Here in Colorado, our Governor’s race is a mess for conservatives.
A short history:
John Hickenlooper, Denver’s mayor, had no competition for the Democrat nomination. McIinnis and Maes were the top two Republicans, both had issues. Maes appeared to have credibility issues and McGinnis was being accused of plagiarism. Tom Tancredo pulled his endorsement of McGinnis before the Republican primary, and said that if McIinnis and Maes didn’t drop out, he would enter the race independently.
With Tom joining the attacks on McInnis, he lost the primary to Maes. Maes won on the benefit of not being accused of plagiarism.
Tom Tancredo switched political party affiliation and is now on the ballot as the Constitution Party candidate. The conservative vote has split. It seemed that in the year of the conservative, we were handing the Governor’s office to the most liberal candidate.
The policies of Tancredo and Maes would be very similar, focusing on a constitutional perspective validating the primacy of the individual, instead of the primacy of the government. While Hickenlooper would raise taxes, Tancredo and Maes are expected to maintain or cut taxes. Across the board, the principles and policies of the conservatives are similar.
What’s happened to date:
When Tancredo entered the race, he had only support of 9% of Colorado’s voters. Maes could conceivably compete with Hickenlooper, but only if Tancredo dropped out.
Tancredo has consistently gained support while Maes has lost support. During the month of September, Tancredo moved up to 34% support of Colorado voters, only 10 points behind Hickenlooper. Maes has dropped to only 15% support. Tancredo’s support has come from those who were formerly supporters of Maes, Hickenlooper, and undecided voters.
Arguments that used to be against Tancredo are now against Maes:
Arguments from local Maes supporters as well as national figures like Michael Medved have essentially been the following:
Politicians with the winning touch almost always shun fringe parties because chances of success are so small. The most admired American leaders take their place in an honorable pragmatic tradition, counting practical results as more important than showy gestures.
The basic idea is that running would only ever accrue him a few percent vote that would take away votes only from the Republican with an impractical bid that could never compete with the liberal Democrat. Tancredo staying in the race could only ever defeat Maes and ensure a Hickenlooper victory.
BUT today, Tancredo is within 10 points of Hickenlooper, and has more than double the support Maes has. These very arguments that used to be against Tancredo are now arguments against Maes.
It is Maes who can only muster a small percentage of support.
He has become the incredible shrinking candidate while Tancredo is building support at an extremely rapid pace.
It is Maes whose only effect now can be electing the Democrat by taking away support from the 2nd most popular candidate.
Tancredo needs about 10% of Coloradans to change to vote for him for the win. Maes would need about 30% of Coloradans to change their support for him to win.
It is Maes who is staying n when the chances of success are so small.
The trends show that Maes will continue to lose support and will enter election day with under 10% of votes from Coloradans.
What this means for you, me, and Maes.
I recognize that some people will vote for Maes because he’s got an R behind his name. If this is you, you are simply not a conservative, but a member of a political party, who will do what you’re told. These sorts of people are called RINOs, “Republican in Name Only,” who will vote for Republicans no matter what.
Others will vote for Maes because they’re mad at Tancredo for messing up the Republican primary. I don’t like what he did either. But we aren’t voting on what Tancredo did, we are voting for what direction the Colorado Governor’s office moves in.
Unless there’s a tremendous upset and Maes is neck-and-neck with Hickenlooper by voting day, any votes for Maes will have the effect of voting for Hickenlooper.
As a conservative, I want my vote to be effective for bringing about change in the right direction – constitutional values, individual rights, smaller government. Your vote for a candidate who cannot win is a vote against all of these conservative values.
Whatever your personal feelings, whatever your party affiliation, a vote for Dan Maes isn’t a vote against Hickenlooper or a vote against Tancredo. A vote for Dan Maes is a vote against conservative values in the governor’s office. The only way we have to pursue conservative values in the governor’s office this term is to value conservatism over Republicanism, over our annoyance with Tom messing up our primary, over our desire to hold a grudge.
The only way we have available to us to pursue conservative values in the office of the Colorado Governor this year is to vote Tancredo.