Today, national Republicans suffered their fourth recruitment failure in the Colorado Senate race when State Senator Ellen Roberts was the latest in a slew of Republicans to pass on running. With one Republican meltdown after another in Colorado this month, the GOP’s chances of running a competitive race in Colorado in 2016 are growing slimmer by the day.
Here’s a recap of some of the highlights in Colorado over the past month:
COFFMAN PASSES, GOP SCRAMBLES. In early June, after months of public and private begging by national Republicans, the GOP’s top choice candidate Rep. Mike Coffman passed on the race.
KOPP OUT. A few weeks later, potential candidate Mike Kopp reportedly decided against mounting a challenge to Michael Bennet.
COFFMAN OUT FOLLOWING BLACKMAIL ACCUSATIONS. In a dramatic turn of events, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffmanpassed on the race after a week of accusations that she threatened and blackmailed the Chair of the state Republican Party in an effort to get him to step down.
ELLEN ROBERTS IMPLODES. As focus turned to state Sen. Ellen Roberts as a potential recruit, she imploded. Roberts has faced a slew of negative headlines over the past few weeks, and just today, she announced she would not be running in 2016.
WHY IT MATTERS …
Earlier this summer, Stuart Rothenberg wrote that despite Republicans’ best attempts to “keep alive the perception” that the Colorado Senate race is in play for the GOP, even “knowledgeable Republicans wouldn’t tell you the Colorado Senate race is close to a tossup.” With four potential candidates already taking a pass on the race, and accusations of blackmail and threats flying within the state Republican Party, GOP odds of fielding a competitive candidate for the race just got even slimmer.
“Republicans are already facing a bleak map in 2016, and their failure to recruit a competitive candidate in Colorado further endangers their tenuous majority,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Colorado Republicans don’t want to get anywhere near this race, and with four of the GOP’s top choice candidates passing on the race, they will be stuck with a second or third tier candidate who won’t be able to mount a serious campaign much less represent Colorado families.”