“Reverse-Coronations” No Better; Who, if Anyone, Wins Grassroots Momentum?

On Friday Ken Buck was ready to bow out of Colorado’s U.S. Senate race. By Sunday he had received a new boost from more than 200 emails and calls from “activists in Colorado” urging him to stay in — a figure he shared with me in a short phone interview he was gracious enough to give this afternoon.

“Everyone who called has been positive and supportive and encouraging,” Buck said. When asked if he was surprised by the outpouring, his single-word answer was “overwhelmed.” Not much else came out of the conversation except that Buck’s campaign is looking beyond the October reports. “I have a longer term goal than quarter-to-quarter fundraising,” he said.

Colorado Independent blogger John Tomasic gives me too much credit for helping to light the fire that switched the course of Buck’s campaign. Tomasic says that the Weld County District Attorney:

may now have new wind in his sails. He’s the populist Washington outsider who’s also now clearly been reverse-coronated by the losing state GOP establishment. Buck’s people couldn’t have planned this wild narrative any better than it turned out, perhaps.

Perhaps. A “reverse-coronation” is no more appealing to me than any other kind of coronation. But only time will tell how crucial a moment in the campaign this proves to be. Who will fare better?

  • Ryan Frazier, the early survey leader who has shown no signs of give and — “undaunted” — continued to campaign and press the flesh as others sought to clear the field
  • Buck, who appeared to bow to the powers-that-be but quickly reversed course, and hopes to find a second wind
  • Former state senator and rancher Tom Wiens, the timing of whose announcement of an exploratory committee today may be purely coincidental, but also has the chance to be seen as part of a grassroots backlash (Rocky Mountain Right also reports that Wiens is confident his donor base is different enough to make his candidacy “financially viable” … we shall see)

All indications are that Jane Norton plans to announce her entry into a crowded phone booth primary race within a couple weeks or so. I’ve documented my concerns about her, but am hopeful that her campaign will roll out like the others and start by hitting the grassroots circuit with her credentials and message.

If we’ve learned anything from recent events, it’s this: If you don’t like the state of the Senate Republican primary race, just wait a few days and it will change. That, and the contest is far from over.

May the best candidate win, and may it be someone willing to listen to the people, someone ready and able to inject more liberty into the party agenda, someone willing to call out the previous generation of Republicans for their fiscal transgressions, someone with both a principled conservative core and an effective political temperament, someone focused on solutions and ready to lead, someone tested and honed by a positive primary campaign.

As always, stay tuned to this story on the People’s Press Collective.


  1. Haners says

    Again, well said.

    I’ve been getting sick of this “reverse coronation” business that has been going on-the “I hate what the old guard is doing so I’m going to do it…but for someone else” mentality and tried to say something about it, but this was a lot better worded than my attempt.

    I think everyone needs to calm down, take a deep breath, stop making assumptions and let this play out a bit on its own.

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