Update: Moments ago, 9News formally declared that Governor John Hickenlooper has been reelected. Some votes still are yet to be counted, but the station, as well as the Denver Post, has determined that challenger Bob Beauprez will fall short of victory. Continue for our previous coverage of election day 2014.
Original post, 5:36 a.m.: If you thought you'd wake up knowing the name of Colorado's next governor, you were wrong. Incumbent John Hickenlooper spent much of election night trailing Republican challenger Bob Beauprez during what was otherwise a GOP shithammering of the Dems. But Hickenlooper took the lead late and continues to hold it at this writing, albeit by much too small a margin to ensure victory.
On election night, campaigns tend to send out a blizzard of press releases, be they boastful or loaded with spin. In contrast, both the Hickenlooper and Beauprez camps have been unusually quiet. The most recent post on Hickenlooper's Facebook page went up yesterday morning....
...and the latest Beauprez tweet was sent around the same time:
"We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage." -Theodore Roosevelt
— Bob Beauprez (@bobbeauprez) November 4, 2014
Since then, the Hickenlooper forces have fought to avoid being swept away in a flood of Republican votes that saw wins for Representative Mike Coffman, new Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Treasurer Walker Stapleton, incoming Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and, most notably, Cory Gardner, who ousted Senator Mark Udall (and became a key part of the new Republican majority in the U.S. Senate) via a contest that proved a lot less competitive than Dem operatives hoped.
Gardner's victory is being ascribed in many quarters to intangibles, including his likability in comparison to Udall. Even progressive champion Rachel Maddow commented on Gardner's easy smile as compared to Udall's dourness -- and when Udall responded by grinning more in the campaign's waning days, the results were more than a little crazoid. Witness this pic from the Udall campaign's Facebook page:
Beauprez, for his part, isn't blessed with Gardner's easy charm, and his approach to undermining Hickenlooper, epitomized by an ad featuring this image.... ...reminded lotsa observers of old-school scare-the-public tactics utilized in his 2006 battle against Bill Ritter, which he lost handily.
Beauprez's support this time around was much stronger, but at last count, he was trailing, as seen in this 9News graphic tweeted a short time ago by correspondent Brandon Rittiman:
— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) November 5, 2014
Another piece of potential good news for Hickenlooper: One of the counties still counting ballots is Boulder. This tweet from the Boulder County Clerk's office....
Still here, still counting ballots. Latest returns at: http://t.co/CBgwB6ZCHV
— Boulder County Clerk (@BoCoClerk) November 5, 2014
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...was b lasted into the ether at 4:33 a.m. As for the latest results there, they show, predictably, that Boulderites whose votes have been tallied thus far have backed Hickenlooper over Beauprez by a large margin:
That said, declaring a winner at this point is a fool's game. Final figures aren't expected for hours. The results will determine if Hickenlooper has survived the toughest challenge of his political career, or if he'll have to start thinking about clearing out his office.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.