Despite caucus victory, Romanoff faces tough road ahead in Colorado
The Denver Post
Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff declared victory for the little guy in Tuesday night’s caucuses, saying “Main Street won, Wall Street lost,” but among the pundit class, the results were viewed differently.
By barely cracking 50 percent among the people perceived as his base, Romanoff has a tough row to hoe to compete with Michael Bennet, his $3.7 million in the bank and deep support from the Obama administration, said political consultants Steve Welchert, a Democrat, and Katy Atkinson, a Republican.
The day after the caucuses, the candidates and the consultants weighed in on what the results meant.
Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, said the biggest stunner was political neophyte Dan Maes’ strong showing in the Republican governor’s race.
State GOP chairman Dick Wadhams said the next step for some candidates is to translate their showing at the caucuses into fundraising.
Republicans at their caucus had a minimum of three races to focus on – U.S. Senate, governor and treasurer – and in some cases, a contested congressional primary.
Democrats at their caucuses had only one major contested race, the matchup between Romanoff and Bennet, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January 2009. Romanoff received 50 percent to Bennet’s 41 percent.
“We just saw the strongest day Romanoff is likely to have,” Welchert said. “The fact that the spread is 10 points evaporates when you’re going to be outspent 10-to-1.”
Atkinson said she had expected Romanoff to top Bennet, but by a wider margin.
“Are you kidding me?” Wadhams said. “With all respect to my good friend Katy, Romanoff didn’t even get into the race until September, and President Obama just came here and campaigned for Bennet.”