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Tilting at Windmills

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November 3, 2010

BENNET HANGS ON IN COLORADO.... Dems looking for good midterm news got some this morning in Colorado.

Appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will be elected to the U.S. Senate after pulling ahead of challenger Ken Buck this morning. [...]

Bennet, a relative political unknown when Gov. Bill Ritter plucked him from his job as Denver Public Schools chief and appointed him to the post 22 months ago, benefitted from his time in Washington to establish a solid financial base for what proved a costly campaign. He raised $6 million alone to fend off primary challenger Andrew Romanoff.

Buck, the Weld County District Attorney, tapped into the anti-incumbent anger of the Tea Party movement for early momentum and a primary win over Jane Norton before moving toward the center on several issues for the general election.

A recount appears likely in the contest*, but the numbers look good for Bennet, in a race pre-election polls suggested was the closest in the country.

This is, by the way, another example that fits into a larger model -- Bennet was in very deep trouble, but appears to have won thanks to Republicans nominating an extremist that made just enough mainstream voters uncomfortable.

Party leaders had hoped Buck would lose the primary. Now, it seems he's lost the general election.

* Update: Actually, scratch that. A recount would start if Bennet's margin was under about 3,900 votes, but at this point, it's around 7,000. There are thousands of ballots that have not yet been counted, but they're in a Democratic area of the state.

Steve Benen 10:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Now maybe he'll have time to go to a dentist, the psycho teabagging bastard.

Posted by: savagely anon on November 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK
appears to have one

Uh, Steve, I think you meant won, not one.

Posted by: Michael W on November 3, 2010 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Buck's people (Rove et al)out spent Bennett hugely. Coloradans were subjected to non stop anti Bennett ads 24/7 for months and yet Bennett still came out on top. It makes me happy to see Bennett win and I believe it is mostly due to the women of Colorado. We don't want extreme GOP/TBaggers making our reproductive choices.
We need campaign finance reform and we need to do it now.

Posted by: maggie on November 3, 2010 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Go, Maggie!

Posted by: pol on November 3, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Buck, Angle, O'Donnell...that's three almost guaranteed pickups gone thanks to the teaparty and Momma Grizz.

What are the odds that the corporate media will point out that Sarah Palin's influence isn't that great, or even helpful to the GOP?

I'd say about zero.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© on November 3, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Just back from from CO on business, and saw some of the ads. living behind the Zion curtain, I was appalled at the ads. It was really depressing how negatively the ads portray the system as well as the candidates. From the asd, I had no sense what either guy was for. Note that there were congressional losses in CO, but they also elected a centrist, decent guy for Gov. Now Bennet, Hickelooper, and the remaining dems have to govern effectively. Tht is how you win elections in the future.

Posted by: bigutah on November 3, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Given the narrowness of the victory what are the odds the Republicans will try and force a recount. Not to mention the claims of voter fraud will start up on Fox and Republican noise machine.

Posted by: thorin-1 on November 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

The best of all possible worst worlds

What are the odds that the corporate media will point out that Sarah Palin's influence isn't that great, or even helpful to the GOP?

Let's hope they sleep on it. And let's hope they continue to slurp up Sarah's tweets. The best possible 2012 scenario for us is the nomination of Snowball Snooki.

Want to see a reverse tidal wave?
Give us two years of Pugs running Congress and then Caribou Barbie for Presinut...

There you go.

Posted by: koreyel on November 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Still a nail biter in the State of Washington, with Senator Murray leading Rossi by just less than one percentage point. The lastest reports from both the P-I and Times in Seattle say only 61% of the votes have been counted. Damn shame that the tech age passed Washington by with "few" techies residing in the state.

But, a real shame in the 3rd Congressional District (Southwestern Washington), where Baird (D) retired, is Herrara (R) picking up the seat. Last time, this was held by a RepuG woman was when Linda Smith was getting Newt hot under the collar. So, with Heck losing, it, truly, is a Heck of a shame.

Posted by: berttheclock on November 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK
What are the odds that the corporate media will point out that Sarah Palin's influence isn't that great, or even helpful to the GOP?

Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake. -Napoleon

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on November 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Palin's influence isn't zero. It's a large negative. And I'm sure she's hearing about it today. And I'm sure she's ignoring it. Politics is just another beauty pageant to Palin; it's not about accomplishing anything, it's about getting attention.

Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake. -Napoleon

H L Mencken, Mark Twain, and Napoleon are my three favorite sources of quotes.

Posted by: Tim H on November 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Most excellent news from Colorado! We have good news in Oregon, too, Sen Wyden was easily re-elected (not a surprise per the polls) and all 4 of the Dem congressmen, bucking the national red riptide, were as well (the other district is red and the republican was re-elected). Most watched OR Congressional race, Rep. Peter DeFazio beat out Art Robinson, that nutjob who was on Maddow a few weeks ago. Robinson was bankrolled by a hedge fund manager unhappy with legislation DeFazio sponsored. Our governor's race is too close to call, but speculation is that Dem John Kitzhaber will come out ahead. Why did Wyden win by a lot and Kitz have a difficult race? My theory is that people liked the novelty of voting for a former NBA player (Republican Chris Dudley; Dudley the stud?, when he's really Dudley the dud). Hopefully Kitzhaber, and Sen. Murray in WA will pull it out. It would be too depressing if they lost, such able public servants. Murray has been in the Senate 18 yrs and done great things, and Kitz is our wonderful former two-term governor, last in office 8 years ago.

Posted by: Hannah on November 3, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I told my 2 old-enough-to-vote step-grandchildren in CO that, on their next visit to VA, their "I voted" sticker will serve as their meal ticket. We had some back-and-forth on the issue of "Bennett for Senate" (both liked Hickenlooper, but they were early supporters of Romanoff) but, I guess, the threat worked. Both of them like my cooking, I'm pleased to say :)

Posted by: exlibra on November 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Also, Colorado is a purple state. Far right Republicans don't represent the mainstream here. We have a fairly large Hispanic vote and an educated population.

Posted by: Mike McGrath on November 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Buck messed up. He won the party nomination by running to the hard right, and was not able to tack to the center during the election (or reinvent himself as a sunny moderate). People weren't fooled. Or, NOT ENOUGH people were fooled.

There was also the small issue of Buck's gross misconduct back when he was a prosecutor (which got him canned - ), or his outrageous flip-flopping on whether abortion should be criminalized (which lost him friends and credibility in BOTH directions), or his claims that global climate change is a myth and fabrication ... just an endless series of revealing mistakes and bad news over the last month.

The national GOP really thought they could power past all this by blanketing Colorado with negative advertising, providing a hard sell that Buck was just a sensible, regular ol' guy rather than a blockhead right wing ideologue. And Buck had a very, very vocal and active group of supporters that Bennett just didn't enjoy, plus LOTS more advertising dollars. Frankly, the GOP and its campaign partners almost pulled this off.

But ultimately, the GOP was not able to get past Ken Buck himself, who was urinating all over the state (and himself) throughout the late phase of the campaign while the GOP loudly proclaimed over and over that it was raining.

Posted by: Bokonon on November 3, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bennett also managed virtually the same result in a bitter Democratic primary (the 'old dog' of Democratic state politics who wasn't appointed to the Senate tried to take for himself what wasn't offered). Polling showed close, within the margin of error, numbers and then the final numbers showed Bennett the victor by several points.

Maybe 'never elected to anything' Bennett is a better politician than many have admitted.

Posted by: Jimo on November 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Maybe 'never elected to anyhting' Bennett is a better politician than many have admitted." Jimo @ 3:49 PM.

If he headed up a school district/system, then he's a well-read in politics...

Posted by: Doug on November 3, 2010 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK



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