2010 Colorado gubernatorial election
Hickenlooper: 30–40% 40–50% 50–60% 60–70% 70–80%
Tancredo: 30–40% 40–50% 50–60% 60–70%
|Elections in Colorado|
The 2010 Colorado gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 to elect the Governor of Colorado, who would serve a four-year term that began in January 2011. One-term incumbent Democrat Bill Ritter announced that he would not run for re-election in 2010. Dan Maes, backed by the Tea Party movement, won the Republican nomination in the primary with 50.6% of the vote and a 1.3% margin over rival Scott McInnis. In claiming victory, Maes called on former representative Tom Tancredo, running as the Constitution Party's nominee to "stop your campaign tonight." Denver mayor John Hickenlooper was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Hickenlooper won the race with over 50% of the vote.
- Bill Ritter, incumbent Governor
- Ken Salazar, United States Secretary of the Interior and former U.S. Senator
- Andrew Romanoff, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives (ran for U.S. Senate)
- John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General
- Josh Penry, State Senator
- Tom Tancredo, former U.S. Representative
Pre-primary polling and developments
While a head-to-head polling matchup of McInnis against Maes by Survey USA was not reported for July 2010, the McInnis plagiarism story and the entry of Tom Tancredo into the race led to a changed landscape in advance of the August 10 Republican primary. "When asked who would be the 'strongest Republican gubernatorial candidate,' ... Tancredo easily led the pack of six choices with 29 percent. McInnis followed with 19 percent, and ... Maes, had 13 percent. Another 17 percent ... were not sure", in the Survey USA poll commissioned by the Denver Post and 9News. While Tancredo's run was on the Constitution Party ticket, he spoke as a Republican in responding to the poll results. "Tancredo, originally a McInnis supporter, has said that both Maes and McInnis should 'both eventually drop out' of the race even if it's after one wins the primary. 'Neither can win the general election,' he said. Tancredo said he was 'surprised and flattered' by the poll results. 'I want us as a party to get this governor's seat,' he said. 'If I can do it, believe me, I will.'" Tancredo was delivered a "message, signed by tea party, 9-12 Project and constitutionalist groups, [which] read in part: 'Withdraw your ultimatum, stay in the Republican Party, let the process play out for the governor's race within the rules already set forth, and continue to help us improve this party, its candidates, and the process — in other words to trust and respect the newly awakened, energized and informed voters of Colorado.'" As of late July, both McInnis and Maes had rejected Tancredo's ultimatum that they withdraw before or after the primary. And "political observers — and even state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams — were already predicting [Tancredo]'s entry into the race sounded the death knell for the party's gubernatorial bid and may cause problems for state legislative races. 'It's difficult if not impossible to beat ... Hickenlooper with Tancredo in the race,' said Wadhams, noting that Tancredo will siphon just enough votes away from the GOP nominee to give Hickenlooper a win." Post-primary polling (see below), however, showed growing support for Tancredo with Maes in danger of receiving a vote share in the single digits.
McInnis vs. Maes
|Poll source||Dates administered||Dan
|Public Policy Polling||August 7–8, 2010||40%||41%|
|Survey USA||August 1, 2010||43%||39%|
|Survey USA||June 15–17, 2010||29%||57%|
American Constitution Party
- Tom Tancredo (ACP), former Republican U.S. Representative
- Jaimes Brown (L)
- Running mate: Ken Wyble
- Jason R. Clark (UAF)
- Paul Fiorino (I)
- Running mate: Heather McKibbin
- John Hickenlooper (D), Mayor of Denver
- Dan Maes (R), businessman
- Running mate: Tambor Williams, former State Representative
|Cook Political Report||Likely D||October 14, 2010|
|Rothenberg||Lean D||October 28, 2010|
|RealClearPolitics||Tossup||November 1, 2010|
|Sabato's Crystal Ball||Likely D||October 28, 2010|
|CQ Politics||Tossup||October 28, 2010|
- Graphical summary
|Poll source||Dates administered||John
|Public Policy Polling||October 30–31, 2010||47%||8%||43%|
|Rasmussen Reports||October 29, 2010||49%||5%||42%|
|Public Policy Polling||October 21–23, 2010||47%||5%||44%|
|Magellan Strategies||October 22, 2010||44%||9%||43%|
|Rasmussen Reports||October 15, 2010||42%||12%||38%|
|Rasmussen Reports||October 3, 2010||43%||16%||35%|
|Public Policy Polling||September 30 – October 2, 2010||47%||13%||33%|
|Survey USA||September 28–30, 2010||46%||15%||34%|
|Fox News||September 25, 2010||44%||15%||34%|
|CNN/Time||September 17–21, 2010||47%||21%||29%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 14, 2010||46%||21%||25%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 29, 2010||36%||24%||14%|
|Ipsos/Reuters||August 20–22, 2010||41%||33%||16%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 11, 2010||43%||31%||18%|
|Public Policy Polling||August 7–8, 2010||48%||23%||22%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 2, 2010||42%||27%||24%|
|Survey USA[permanent dead link]||July 27–29, 2010||46%||24%||24%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 15, 2010||46%||43%||––|
|Survey USA||June 15–17, 2010||44%||45%||––|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 14, 2010||41%||41%||––|
|Independent||Jason R. Clark||8,601||0.48%||—|
|Independent||Paul Noel Fiorino||3,492||0.19%||—|
American Constitution Party gets major party status
A result of Tancredo's ACP candidacy and Maes' political implosion was the party's legal elevation from minor to major party status.
Under state law, Tancredo's showing in the gubernatorial election elevated the American Constitution Party from minor to major party status. Any party that earns 10% or more of the votes cast for governor is a "major party." Major party status gives the party a place at or near the top of the ballot in the 2014 gubernatorial election. However, because of the additional organizational, financial, and compliance requirements triggered by major party status, ACP leaders have been ambivalent about the change.
As the campaign wore on, the question was not whether Hickenlooper would win, but whether Maes would get at least 10% of the vote. Had he dropped below 10%, the Republican Party would have been legally defined as a minor party under Colorado law. Maes' campaign received no financial support from the Colorado GOP, RNC, nor the Republican Governor's Association. Ultimately, he finished with 11 percent of the vote, just 20,477 votes over the threshold, allowing the Colorado GOP to retain major party status.
The Constitution Party did not field a candidate in the 2014 election, and thus lost its major party status.
- Colorado Democratic Party
- Colorado Republican Party
- American Constitution Party
- Libertarian Party of Colorado
- Fender, Jessica (6 January 2010). "Ritter ends re-election bid". The Denver Post. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Moore, John (November 3, 2010). "Hickenlooper wins easily". Denver Post.
- Bartels, Lynn (2010-01-12). "Hickenlooper enters governor's race". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Kraushaar, Josh (2010-01-12). "Hickenlooper in – The Scorecard". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Wilson, Reid (2008-12-08). "Salazar, Ritter get set for reelection bids". The Hill. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Weisman, Jonathan (2010-01-06). "Salazar Won't Run". Politico 44 (blog). Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Bartels, Lynn (2009-09-16). "Romanoff enters Dem race for U.S. Senate". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "2010 Abstract of Votes Cast" (PDF). Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
- "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Fender, Jessica (May 21, 2009). "McInnis begins 2010 challenge to Gov. Ritter". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Crummy, Karen E. (2009-01-26). "Suthers won't enter Senate, Gov. races". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "First Read – CO-GOV: Penry steps aside fearing 527". Firstread.msnbc.msn.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "Tancredo, Owens Throw Support Behind McInnis". CBS4 Denver. 2009-11-23. Archived from the original on 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- "Poll shows slipping support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis", by Karen E. Crummy, The Denver Post, updated 2010-07-17 1:37:13 AM MDT. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
- "Tancredo pulls third-party trigger", by David Caterese, politico.com, 7/26/10 12:01 PM EDT. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
- "Tancredo entering governor's race as third-party candidate, splintering GOP", by Karen E. Crummy, The Denver Post, updated 27 July 2010 05:57:27 AM MDT. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
- "Candidates – Libertarian Party of Colorado". Lpcolorado.org. Archived from the original on 2010-07-25. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "TRACER – Candidate Detail". Tracer.sos.colorado.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Crummy, Karen E. (2010-07-22). "Tancredo considering third-party or unaffiliated governor's run". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "2010 Governors Race Ratings". Cook Political Report. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Governor Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "2010 Governor Races". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "THE CRYSTAL BALL'S FINAL CALLS". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Race Ratings Chart: Governor". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Gessler, Scott (2014). 2010 Abstract of Votes Cast (PDF). Denver, Colorado: Colorado Secretary of State.
- Steven K. Paulson, "ACP Not Relishing Role As Colorado Major Party", Associated Press; May 8, 2011.
- Patricia Calhoun, "American Constitution Party faces major headaches as a major Colorado party", Westword Magazine; 3/6/2012.
- John Moore, "Hickenlooper wins easily," Denver Post, 3 November 2010, accessed 3 November 2010.
- Colorado Secretary of State – Elections Division
- Colorado Governor Candidates at Project Vote Smart
- Campaign contributions for 2010 Colorado Governor from Follow the Money
- Colorado Governor 2010 from OurCampaigns.com
- 2010 Colorado Gubernatorial General Election: Dan Maes (R) vs John Hickenlooper (D) vs Tom Tancredo (i) graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com
- Election 2010: Colorado Governor from Rasmussen Reports
- 2010 Colorado Governor – McInnis vs. Hickenlooper from Real Clear Politics
- Race Profile in The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at Election 2010 at The Denver Post
- Official campaign websites (Archived)