Candidate for governor Tom Tancredo is buoyed by the results of a Rasmussen poll taken Friday. The poll has Tancredo, a late-entry third-party candidate in the Colorado race, pulling within four points of Democratic frontrunner John Hickenlooper and swamping GOP Tea Party candidate Dan Maes.
“They say I’m going to sink the Republican Party if I draw too many votes. That’s funny. There is someone in this race sinking the Republican Party but it’s not me. It’s the guy running as a Republican who’s polling 12 percent,” he told the Colorado Independent and then burst into laughter.
If Maes at the top of the ticket draws below 10 percent of voters, the Republican party will sink to minor party status in the state, presenting challenges to fundraising and significantly lowering the threshold for candidates who want to run under the party’s banner, giving the state party little vetting control and potentially flooding the party with unpracticed and unattractive candidates.
Tancredo says he needs some combination equivalent to 65 percent of the state’s Republican voters, 44 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats to win.
The Friday Rasmussen survey suggests the Tanc is still falling short of his own minimum victory calculation, but not by much.
Hickenlooper, the mayor of Denver, now has the support of 84% of Colorado Democrats, while Maes has the backing of just 24% of the state’s GOP voters. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republicans now favor Tancredo. Among voters not affiliated with either party, the independent candidate earns 42% of the vote to Hickenlooper’s 32% and Maes’ nine percent (9%).
The longtime Republican congressman sees the GOP voter bloc as the most ripe for picking.
“Voters know me. My joining the American Constitution Party this year is a marriage of convenience not of love. This is not some [philosophical] metamorphosis. I needed to get on the ballot and the [American Constitution Party] needed to draw votes.”
Tancredo is quick to mock the Republican party but he said that, if he should he win the governor’s race, he might consider switching back.
“What’s the point? I mean, if I can be more effective as governor, if the Republicans in the legislature are going to have their feelings hurt or whatever, then I’ll consider it. But really what’s the purpose? What do I need from [GOP Chairman] Dick Wadhams? Why would I argue anymore with the head of what might soon be a minor party?
“Look at the recent track record. Bush I and II and then McCain? I didn’t vote for Bush I in 1980. I was one of two GOP delegates to vote against putting him on the ticket with Reagan. I said, ‘c’mon no way I’m voting for that guy.’ It was me and one other delegate who voted against him.”
Tancredo also dismissed the new Sarah Palin branch of the GOP.
“Palin, yeah. Where is she in the total scheme of things?”
“My estrangement from the GOP is so long. In 1976 I ran for office. I sat in my mom’s kitchen [making fliers]. I never got a dime.”
Most notable, from the Rasmussen poll, perhaps, is that Maes has essentially lost the Tea Party vote.
Sixty percent (60%) of Tea Party members support Tancredo, while 26% prefer Maes. Sixty-one percent (61%) of non-members favor Hickenlooper, and another 26% support Tancredo.
So far, Maes takes top spot in the killer “unfavorable” category.
Hickenlooper is viewed favorably by 53% of Colorado voters and unfavorably by 40%. This includes 35% Very Favorable and 25% Very Unfavorable.
For Maes, favorables are 24% and unfavorables 62%, with only six percent (6%) Very Favorable and 37% Very Unfavorable.
Forty-nine percent (49%) have a favorable opinion of Tancredo, while 42% view him unfavorably, including 26% Very favorable and 30% Very Unfavorable.