This weekend, the Denver Post shared polling data showing Democrat John Hickenlooper holding a "comfy" ten-point lead over main challenger Tom Tancredo in the governor's race.
But Tancredo operations manager Cliff Dodge rejects that, dismissing the Post's survey as "totally inaccurate" and citing a different poll showing Tanc just three points back.
Why does Dodge doubt the Post's results, which show Hickenlooper with 49 percent support to Tancredo's 39 percent, with Republican Dan Maes getting just 9 percent? Because, he says, "they're not releasing the crosstabs," which the Scarborough Research service defines as "the cross referencing or comparison of two variables (such as product usage and demographics) to determine how they are interrelated." He adds, "They're obviously hiding something, which is fine -- but we don't believe it for a second. We believe we're right there, and we think election day will prove it."
More to Dodge's liking is a survey from Public Policy Polling, an organization the Tancredo campaign describes as "left-leaning." That poll gives Hickenlooper 47 percent and Tancredo 44 percent -- meaning Tanc is within the margin of error.
And Maes? He registers just 5 percent. Does that mean Maes's determination to stay in the race is irrelevant at this point?
"He's not going to drop out, so it really doesn't matter," Dodge responds. "Dan Maes is Dan Maes, and there are still some people who are going to pull the ticket for whoever's got the 'R' behind his name. We know that. But we're going to win in spite of it."
Nonetheless, Dodge feels the Tancredo campaign has made progress when it comes to convincing voters who've always cast their ballots for the Republican nominee that it's okay to side with his guy, who's officially running under the American Constitution Party banner.
"Even though there are different initials behind his name, Tom is still the only conservative and the only real Republican in this race," Dodge maintains. "People are seeing that. And I also think some people have come to the realization that a vote for Maes is a vote for Hickenlooper, and they're not going to do that."
The Tancredo camp is also touting the endorsement of Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer. Members of Tea Party organizations and other Liberty Movement groups have been the backbone of Maes's support since the beginning, so this nod indicates a further deterioration of his base. Still, Dodge doesn't believe Tea Party backing was truly responsible for Maes capturing the Republican nomination a few months back. The real reason, he believes, is "the implosion of Scott McInnis, and the $500,000 that the Democratic gubernatorial campaign spent to defeat Scott McInnis, which handed the nomination to Dan Maes."
In any event, Dodge credits Tea Party types jumping on the Tancredo bandwagon for helping to fuel a major momentum shift. But that doesn't mean Tanc will be able to go commercial-for-commercial with Hickenlooper during the campaign's final week.
"He bought all his ads earlier, and we're still trying to raise money," he concedes. "Whatever money we raise, we'll probably put into advertising -- but in that regard, it's still David versus Goliath. So we'll do what we can do, and we're just going to count on the good judgment of the voters."
Look below to see Tancredo campaign releases about the Public Policy Polling survey and Kremer's endorsement:
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Tancredo for Governor releases:
Another Poll Shows Tancredo in Statistical Dead Heat with Hickenlooper
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO -- A poll released today by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling group shows conservative independent Tom Tancredo within three points of John Hickenlooper. This poll follows two others showing Tancredo in a statistical dead heat with the tax-and-spend liberal Denver Mayor.
"All of the recent polls in this race continue to show the Mayor's lead shrinking and momentum building for Tom's independent, grass-roots campaign," said Bay Buchanan, "What looked like a walk in the park for Hick two months ago is shaping up to be one of the closest contests Colorado has ever seen."
In the poll, Hickenlooper received 47 percent support and Tancredo garnered 44 percent, while the beleagured and scandal-plagued GOP nominee Dan Maes' support slipped to a mere 5 percent. The poll has a +/- 3.4 percent margin of error.
Public Policy Polling noted that the Governor's race now appears to be a toss-up and that Hickenlooper "looks extremely vulnerable."
Tea Party Express Chairman Endorses Tom Tancredo
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO -- Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express, today endorsed conservative independent Tom Tancredo for Governor.
"I feel that Tancredo is the most viable option to return Colorado to a fiscally conservative state," said Kremer "He's always stood on constitutional principles, and that is what's important to the people of this tea party movement."
Prior to overseeing the Tea Party Express, Kremer founded the Atlanta Tea Party and the Tea Party Patriots, and helped coordinate the 2009 Tax Day Tea Party.
"It is time for Republican Dan Maes to end his campaign, endorse Mr. Tancredo, and do what is right and best for the people of Colorado," added Kremer.
Tancredo's support from the tea party movement has surged in recent weeks as tea party groups have pulled their support of scandal-plagued GOP candidate Dan Maes. The Western Slope Conservative Alliance last week sent a letter to Maes calling on him to drop out of the Governor's race and stand behind Tancredo. In addition, Revive Our American Republic and the Evergreen/Conifer Tea Party have rescinded their endorsements of Dan Maes following revelations about Maes' campaign finance violations and resume padding.
Kremer's endorsement has been added to a list of Tea Party organizers throughout the state and nation endorsing Tom Tancredo for Governor of Colorado.
More from our Politics archive: "John Hickenlooper going negative?: Cites Tom Tancredo's bomb-Mecca line and flamboyance."