I give Bennet credit, his ads are VERY effective. They're inclusive by reaching out to everyone, they mention common sense issues that everybody can relate to, and they show him in a good light. Those ads and their frequent airings are the benefits of the huge money he's raised. However, I believe his problems will come from Darryl Glenn taking command of the stage during debates where the money is no factor, and generally being on the offensive with what money he does have. Michael Bennet is a laid back guy, and I just don't see much of a strong retort from Bennet from these inevitable attacks. Not only are these two from opposing parties, they couldn't be more different personality wise.

        • Voyageur says:

          I'm not sure Glenn has a "personality wise."   It seems more like a "personality stupid" to me.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            I've heard Bennet speak; most recently a few weeks ago at Conservation Colorado's annual banquet/gala. He's got a hard edge within. I think he'll do fine in debates with Glenn.

            Glenn did not get my vote in the Repub primary. The only common sense candidate, Graham, got it. I admire Glenn for having made something of his life; military, law degree, etc. But his far out positions on the dreaded social issues make it a no-brainer to not vote for him in the general election unless he can genuinely moderate his tone. Which, given that he credits the “Holy Spirit” for his convention speech (which spirit, Jack Daniels?) doesn’t lend hope to a change in his approach. 

            • BlueCat says:

              I just heard Glenn being interviewed on CPR. Not worried about debates.

              He just repeats two whole talking points instead of answering things like…. how do you plan to broaden your appeal to moderate voters now that you've won your primary? How do plan to get things done in the Senate without engaging in compromise?

              He has two answers.1) People are angry and 2) he's going to stick to his Christian constitutionalist (whatever that means) principles because that's what people want.

              That's it. He's got nothing else. Besides repeating his resume. Nothing ready that would be useful in a debate. 

              Does not sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

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