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Michael Hancock and Chris Romer are locked in a political game of Survivor

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At 8 a.m. yesterday, Michael Hancock was going mano-a-mano against Chris Romer in the first debate of the mayoral runoff. Twelve hours later, he was pressing the flesh at a packed Cinco de Mayo party at Lola. And his day wasn't done yet: After months of slogging through the political equivalent of Survivor, the last two candidates are looking at a thirty-day sprint.

And they're not just running from event to event. They're looking for endorsements (Theresa Spahn just came out for Romer yesterday), looking for money, looking for any sign that the city is getting interested in a race so tight that just 1,600 votes separated the two frontrunners.

The revelers at Lola -- quite a contrast compared to the Denver Partnership crowd at the morning debate -- showed signs of getting engaged, now that voters only need to focus on two candidates, rather than ten. The bartender who had no idea who he'd vote for, even whether he'd vote, when I'd met him on a plane ten days ago had boned up on the candidates in the interim. The University of Denver students who'd caught a debate at school a few weeks ago were thrilled to suddenly see Hancock in their midst.

He picked up a couple votes with this drop by. Just another 50,000 or so to go... in a thirty-day marathon.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Denver mayor's race to turn on Latino vote? Women's vote? Denver does not vote by bloc..."

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