Rocky Mountain High
Ross Kaminski calls it "an earthquake" here in Colorado. Read:
Rep. Cory Gardner, a second-term Republican from the small town of Yuma on Colorado’s eastern plains, announced (or at least it was reported that he was about to announce) his intention to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Udall rather than seek an essentially certain re-election. [Update: Gardner made it official at an announcement in Denver on Saturday morning.]
Gardner’s move puts Udall, already struggling against barely-known Republicans, in a position where the next polls will likely show him losing his seat to the quarter-century-younger Gardner.
As is typical of Colorado Republican politics lately, the Republican field contending for the Senate seat was, while not a complete disaster, an uninspiring group of at least seven candidates, most of whom had little name recognition and even less money.
Better yet, Ken Buck -- aka "Rocky Mountain Akin!" -- announced he was dropping out of the GOP primary.
There aren't a whole lot of people out on the Eastern Plains, but they have been abused and neglected by Denver and the Democrats, and they will turn out to vote in this off-year election. I imagine Gardner will have an easy time ginning up similar support in the western part of the state (minus certain ski areas) and he has a lock here in El Paso County.
The PPR has the odds of a GOP takeover now at just over 58%, and that's a three-point bump in just two weeks. I emailed Tom Dougherty to ask if the bump factored in the Gardner-Buck switcharoo, but the news broke too late for him to include in his numbers. Tom and Rothenberg both had COSEN as Likely Dem before the earthquake.
Since the absurd is my beat, I'd be remiss if I didn't also link to Tom's roundup of absurd primary campaigns in Texas and elsewhere and in both parties. Although I contend it isn't fair to pick on Steve Stockman when he's proven to be so endlessly entertaining.
But back to the main point, which has given me positive feelings towards the Colorado GOP for the first time in a decade.