The Republicans launched television ads last week to take advantage of the attack on Hickenlooper and hope to either pull him down before next week’s code or weaken him if he emerges as a candidate.
Hickenlooper, who was recruited by the National Democrats and approved immediately after dropping his presidential bid, remains the favorite in the unexpectedly tough June 30 presidential election against Andrew Romanoff, former spokesman for the, according to interviews with a dozen Democrats in Colorado and Colorado State House Washington last week, many of whom asked for anonymity to speak frankly. They also claim that he has an advantage in the general election against GOP Senator Cory Gardner, especially given President Donald Trump’s declining election numbers in recent months and in a state where the electorate is turning increasingly blue.
But the Democrats’ nomination competition has become much more competitive and full in the last section. Romanoff started the first attack notice of primary Friday, and a new Super PAC that was created just last week immediately released one negative counterattack beat the lesser-known challenger. After his slips, Hickenlooper introduced new local and national memos to restore its pole position.
“Every mistake you make, every trip, however big and how many [advertising] Points are put behind it, which may bring things closer, ”said Alan Salazar, a strategist in Hickenlooper’s governor’s office and now chief of staff of the Mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock. “I can’t imagine that John’s mistakes, big as they are, are so big that they wipe out the dead weight that Donald Trump has near Cory Gardner.”
Colorado is a must for Democrats as they try to take control of the chamber in the fall election. Democrats hope the post-election race will change course to focus on Trump and Gardner, both of whom are underwater in polls. But the recent bad news has focused entirely on Hickenlooper and given Romanoff – and Republicans – ammunition to strike.
A state democratic adviser who asked for anonymity to share an open assessment described the errors as “s — show”. The advisor predicted that Hickenlooper would prevail over Gardner and would be preferred, but said: “It will just be much more difficult than it should have been.”
Hickenlooper apologized after comments had recently surfaced comparing political planners to slave masters using whips. And he also said he stumbled upon his words after saying that Black Lives Matter means “every life counts” in an online forum at the end of May.
In particular, some Democrats questioned the treatment of the Independent Ethics Committee’s case against him. The hearing was postponed in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Hickenlooper offered to testify personally later this year, but the commission presented a virtual format of his appeal.
The commission issued a subpoena for his appearance and despised him if he did not. Hickenlooper testified the next day and the commission found that he had violated state ethics laws in two out of six charges against him.
Democrats have called it a partisan smear because a former Republican lawmaker runs the nonprofit that raised the allegations mentioned in dark money attack reports. But some Democrats say his election campaign should have been more aggressive.
“This whole thing was a setup from the start, and they should have done it earlier,” said Laura Chapin, an experienced strategist in the state. She said the ethics decision was “not a big deal on a grand scale,” compared to the Trump administration.
“By pulling out, the Hickenlooper people extended their lifespan,” she said.
A Democrat near Hickenlooper who asked for anonymity to speak frankly said he had “a few tough weeks” but predicted that the ethical headlines would be an “obstacle on the road”.
“The general election should become tougher and Hickenlooper has to do more than just successfully raise money,” said this democrat. “He needs to improve his messaging and debating skills, which could be a significant burden for him.”
Hickenlooper has focused his offer on his success as a governor, pointing to Colorado’s booming economy under his leadership and other accomplishments, including state-run all-email elections that have become a national focus. In his latest television commercial, he calls the race “a moment for big change” and cites a number of successes during his tenure.
The former governor has made a noticeable effort to demonstrate his passion for the election, a backlash against his own previous comments that he does not want to serve in the Senate. His campaign declined an interview request for this story.
“There is no question that I have disapproved of the US Senate as a place that is broken and a difficult challenge for people who want to get things done,” said Hickenlooper in the recent debate. “But at a certain point, you have to decide whether you are content to sit on the sidelines or whether you want to get into the ring with the mud and sweat, as Teddy Roosevelt said, and want to be part of the change. ”
But Romanoff appeals to primary voters who are concerned about his message of more radical change, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. He argues that an approach in the middle of the street is not currently applicable, and has said that Hickenlooper’s ethical problem is a problem.
“If you violate the law, oppose a subpoena, and are despised, you jeopardize our chances of keeping your seat,” Romanoff said in an interview.
As of mid-June, his campaign released an internal survey in which it declined by 12 percentage points. This is a tighter race than many expected, but a challenging margin that needs to be overcome in a short space of time – especially given the poll that followed Hickenlooper’s struggles and negative ads against him and after ballots had already been sent out. Romanoff launched a television ad against Hickenlooper on Friday that was condemned by numerous Democrats, including Governor Jared Polis and Senator Michael Bennet, who argued that they were playing in the hands of the Republicans.
Within a few hours of Romanoff’s commercial being aired, a Super PAC founded earlier this week launched its first ad and suggested Romanoff to work with then-GOP Governor Bill Owens on a restrictive state immigration law. Since the group has formed so close to primary school, it only has to disclose its donors after the vote.
In addition, the Senate Majority PAC, which is in line with minority leader Chuck Schumer, is spending $ 1 million to run an ad against republican attacks.
And Hickenlooper released notes from Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) And Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) On Saturday. Warren’s support is particularly notable: many progressive voters trust her, and she has only fought the preferred DSCC candidate in Kentucky and instead supported a liberal opponent – in a race far less for the Democrats’ efforts to win the Senate back important is.
The Republicans would clearly prefer to compete against Romanoff given their fundraising disadvantage and more liberal positions. As of June 10, Hickenlooper had $ 5.9 million in cash, more than seven times Romanoff’s $ 792,000. Gardner had $ 9.3 million.
“We’re running a retail campaign because we don’t have the resources that the other team has,” said Romanoff. “But I am sure that if we win elementary school, we will have a lot more friends and a lot more money in our hands.”
The Republicans continue to focus on meeting Hickenlooper. Gardner’s campaign ran an ad that highlighted the number of times he said he wasn’t “cut out” for the Senate or didn’t want the job. The National Republican Senatorial Committee places ads that highlight the ethics scandal.
“The Democrats are in disarray,” said Rep. Ken Buck, the state’s GOP chairman, who described Hickenlooper’s ethics as a “pattern of violations.”
“This is the first time that John Hickenlooper has been tested in politics,” added Buck. “This is really the first time he’s faced an opponent who has the prerequisites to research the governor and bring out the governor’s records, and there are a number of things that will be revealed in the future and for which it is voters will be very interesting. “
His allies were confident that Hickenlooper could repair the ship, and still have continued favor from voters who voted him twice.
“People understand who John is and what mistakes he makes, fiddling here and there,” said Salazar, the former aide. “John is a lot. None of them are corrupt, and I don’t think people will believe that about him. “