Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010

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Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010

← 2006 November 2, 2010 2014 →
  HickenlooperCropped.JPG Tom Tancredo, official Congressional photo.jpg Dan Maes.jpg
Nominee John Hickenlooper Tom Tancredo Dan Maes
Party Democratic Constitution Republican
Running mate Joseph Garcia Pat Miller Tambor Williams
Popular vote 912,005 651,232 199,034
Percentage 51.0% 36.4% 11.1%

County results

Governor before election

Bill Ritter

Elected Governor

John Hickenlooper

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. John Hickenlooper won the race with over 50% of the vote.[1] Incumbent Democratic Governor Bill Ritter announced that he would not run for re-election in 2010.[2] Dan Maes claimed 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 Constitution Party candidate and former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo to "stop your campaign tonight." John Hickenlooper was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Democratic primary



Republican primary



Republican primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Maes 196,283 50.7
Republican Scott McInnis 190,907 49.3
Total votes 387,253 100


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.'"[13] 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.'"[14] 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."[15] Post-primary polling (see below), however, has shown 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 Maes (R) Scott McInnis (R)
Public Policy Polling August 7–8, 2010 40% 41%
Survey USA August 1, 2010 43% 39%
Survey USA June 15–17, 2010 29% 57%

Libertarian Party



Libertarian primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Jaimes Brown 1,423 63.9
Libertarian Dan Sallis 803 36.1
Total votes 2,226 100

American Constitution Party


General election


  • Tom Tancredo (ACP)
    • For Lt. Governor: Former State Rep. Pat Miller
  • Jaimes Brown (L)
    • For Lt. Governor: Ken Wyble
  • Jason R. Clark (UAF)
  • Paul Fiorino (I)
    • For Lt. Governor: Heather McKibbin
  • John Hickenlooper (D)
  • Dan Maes (R)
    • For Lt. Governor: Former State Rep. Tambor Williams

Polling and predictions

Poll source Dates administered John Hickenlooper (D) Dan Maes (R) Tom Tancredo (ACP)
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%
45% 45% ––
Rasmussen Reports August 11, 2010 43% 31% 18%
Public Policy Polling August 7–8, 2010 48% 23% 22%
50% 38% ––
Rasmussen Reports August 2, 2010 42% 27% 24%
Survey USA July 27–29, 2010 46% 24% 24%
50% 41% ––
Rasmussen Reports July 15, 2010 46% 43% ––
Survey USA June 15–17, 2010 44% 45% ––
Rasmussen Reports June 14, 2010 41% 41% ––


Source Ranking As of
Cook Political Report Lean D[19] November 1, 2010
Rothenberg D favored[20] October 31, 2010
RealClearPolitics Leans D[21] October 31, 2010
Sabato's Crystal Ball Leans D[22] October 28, 2010
CQ Politics Leans D[23] November 1, 2010
Rasmussen Reports Leans D[24] November 1, 2010

General election results

Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Hickenlooper 912,005 51.01% -5.97%
Constitution Tom Tancredo 651,232 36.43% +35.80%
Republican Dan Maes 199,034 11.13% -29.03%
Libertarian Jaimes Brown 13,314 0.74% -0.75%
Independent Jason R. Clark 8,576 0.48%
Independent Paul Fiorino 3,483 0.19%
Write-ins 86 0.00%
Majority 260,773 14.59% -2.24%
Turnout 1,787,730
Democratic hold Swing

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, the American Constitution Party's vote share in the 2010 gubernatorial election elevated the 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.[26][27]

The Colorado Republican Party maintained its major party status, as Maes won 11% of the vote.

See also


  1. Moore, John (November 3, 2010). "Hickenlooper wins easily". Denver Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The New York Times Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  3. Bartels, Lynn (2010-01-12). "Hickenlooper enters governor's race". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kraushaar, Josh (2010-01-12). "Hickenlooper in – The Scorecard". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Wilson, Reid (2008-12-08). "Salazar, Ritter get set for reelection bids". The Hill. Retrieved 2009-01-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Weisman, Jonathan (2010-01-06). "Salazar Won't Run". Politico 44 (blog). Retrieved 2010-01-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bartels, Lynn (2009-09-16). "Romanoff enters Dem race for U.S. Senate". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Fender, Jessica (May 21, 2009). "McInnis begins 2010 challenge to Gov. Ritter". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Crummy, Karen E. (2009-01-26). "Suthers won't enter Senate, Gov. races". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "First Read – CO-GOV: Penry steps aside fearing 527". Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Tancredo, Owens Throw Support Behind McInnis". CBS4 Denver. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-01-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "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.
  14. "Tancredo pulls third-party trigger", by David Caterese,, 7/26/10 12:01 PM EDT. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
  15. "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.
  16. "Candidates – Libertarian Party of Colorado". Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "TRACER – Candidate Detail". Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Crummy, Karen E. (2010-07-22). "Tancredo considering third-party or unaffiliated governor's run". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Senate". Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Senate Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Battle for the Senate". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "2010 Senate Ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Race Ratings Chart: Senate". CQ Politics. Retrieved November 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Election 2010: Senate Balance Of Power". Rasmussen Reports. Retrieved November 2, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Steven K. Paulson, "ACP Not Relishing Role As Colorado Major Party", Associated Press; May 8, 2011.
  27. Patricia Calhoun, "American Constitution Party faces major headaches as a major Colorado party", Westword Magazine; 3/6/2012.

External links

Official campaign websites