Governor’s Race Could Cost Colorado GOP Ballot Access

According to the latest polls, the third-party candidacy of Tom Tancredo for Colorado Governor has pretty much turned the official Republican candidate for Governor into a non-entity:

As you can see,  Dan Maes, the Republican candidate is currently below 10% in the poll averages. In some polls, he’s already below 5%. And that, is where the Colorado Republican Party could end up with a massive problem:

A poor showing for Maes Nov. 2 could have serious implications for the Republican Party in Colorado. If the candidate fails to garner at least 10 percent of the vote, Republicans could be relegated to minor party status for the next two election cycles, meaning they would appear lower on the ballot and could only receive half as much in donations as Democrats.

In some sense, the Colorado GOP is getting what it deserves here. Maes is a nutty candidate (perhaps even nuttier than Tancredo) and  he’s run a horrible campaign. Republican voters had a choice in the primary and for some bizarre reason they picked Maes. Now, it looks like it’s going to cost them more than the Governor’s Mansion.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ballot access laws are only for parties that aren’t Democrat or Republican. Assuming the law isn’t just outright ignored (as it has been in other states), it’ll just be changed by the state legislature to allow the Republicans back in.

    Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, the state GOP has once against successfully sued to keep the Libertarian Party candidates for governor and senator off the ballots.

  2. Herb says:

    I think the danger of this happening has been vastly overstated. The Colorado Republican Party is a joke, but despite their bungling leaders and poor candidates, the Republican Party isn’t going anywhere in this state.

  3. Trumwill says:

    I’m of a mixed mind on this. On the one hand, everyone knew what the rules were when this election started and I don’t like changing rules to fit specific situations. On the other hand, this is a pretty bad rule that needs to be changed. Going based on the governor’s race alone can really distort the overall picture of what parties are major and which are minor.

  4. MM says:

    Republican voters had a choice in the primary and for some bizarre reason they picked Maes

    To be fair, they had a choice between Maes and a plagiarist who claimed that he had a record of charitable giving that would make nearly every other politician in this state look like Scrooge. When asked to back up this claim, he was able to say that he once gave elk meat to a hungry person (who you don’t know, so don’t go asking around or anything. He was probably from Canada, anyway). It’s not like they had any good options.

  5. Efbandy says:

    And the lack of good options is due to the machinations of GOP boss Dick Wadhams. He ran off all other candidates. And now the chickens have come home to roost. If the GOP can’t get fresh blood after this debacle, it deserves permanent minority status. Mean time I’ll vote for the lunatic over the grifter and the likable lefty.

  6. Ben says:

    Yeah, believe me, they’ll just fix this after the fact. Rules are only for thee, never for me. I’m sure they’ll find a way for the rules to still apply to the libertarian party, though.

  7. Pennsylvania requires third party and independent candidates to collect 67,000 “valid” signatures to get someone on the ballot.

    And in practice what happens is that whichever major party is most likely to lose voters to you will send people to deliberately make fask signatures on your petitions, and then take you to court on the basis of the invalid signatures they themselves put there. Democrats take out the Green party, Republicans take out the Libertarian and Constitutional parties.

    And since we have elected judges who depend on campaign endorsements from the major parties, they go along with this charade to protect their own campaigns.