Last week, Colorado Republican Party boss Dick Wadhams said he wasn't worried about Dan Maes falling beneath 10 percent support. But plenty of other folks seem to be, judging by today's Denver Post, which outlines the prospect of the GOP winding up with minority party status if Maes doesn't register double digits.
Not to worry, responds Maes spokesman Nate Strauch, who sees an upturn ahead.
Strauck points to the latest Rasmussem Reports poll, which shows Tom Tancredo narrowing the gap between him and frontrunner John Hickenlooper, from 44 percent-34 percent to 43 percent-35 percent. However, Maes still has 16 percent support, the same amount as the previous survey.
"You've seen polling holding pretty steady," Strauch allows, "and now that Dan's up on TV, we would certainly think that trend will reverse and start heading up."
The first Maes ad began running on local TV stations in recent days, Strauch says. The commercial -- see it below -- is an ultra-simple pitch, with Maes talking to the camera amid family photos and graphics seen over a fluttering American flag. "It's very straight-forward, issues-oriented and positive," Strauch points out, stressing the last word as a way of contrasting the message's tone with Tancredo's advertising approach.
"Dan has used a number of colorful adjectives to describe Tom's campaigning," Strauch acknowledges. "He believes it does no good for the state of Colorado to attack a fellow conservative. That's not a level he's going to stoop to."
Maes has been buying spots on KNUS radio, too. But Strauch concedes that the expansion of the current ad plan is contingent on fundraising. During the most recent reporting period, Maes brought in just over $28,000 -- good for him, but well below Tancredo's $148,671 and Hickenlooper's $361,200.
Still, Strauch says the early reaction to the ad has helped rally the troops, including those of the Tea Party persuasion. Yesterday, the Tancredo campaign put out a release boasting that Tea Party leaders are rallying to the Tanc's cause -- and Tancredo's Tea Party-sponsored event at DU this past weekend was certainly well-attended. But Strauch insists that Maes continues to be the life of this particular party.
Attendees at Tom Tancredo's Tea Party event at DU on Saturday.
"In the past few weeks, whatever Tea Party support Dan lost has started to come back after the Kansas Bureau of Investigation articles," he maintains, referencing documents released pertaining to Maes's firing as a Kansas cop in 1985. "A number of those individuals are back in the fold, and his Tea Party support has actually gotten stronger over the past few weeks."
Would Maes consider using the fear of the Republicans being branded as a minor party as a way to get the GOP faithful to vote for him?
"That's not even on his radar," Strauch insists. "He's focused on issues. That's what he talks to people about, and that's where he's going to continue to focus."
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Page down to see Maes's new commercial, as well as the Tancredo campaign release touting his Tea Party support.
Tancredo campaign press release:
Tea Party Leadership Endorses Tancredo
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO -- More than 30 tea party leaders and grassroots activists from across Colorado today announced their endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, adding their names to a rapidly growing list of conservatives supporting the former Republican Congressman.
"The prospect of having Mayor John Hickenlooper win the governorship of the State of Colorado is unacceptable to us," said Bob Marshall, secretary of Hear Us Now! "Colorado citizens need assurance that we are doing the best we can to support a solid and winning conservative candidate to represent us in the Colorado State Capitol. Based on polling trends and the direction that the governor's race has taken over the course of the last several weeks, we firmly believe that candidate Tom Tancredo represents Colorado's best choice in this race. We strongly urge you to add your support to ours -- for the sake of Colorado."
The following grassroots activists have endorsed Tom Tancredo for governor of Colorado. Their endorsements reflect their personal views and do not represent in any way the memberships or organizations to which they belong.
--Brian Campbell, co-organizer, first Denver Tea Party rally 2/27/09, co-organizer of the 2009 Denver Tax Day Tea Party, co-founder, Hear Us Now!, and former Republican candidate for CD-7
--Jenny Hatch, opening speaker for the first Denver Tea Party rally 2/27/09 and organizer of the Constitution Tea Party
--Keith Peterson, chairman and co-founder, Hear Us Now! (organizers of the 2009 and 2010 Denver Tax Day Tea Parties)
--Charles Patricoff, vice-chairman, Hear Us Now!
--Robert Marshall, secretary, Hear Us Now!
--Craig Jones, treasurer, Hear Us Now!
--Nancy McKiernan, founder, Tea Party Brewing
--Patricia Bechtoldt, co-organizer, Genesee Conservatives
--Maria Fullinwider, co-organizer, Genesee Conservatives
--Margo Knutson, co-founder/developer, Coffee4Conservatives
--Mitch Knutson, co-founder, Coffee4Conservatives
--Crista Huff, political teacher/writer
--Kathy Baker, co-organizer, The Original Colorado Tea Party, former co-organizer, Evergreen/Conifer Tea Party
--Grace Charree, co-organizer, The Original Colorado Tea Party, and organizer of the Rocky Mountain Tea Party
--Annette Cole, co-organizer, Rocky Mountain Tea Party
--Abigail Keating, organizer, Clear Creek Tea Party
--Virginia Young, founder, Broomfield 912, founder and co-organizer, In God We Trust 912
--Jen Raiffie, conservative activist and Adams County Republican precinct committee person
--Marla Gillespie, co-organizer, In God We Trust 912, member Denver/Front Range 912
--Francesca Subramanian, co-founder and board member of a local liberty group
--Guy Pacot, grassroots activist
--Katherine Vitale, conservative grassroots activist
--Nancy Wenlock, grassroots activist
--Mick and Vickie Murray, Tancredo area captains for North El Paso County and grassroots activists in the conservative movement
--Rob Timmons, grassroots activist
--Brian Pike, co-founder and former president of Revive Our American Republic (ROAR)
--Leslie White, grassroots activist
--John Ransom, former Douglas County GOP chair and grassroots activist
--Brian Wilson, grassroots activist
--Phil and Marge North, tea partiers from Evergreen