Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wayne Allard to Retire - Should Susan Collins Follow Suit?

  • Colorado: Wayne Allard has, at long last, declared his 2008 intentions:

    Sen. Wayne Allard said today he will honor his term-limits pledge and leave at the end of 2008, creating a replacement fight that should turn Colorado into one of the country’s biggest electoral battlegrounds.

    "I just didn't think I could back away from the (term limits) commitment. It is a matter of integrity and keeping your commitments. I have never wavered on that," Allard told the Rocky Mountain News.

    Appearing with his wife, Joan, at a press conference at the state Capitol, Allard said, "The people of Colorado placed their trust in me based on a promise I made to them and I am honoring that promise. In an age when promises are cast away as quickly as yesterday’s newspaper, I believe a promise made should be a promise kept."

    1) The Colorado GOP, already in bad shape, will likely be further fractured by a tough primary to replace Allard, with the likes of Scott McInnis, Tom Tancredo, Bill Owens, Bob Schaffer, Bob Beauprez, John Suthers, and even John Elway looking at this race.

    2) Democrat Mark Udall will be in the driver's seat with the wind at his back. Between the fractured GOP, his already healthy fundraising, his popularity, the fact that it's an open seat, the fact that Colorado is trending blue, and the fact that Denver is hosting the DNC in 2008, Udall is in very good shape.

    3) Given how Allard pointed primarily to his term limits pledge, and the integrity attached to keeping that pledge, what impact will this have on Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who like Allard was also first elected in 1996 on a two-terms-and-out pledge? Can we use Allard's comments to illustrate how Collins, by running for a third term, is breaking a promise to voters and lacking integrity?

    UPDATE (4:25pm): Tom Tancredo, it looks like, will not run for the Senate and is, instead, getting behind Scott McInnis' effort.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Tancredo and Owens are out. Suthers will likely opt to remain as Treasurer and focus on Salazar or Ritter in '10. John Elway was mentioned by a state official as an example of a celebrity candidate they might consider, not by anyone close to Elway who said he wanted to run for the seat. That leaves McInnis, Schaffer, and Beauprez.

    Beauprez is damaged goods after 2006, and if he isn't convinced to not run, then he'll be destroyed in the primaries. Really, the only potential battle is between Schaffer and McInnis, and McInnis has more money, more media coverage, and more endorsements. If he can, early on, get Owens, Suthers, and/or Allard to follow Tancredo and endorse him, he could clear the field.

    6:45 PM, January 15, 2007  
    Blogger Bill said...

    This is very good news. McInnis would be a tough competitor, but it's unlikely that a Republican can keep this seat blue unless the political climate changes dramatically. Beauprez not only damaged his own political future, but took a good deal of the party down with him. Thanks, "Both Ways Bob." We probably couldn't have done it without you.

    8:26 PM, January 15, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    At this point, its premature to speculate what the political environment will look like in 2008, and how well Colorado Republicans will be. But there are still more registered Republicans than Democrats (36% to 30%) in the state, and Beauprez ran a horrid campaign that failed to inspire anybody. McInnis has a strong libertarian bent that will play well in Colorado, especially if the top of the ticket is someone like McCain. He's from the Western half of the state, which is stronger statewide. He's got nearly a million in the bank to start off. And his district, it was discovered soon after he retired, is a left-leaning district that he held for years. Republicans eager for a win will support him, and Independents are more likely to back McInnis than the liberal Udall.

    8:30 AM, January 16, 2007  
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