How Colorado Republicans Hurt Themselves in 2010 and Beyond

Let's run down the electoral fallout for Republicans from Tuesday night.

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LAKEWOOD, COLO.--Now that the results of Tuesday night's primary in Colorado are in, I feel like the proverbial mosquito at a nudist colony: I'm not quite sure where to start.

Democrats can't take a thing for granted this year--it's an uphill battle for the president's party in any midterm election. But Tuesday's results handed Colorado Democrats some gifts that could keep on giving for the next decade. Instead of looking forward and nominating centrists, Colorado Republicans have once again slid backwards and surrendered to the retroactivist fringes of their own party.

So let's run down the electoral fallout for Republicans in November from Tuesday night:

Alienating Latino voters (20 percent of the electorate) in both the senate and gubernatorial contests?  Check.

Alienating women voters with senatorial nominee Ken Buck's condescending attitude ("Why should you vote for me? Because I do not wear high heels.")? Check.

Alienating rational voters with gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes's bicycles-as-U.N.-conspiracy plot (arguing that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's efforts to promote bike-riding were "well-disguised" strategies aimed at "converting Denver into a United Nations community," which could "threaten our personal freedoms")? Check.

Alienating pro-choice voters in a pro-choice state with Ken Buck's vocal opposition to abortion even in the cases of rape or incest? Check.

Alienating moderate voters, regardless of party, by having GOPer-turned-independent Tom Tancredo on the ballot anywhere? Check.

The Denver Post editorial board, not exactly a bastion of liberalism, said of Maes after his bicycle pronouncement, " This man must not become governor."  The same editorial used the phrase "tinfoil hat", which may be a first for them.

And that irrationality may have consequences for the next decade.  The split gubernatorial contest--with Tancredo and Maes dividing the base--all but assures Hickenlooper a victory. 

Why does this matter? Redistricting. The state legislature will redraw Colorado's congressional map after the 2010 Census, and he governor has veto power over that map. By handing the governor's mansion to the Democrats, Republicans could also hand Democrats a political advantage for the next 10 years.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.
  • See who is donating to your member of Congress.
  • See a slide show of 5 key issues in the 2010 elections.

  • Corrected on 8/13/10: An earlier version of this blog post had an incorrect first name for Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes.