DENVER — Democrats really don’t want former Rep. Bob Beauprez to win this month’s Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary, so they’re hitting the airwaves with television ads aimed at boosting his nearest rival, former Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Protect Colorado Values, a Democrat-backed 527 committee, released a reverse-psychology ad Thursday in the Denver media market that declares Mr. Tancredo is “too conservative for Colorado” because he’s “still one of the country’s strongest opponents of Obamacare.”
The Affordable Care Act, of course, is hugely unpopular in Colorado, especially among Republicans. The primary election is June 24.
Colorado Republican Party chair Ryan Call condemned the ads, accusing “liberal special interest groups” of trying to manipulate the primary outcome and reminding voters that all four gubernatorial candidates oppose Obamacare.
“The reason they’re running these ads is obvious: they want to avoid a legitimate challenge to John Hickenlooper in November,” said Mr. Beauprez in a statement. “I plan to give him all the challenge he can handle.”
The same Democratic group is also running an anti-Beauprez ad that criticizes the former congressman for supporting “spending bills” while “the national debt ballooned $2 trillion,” a message obviously designed to resonate with conservatives.
A Magellan Strategies poll released Tuesday by the Beauprez campaign shows Mr. Tancredo with a two-point lead over Mr. Beauprez in the four-candidate primary. Also running are Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp.
Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said the Democrats’ goal is “to get not only what they perceive as the weakest candidate against Hickenlooper, but also the candidate that could potentially in their view cause the most damage and be the easiest to attack.”
Complete Colorado reports that Protect Colorado Values has invested $89,000 in running the ads on one Denver television station alone, and has contracted to air the spots on another station.
“I personally believe it is totally unethical, but it’s obviously not illegal, nor is it unique,” said Mr. Ciruli.
The only Republican who seems to like the television ads is Mr. Tancredo, apart from the line that calls him “too conservative for Colorado.”
“With the exception of the last observation in that ad, everything else they said about me was accurate in terms of my opinion about Obamacare,” said Mr. Tancredo. “So I’m pretty amazed, excited. In fact, we could cut out that last little phrase and run it ourselves. But why should I? They’re paying hundreds of thousands to do so.”