Olivéa tonight and was having such a nice time that I ignored a call on my cell. That call turned out to be a reporter asking me my opinion on Gov. Ritter's withdrawal from his reelection race.
So, no, I don't really have much info on this, but glancing around the web, it appears that no one else does yet, either. I suppose everyone is waiting for Ritter's official statement tomorrow.
Suffice it to say that his reelection prospects weren't great. Not dismal, but it was looking tough for him. McInnis has been ahead in the polls, it's a tough year for Dems all around, and Ritter has alienated some key supporters. Generally, I'd say that a party will have a harder time holding a seat if their incumbent retires. But in this case I'm not sure. The mood across the country has been pretty strongly anti-incumbent of late. An untainted Dem might have a better shot.
Now, who will that untainted Dem be? ColoradoPols seems to be leaning Hickenlooper, although it seems like Romanoff jumping over to this race and leaving Bennet unmolested for the Senate nomination might be a win-win.
This is only the latest in a series of odd developments in Colorado:
Why did Bill Ritter have no serious opposition for the 2006 nomination?
Why did Obama pick Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior?
Why did Ritter pick Michael Bennet as Salazar's replacement?
None of these moves made any sense to me.
Ritter's clear path to the 2006 Dem nomination was really a party elite story. They cleared the field for him.
I'm not totally sure why Obama went with Salazar for Interior, but I think he wanted to repay Colorado and bring a lot of Coloradoans into the administration. With a Dem governor, the seat would stay Democratic, and on the merits, Salazar was a reasonably good choice for the job.
I remain deeply puzzled about the Bennet pick.
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