The Denver Post called it the most bizarre gubernatorial campaign in state history. Indeed.
In the end, Democrat John Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver, cruised to victory with a large margin. But it all could have gone very differently.
Republican Dan Maes’ campaign was a complete disaster. After knocking of the GOP favorite Scot McInnis, who became mired in a plaigarism scandal, Maes is on track to earn less than 10% of the vote, which would hand the GOP “minority party status” in upcoming elections. This would kick the Republican Party lower on subsequent ballots, relegating it to the land of the Green and Libertarian parties. Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo appeared to be filling the void in recent weeks, even earning a last-minute endorsement from Sarah Palin. Tancredo, known for his fierce opposition to illegal immigration, appeared – in a way – to be riding a wave of voter anger sweeping the country this year.
It was not to be. Hickenlooper may have won without Tancredo in the contest, but as with the 2009 race in the NY-23, the third party in the race ended up being a spoiler for the right.