And our Shmuck of the Year winner is...

All he had to do was not say something stupid and it's possible that we would now be getting ready to inaugurate Scott McInnis Colorado's next governor. After all, the Republican surge -- led by the anti-Obama Tea Party segment -- turned the elections into a near-bloodbath for Democratic candidates across the country.

But McInnis did say something stupid.

Or rather, wrote something stupid.

No, check that again. It's what he didn't write that got him into trouble. And the plagiarism scandal that cost McInnis the Republican nomination for governor and turned the race into a three-ring circus nearly cost the GOP its major party status in Colorado as well.

Frustration with McInnis may have also hurt Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck as well, who lost to appointed incumbent Michael Bennet. The result was a one-two Democratic punch in the face of the national trend this year.

And for that, Scott McInnis is our Shmuck of the Year.

Now it's onto our Shmuck of the Year readers' poll: By an overwhelming majority, taking in 39 percent of the vote was write-in nominee, Colorado state Senator Chris Romer, who helped craft the state's new medical marijuana laws. Judging by the wave of votes for Romer, we're guessing that his critics got out the vote.

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