Does Hick Have What It Takes?

Posted on September 9, 2010 by


The Colorado Governor’s race is hot!  The issues that the candidates support have been overshadowed by a last minute party change and an assault to one of the candidates’ character.  The top three candidates for the Governor’s seat are Democrat John Hickenlooper, Republican Dan Maes, and Tom Tancredo of the American Constitution Party.  RealClearPolitics has Denver mayor, John Hickenlooper, soaring past his opponents in all of the major polls.

Poll Date Sample Hickenlooper (D) Maes (R) Tancredo Spread
RCP Average 8/7 – 8/29 43.8 28.8 16.0 Hickenlooper +15.0
Rasmussen Reports 8/29 – 8/29 750 LV 40 32 9 Hickenlooper +8
Magellan Strategies (R) 8/25 – 8/26 954 LV 46 27 17 Hickenlooper +19
Reuters/Ipsos 8/20 – 8/22 453 LV 41 33 16 Hickenlooper +8
PPP (D) 8/7 – 8/8 1015 RV 48 23 22 Hickenlooper +25

I would like to explore whether John Hickenlooper’s expected success in this race is due to his political platform or due to the other circumstances surrounding this race such as Dan Maes being a weak Republican candidate and Tom Tancredo splitting the Republican vote.

What is Hickenlooper about?

As mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper is proud of his progressive vision.  He has helped to make Denver an appealing city to the entire world.  His Facebook account lists his favorite quote as, “With public sentiment nothing can fail.  Without it nothing can succeed.  Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.”  — Abraham Lincoln.  I think this being his favorite quote speaks volumes to his politics.  The people of Denver seem to be happy with the direction the city has taken since he has become mayor.  He has helped with the revitalization of LoDo, the stadium, the convention center, green business, Denver bike share, he has had bipartisan support…would all of these things be enough to win the Governor’s seat without the drama surrounding the race?

Is Maes a Strong GOP Candidate?

Dan Maes narrowly beat opponent Scott McInnis in the Republican primary due to the infamous plagiarism revelation.  Maes was a Tea Party darling, but has since lost their support.  Most of his Republican and grassroots backers have also rescinded their support according to  However, he refuses to step down from the race even with all of the calls to do so.  The following video gives his explanation regarding the issues his critics have brought to the attention of voters.

Persistent Tom

Tom Tancredo outlines his politics in his Contract with Colorado.  Many people are familiar with his ideas because of his former jobs in government.  Critics fault him with splitting the Republican vote and ultimately taking the Governor’s chair away from the Republican Party.  Hickenlooper and Maes have marginalized his attempt to run for Governor of Colorado by not inviting him to the remaining debates.  I believe he has marginalized his own campaign by stating he will take his name of the ticket if Maes does.  This game of “I-will-if-he-does” is self-serving and not in the best interest of the Republican Party.  Tuesday, a couple of voters filed a lawsuit against Tancredo to stop him from running for governor.  However, a reprint of the ballot is highly unlikely.

And So…

Tom Tancredo is messing it up for the Republicans, but so is Dan Maes.  Maybe the Republicans messed it up for themselves by not selecting stronger candidates.  Hickenlooper is a strong candidate for the Democrats but as the RealClearPolitics average poll numbers suggest, if you add the numbers of Maes and Tancredo, that number is higher than Hickenlooper’s.  Either way, if the ticket stands as is, Hickenlooper is sure to win the Governor’s seat in Colorado.