Cue the music. Make it something fitting, like “You can’t always get what you want.” And then we’ll announce the start to Littwin’s Weekly Republican Governor’s Race Rankings (Although I Think We May Have Done This Before, But This Time We’re Serious)!!!!
So, here goes, today and every Tuesday until June 24, the Tuesday of all Tuesdays.
1. Tom Tancredo. Seriously. He’s a man born for a four-way. He won his congressional seat in a five-way. He’s raising the most money (we’ll assume his high burn rate was to buy signatures to petition onto the ballot). He’s got the most name recognition. And, in his bid to win with 30 percent, he’s got the most crazy.
In the money race, he raised $283,914 in the first quarter and has $111,160 cash on hand. Which makes him a winner (if you don’t count Hickenlooper’s $970,616 and $1,651,611.)
2. Scott Gessler. OK, not the Money Badger. He raised a paltry $122,367. He’s got an embarrassing $55,638 on hand. He embarrassed himself at the state assembly losing to Mike Kopp. In any other field, he’d be dead meat. But he has one advantage. He can get nasty. If he’s serious about winning this race, he has to go all Honey Badger on Tancredo, pointing out, for instance, that Tanc is running on old crazy ideas and that he doesn’t even have any new ones, that he snubs voters by refusing to debate and that, in any case, Hickenlooper would clobber him (again). Gessler has to turn the four-way into a two-way and put some excitement into the race. It’s his only chance.
3. Bob Beauprez touted his $453,874 haul and how much it meant to him that Coloradans came rushing to his side. Of course, half the total was from one Coloradan — a $220,000 loan from Beauprez to himself. It wasn’t even a gift. He needed the money, of course, to buy the signatures to petition on. And now he’s got $118,839 on hand. He has to hope that that Beauprez guy comes through with more checks. I don’t know why Beauprez, who lost by 17 points to Bill Ritter, is running again. He doesn’t have Tancredo’s base, Gessler’s claim to a statewide win, but he does have endorsements (Bill Owens, Wayne Allard, Gale Norton). And he still presumably has the horse.
4. Mike Kopp is now officially a fluke. He raised $105,313 and on his Web site, before releasing the number, said it was his biggest haul yet. Which it was. Which tells you a lot. He’s got $33,968 on hand. That’s barely enough to take the staff to lunch at Wendy’s. (Oops, forgot. Republicans only go to Chick-fil-A.) The rumor at the assembly was that Kopp won the top line because Tancredo and Beauprez urged their allies to vote for him instead of Gessler. It’s starting to look feasible. The strange thing is that Kopp has the backing of leading Republicans like Hank Brown and Bill Armstrong and also a compelling life story, but no ability to raise any money. Which gets him last place. But there’s always next week. With a lot of work and a little luck, who knows – he could make it to No. 3.