Wadhams wisdom



Dick Wadhams has a point.
  • Dick Wadhams has a point.
I saw an article on the Colorado Independent this morning that offered a fascinating theory: Colorado GOP chair Dick Wadhams is right.

Wadhams, you might recall, recently dropped his bid for another term. One might assume his move was related to the embarrassment that was the November election. But, no. Not exactly, anyway.

Wadhams said he was sick of Colorado Republicans nominating extreme candidates that can't win over independent voters — and therefore can't win statewide elections. Wadhams says it was this trend — and not his job performance — that led to the November disaster in which Republicans lost their bid for a U.S. Senate seat and the governor's mansion despite a conservative surge.

Listen, Wadhams kind of has a point. There was little question that Wadhams was not a fan of Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes — a tea party favorite, campaign money-dipper, and far-right whack job. But the conservatives chose Maes, and there was nothing Wadhams could do about it.

After his announcement, Wadhams predicted that if Colorado conservatives continue to nominate extreme right candidates, they'll lose Colorado all together. And here's where that Colorado Independent story comes in. Turns out, Public Policy Polling recently did a study that all but proves Wadhams is right.

Here's a sample of the Colorado Independent's article (PPP's Tom Jensen is referenced):

Asked to choose between a moderate Republican and Democratic President Barack Obama, vilified as a big-government liberal and a socialist by Tea Partiers almost since his inauguration, Obama wins by 6 points in Colorado. Against a conservative Tea Party candidate, however, Obama’s spread doubles to 12 points.

As Jensen puts it, the difference is particularly dramatic among independent voters, where Obama leads against a moderate Republican by 10 points but sails ahead of a Tea Party conservative by a whopping 24 points.

Jensen explains that those numbers demonstrate that “a lot of independents in the state are open to voting Republican next year but they’re not going to if there’s an ultra conservative nominee.”

Problem in Colorado is that Republican voters here don’t want moderate candidates. Jensen reports that 66 percent want to nominate a conservative candidate and only 25 percent want to nominate a moderate.

That 66 percent of Republicans working to nominate a strong conservative candidate will be alone in voting for that man or woman.

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