Thanks to would-be Sheriff Jake Shirk, I narrowly missed a perfect primary prediction record. Had I picked Shirk, I would have made a perfect zero – but even the best prognosticators sometimes fall short.
Forced to choose between two experienced, intelligent, and eminently well-qualified candidates, Democrats went with Michael Bennet. The incumbent Senator has the smarts, the money and all the advantages of incumbency, but does he have an instinct for the kill?
If we’ve learned one thing about Ken Buck, it’s that he’s a formidable and tireless campaigner, as well as a tough guy. Colorado’s political graveyards are littered with the bones of well-qualified candidates who were trounced by tough guys.
Will Bennet go after Buck immediately, and never let up – or will he let his opponent dictate the tone, rhythm and content of the campaign, as he did in the primary? In a barroom brawl, start with a sucker punch.
Dan Maes ought to be tossing bouquets to local Republicans. He barely slipped by Scott McInnis statewide, tallying 196,560 votes to his opponent’s 191,209, with El Paso County providing the margin of victory. Our very own GOPsters rallied to the Maes cause, giving him 31,108 to McInnis’ 24,607. Maes EPC margin: 6,501. Statewide: 5,351. Dan, how ‘bout a good Colorado Springs Republican as your running mate – maybe Douglas Bruce?
Given a choice, Michael Bennet might have chosen to face Ken Buck, rather than Jane Norton. Buck is easier to demonize as an out-of-touch radical, but perhaps the voters are ready to elect a few out-of-touch radicals. Buck can win this one, but can he raise the money he’ll need to launch and sustain a multi-million dollar campaign?
Bennet’s a formidable fundraiser, and the national Dems are certain to pour money into Colorado. It may be that Republican money sources will just dry up, unless Buck can seize some early momentum.
And a last thought: how long will it take for Dam Maes to jump on a bike, and pedal a few miles for the cameras, just to show the voters that he doesn’t really believe that cyclists are the unwitting tools of a sinister United Nations conspiracy?