Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post‘s “The Fix” blog still ranks Colorado as the most competitive race in the upcoming round of U.S. Senate campaigns, but has noticed the recent encouraging news for Republicans:
Republicans (finally) have their man. Former Rep. Bob Schaffer quietly announced his candidacy last week and all indications are that he will have the Republican primary field to himself. Democrats quickly sought to portray Schaffer as a conservative extremist, citing as evidence some of the positions he advocated during his three terms in Congress in the late 1990s. There’s no question that Schaffer is more conservative than the average Colorado voter, but he also built up a grassroots following based on the “straight-shooter” reputation he maintained during his tenure in the House and before that in the state legislature.
Nevertheless, Cillizza also highlights the conventional wisdom surrounding Schaffer’s perceived political weakness:
In our mind, Schaffer’s biggest problem is fundraising. When he ran in the GOP Senate primary in 2006, he was never able to compete financially with beer magnate Pete Coors in the primary and wound up losing badly. Assuming the party is lined up behind him this time, Schaffer may benefit from a slew of national GOP money.
Even so, Colorado Conservative Project brings forward evidence that suggests Schaffer’s opponent, Boulder liberal Mark Udall, is hampered with his own financial management shortcomings. There’s certainly a long way to go in this race.
Cross posted at Schaffer v Udall