Scott McInnis appears to have lost the Republican primary in the Governor's race in Colorado. McInnis lagged behind top line candidate Dan Maes by more than a percentage point with 94% of the vote counted. This lead is unlikely to be reversed when the count is done.
Democrat John Hickenlooper, currently Denver's Mayor, is the unopposed Democratic candidate. Former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, known for his anti-immigration stances and intemperate public comments, is running as the candidate of the American Constitution Party. In a three way race, polling shows Hickenlooper winning by a landslide, with Maes and Tancredo receiving roughly equal support from the remaining voters.
Unless Maes can be convinced to end his run for office, and the replacement chosen by a GOP vacancy committee convinces Tancredo to drop out of the race, the Republicans have no realistic chance of winning. Conventional wisdom has it that McInnis would have been more likely to drop out than Maes, although I am not so confident that Maes will be so steadfast.
Dan Maes is famous for claiming that Denver's bike rental program is a United Nations conspiracy to take over America. He claimed he was a successful businessman, and then revealed that his profits were so low that his family fell under the poverty line. He was heavily fined for violating Colorado's campaign finance laws and dismissed the offense as insignificant. The Denver Post has gone apoplectic editorializing repeatedly that Maes is not fit to be Colorado's next Governor. There are city council candidates who have been more successful at raising campaign funds than Maes has, and his latest tinfoil conspiracy accusations have no doubt further dried up that cash pipeline.
It also bears mentioning that Hickenlooper is one of the most impressive Democratic candidates in the state and has a strong track record as Denver's Mayor.
The utter hopelessness of Dan Maes general election campaign could be the saving grace for the Colorado Republican Party. While Scott McInnis might successfully fool himself into thinking that decent fundraising before plagiarism scandal, his past electoral successes running for Congress, and his routine dealings with elected officials as a lobbyist, might give him some false hope in the general election race for Governor, Dan Maes has fewer fact to support his delusions of grandeur. He's never been elected to anything, and faces an insurmountable barrier.
But, if he and Tom Tancredo could agree on a candidate, they could probably come up with a way to get that candidate to replace Maes on the Republican party ticket, and the next best thing to being king (which isn't an option for Maes or Tancredo in this case) is to be a kingmaker.
This still shouldn't give Republicans much hope. Starting a campaign in late August or early September from nothing against a strong general election opponent is never easy. And, the sort of candidate that Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo could agree upon is unlikely to be in the mainstream of Colorado politics. But, because the prospects for Dan Maes in this race are so clearly bleak, he may yet drop out and try to let his party to make a Hail Mary attempt to win the race.