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Republicans Panicked Over Colorado Senate Prospects

Conservative Pundit: “They’ll Find Someone. They’ll Find Someone That’ll Lose.”

It’s been a rough week for the GOP in Colorado where Mike Coffman, the first-choice recruit to challenge Michael Bennet in 2016, turned down the race this week – even after some very public begging by national Republicans.

Just last month, 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.” And with their top candidate passing on the race, their odds of winning the race just got even slimmer.

Denver Post: GOP scrambles after Mike Coffman rejects overtures to take on Bennet

“U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman won’t challenge Democrat Michael Bennet in Colorado’s Senate race next year, setting in motion a wild scramble to find a Republican challenger for 2016.”

The Hill: GOP loses prized Colorado Senate recruit

“Colorado is one of only two true pick-up opportunities for Republicans in 2016, along with Nevada. The GOP must defend 24 Senate seats, compared with 10 for Democrats, as the GOP seeks to protect its newly won majority. Coffman’s exit is a blow to those hopes.”

Politico: Post-Coffman, Colorado GOP Bench Is Thin

“With Rep. Mike Coffman’s decision not to run for the Senate in Colorado, Republicans have few good options to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.”

Now that Coffman has passed on the race, even Republicans are publicly admitting that without their prized recruit, their chances of winning the race in Colorado are growing increasingly slim. Yesterday, conservative radio hosts Dan Caplis and Peter Boyles, along with former Colorado Republican Party Chari Dick Wadhams, discussed the messy and damaging primary Republicans are now likely to face.

BOYLES: They’ll find somebody. They’ll find somebody that’ll lose. [04:30]

CAPLIS: I think this is as wide open as anything I’ve ever seen in Colorado. … I mean, totally wide open. Who – If your life depended on, who’s the favorite? What name would come to mind? [06:15]

BOYLES: None.

CAPLIS: I think [Coffman] would have cleared the field. Now that he has not cleared the field, the field’s gonna be more populated than a CU game after an upset over Oklahoma when we all storm the field. Or Nebraska, even better. … But, I’m not sure I’m sold on this one because historically, I look back to the carnage of Beauprez-Holtzman, out of which the “Both-Ways Bob” attack was born. I thought Bob went totally crippled into that election. [10:00]

WADHAMS: I think, over in the next few weeks, we’re going to have probably 4 or 5 people who will openly say ‘I’m considering running for the Senate.’ [00:15:05]

And the Colorado Independent quotes a Republican in the state who laments that “our team doesn’t have a bench. We barely have a folding chair.”

“Republicans are facing a bleak map and an endangered majority in 2016, so it’s no surprise that they’re in full-blown panic mode after Mike Coffman’s announcement,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Republicans are now staring down a messy and expensive primary in Colorado that will leave them with a second-tier candidate who will no doubt come up short in 2016.”

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