Tom Tancredo’s Chances Improve In Colorado Governor’s Race

Perhaps this year’s most intriguing gubernatorial contest is in Colorado, which had once looked safe for the Democratic nominee, Mayor John Hickenlooper of Denver. A series of recent polls, however, have shown sharp gains by Tom Tancredo, the former Republican Congressman, who is running on the ticket of the American Constitution Party.

Mr. Tancredo’s campaign had once seemed little more than a curiosity, his support starting out in the low 20s in polls, and having dropped to as low as 9 percent in a one survey in late August. Typically, once a third party candidate’s numbers decline into the single digits or the low teens, they have little hope of coming back.

Mr. Tancredo had the good fortune, however, of being on the ballot alongside an exceptionally marginal Republican nominee in Dan Maes. Mr. Maes had never earned more than 33 percent of the vote in any given survey. About a month ago, the standing of the two candidates crossed in the polls — perhaps as conservative Coloradans realized that Mr. Tancredo’s chances against Mr. Hickenlooper, while not strong, were no worse than Mr. Maes’s.

What all the pollsters agree upon is that Mr. Tancredo has continued to gain ground since then. They disagree, however, on exactly how much of a threat he represents to Mr. Hickenlooper.

But the race clearly has many singular qualities to it, and the 17 percent chances the model assigns to Mr. Tancredo seems like a reasonable hedge.

CivicForumPAC has been monitoring this race since the hard fought GOP gubernatorial primary in the Centennial State.

Read more from Nate Silver at The New York Times

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