Sen. Michael Bennet’s defeat of Andrew Romanoff by a 54 to 46 percent margin in the Democratic primary Tuesday night bucked the trend of anti-incumbency that has ignited the political arena this year.
Now, supported by what Romanoff deputy campaign manager Berrick Abramson called a “Washington machine,” Bennet’s camp will be up against Republican tea-party candidate Ken Buck in the November election.
Though Weld County District Attorney Buck is no stranger to insider politics, he’s been running on a platform many disenfranchised Republicans are eager to support. Bennet’s camp said they would combat this by sticking to their guns and offering positive messages.
Asked Tuesday night if he thought the race had been won fairly by Bennet, Romanoff’s Abramson said that “Coloradans voted.” But he added there was no question Bennet had had the backing of a very powerful national machine.
But Abramson also said Buck has his own problems that will surface for voters, and those issues would trump any kind of anti-incumbency or tea party trend.
“Ken Buck has his own vulnerabilities. There are a lot of things that Coloradans are going to look at, including his work as a district attorney and some of the people who are supporting him. I think at the end of the day people are going to say that it is in the best interests of Colorado that Democrats to continue to hold this seat,” Abramson said.
Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid, who earlier in the evening had noted that Bennet had won by not being a career politician, agreed that Bennet’s message would be enough to counter Buck.
“We have to keep doing what we are doing. Volunteers, supporters, we have to unite the party quickly. Andrew has offered his help as you saw earlier,” Kincaid said, explaining that he wasn’t concerned about the tea party movement because Bennet’s message resonates with all voters.
“Michael has done town halls in red parts of the state, in blue parts of the state and everywhere he goes he approaches it the same way. I think that is going to resonate around the state. I think it is going to win a lot of people over.”
The Denver Post reported that the Democratic Party announced national committee chair Tim Kaine will headline a unity rally for the Bennet and Romanoff factions Thursday.
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak said in a statement: “Now that the primary is behind us we will put all of our energy into electing Democrats from the top to the bottom of the ticket and ensuring a Democratic victory statewide in the general election.”
Romanoff has pledged his support to Bennet and asked that his supporters get behind the Bennet campaign.