Monday, July 25, 2016

Tipton vs. Schwartz

Gail Schwartz and Scott Tipton
Scott Tipton wasn’t supposed to have a tough race in 2016. He won a couple of strong re-elections in 2012 (Obama year) and 2014 and he has money in the bank ($980,000). But, here he is in an expected battle with a well-funded and nationally supported Democrat former State Senator, Gail Schwartz. What happened?

Gail Schwartz is a highly motivated Western Slope politician, who often receives encouragement to run for office from Democratic-leaning supporters, and she has long indicated a personal interest in another job. But, it was Donald Trump and the possibility of a Republican disaster that caught the eye of the Washington D.C. Democratic power structure and ramped up the pressure and financial incentives to encourage her to run.

But as good as Schwartz is in a campaign, she will need a wave-type of year to defeat Tipton.

As I said to Mark Matthews (Denver Post, 7-14-16):
Floyd Ciruli, a Colorado political analyst, said Schwartz’s strong fundraising quarter sends a signal to Democratic donors that “this is a race to put money into.”
But he added that the GOP edge in the district, coupled with Tipton’s incumbency, means that to win she still would likely need a wave year for Democrats.
“It’s the kind of seat that could be won in a year where there is a 30 to 40 seat sweep,” Ciruli said.
Hillary Clinton is ahead in Colorado. But, her numbers are only in the mid-40 percent range (See Ciruli’s forecast here) and the national generic congressional ballot test numbers only give Democrats a 2 percent advantage. But, it’s early, and Clinton is ahead of Trump by 8 points at the start of the conventions.

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