Tancredo the Frontrunner? Don’t Laugh

“Rep. Tom Tancredo might be the favorite if he decided to run [for Senate], given his strong following among the party’s most conservative voters.”

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post political blog “The Fix” says that in the race for the U.S. Senate in 2008, the controversial Tancredo could be a GOP favorite…and he’s right. Sure, Tancredo makes plenty of outlandish statements, but the net effect of his many controversial remarks has been to dramatically increase his name identification in the last couple of years. In a primary election, where every little advantage helps, getting voters to know your name is more than half the battle.  Tancredo’s outspoken behavior in regards to the issue of illegal immigration has helped him to make a national name for himself, and voters in Colorado’s sixth congressional district have responded by re-electing him time and time again by wide margins over his Democratic opponents. It doesn’t really matter to these voters that Tancredo hasn’t accomplished much as a congressman, because his name recognition and commitment to illegal immigration gives him a huge leg up among the uninformed voter that makes up most of the voting populace. To a voter who doesn’t know much about any of the candidates in a particular race, the candidate whose name is more recognizable will always win. It’s hard to find another potential Republican candidate for the senate whose name is more well-known than Tancredo’s.

But the name isn’t everything, because Tancredo could also play the immigration card to rave reviews among conservative voters who think the issue is of vital importance. More than perhaps any other potential GOP candidate, Tancredo has a natural base because of his strong connection to a single issue.

Tancredo may be a dirty word to many Democrats, which is yet another reason why he may be so appealing to Republicans.

Call him a one-trick congressman if you like, but Tom Tancredo could very well end up as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2008.

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Jason Bane

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