Continued from page 1

“You want to impose your personal choice and will over the will of the people. You are subverting the process and our will. This is the opposite of the liberty movement and what we are about,” 21 groups said in a July 25 open letter to Mr. Tancredo.

Mr. Ciruli estimated that Mr. Tancredo and the Republican nominee would split the Republican vote, with each taking about 20 percent of the total. That would leave as much as 60 percent for Mr. Hickenlooper.

The additional problem for state Republicans is that even if Mr. Tancredo runs as a third-party candidate, his close association with the party still could affect GOP candidates.

“He won’t be on the ticket, but everybody knows who he is and he’ll get a lot of coverage,” Mr. Ciruli said.

Mr. Wadhams agreed: “He would be a liability for every candidate in the Republican Party,” he said Sunday.