Monday, August 19, 2013

Buck Dominates Thin Field

Ken Buck is now the frontrunner for the nomination to take on Senator Mark Udall. But, his challenge is to generate some sense that he and the campaign will be different than the mistake-prone 2010 race, which collapsed at the close, losing by 30,000 to Michael Bennet.

In Buck’s favor is a track record of winning a tough primary and being the least controversial and most competent in the strange 2010 field of Republican senate candidates.

Unless someone else gets into the race, neither State Senators Owen Hill nor Randy Baumgardner have the resources or network, at least at this stage, to be competitive.

But, the Colorado senate race is not on the national list of states where Republicans appear poised to be competitive. Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia are the states seen in play.

Mark Udall, while not high-profile, is respected in Washington and has avoided mistakes. His issue of protecting individual rights from excessive government surveillance is topical and he regularly makes the talk show circuit.

His colleague Bennet tends to generate more buzz, but neither have had high impact in system dominated by seniority and a town in gridlock.

From Kurtis Lee’s Denver Post article of August 10:
“He has far better name recognition than the other candidates, but he was a huge disappointment,” political analyst Floyd Ciruli said of Buck.
Ciruli points to Buck’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” weeks before the 2010 election in which the candidate — who had strong backing from social conservatives and Tea Party Republicans — compared homosexuality to alcoholism. And months earlier, in a primary against former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, Buck said voters should elect him because he doesn’t wear high heels. 
“The terrain in Colorado is now much different as it leans Democratic,” Ciruli said. “It’s not going to be 2010; room for error is much smaller.” 
Dick Wadhams was not optimistic for Buck, arguing that, like Tom Strickland, “reruns of candidates don’t do very well.” But, at least he doesn’t have a mustache.

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