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Mark Hillman’s Capitol Review - Will Republican Primary Voters Be Suckered Again?

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PICT Politician - Mark Hillman
Mark Hillman

Sometimes it seems Democrat strategists know the minds of Republicans better than Republicans know themselves.

Consider the current scheme by Democrats to spend millions to influence the Republican primary.

Organizations funded by Democrats are running ads to promote U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks and governor candidate Greg Lopez.  One of their favorite messages is that Hanks or Lopez is “too conservative for Colorado.”

Remember, they are intentionally sending this message to Republican voters.

I’ve heard or read Republicans respond:

  • “They may have intended these ads to be negative, but these ads gave me the information I needed to know that they ARE who I want to vote FOR!”
  • “I hear Republican positions that I agree with followed by ‘too conservative for Colorado.’  That makes me more likely to vote FOR them.”

That’s no surprise to Democrats.  In fact, it’s precisely what they want Republicans to do.

Telling Republicans that a candidate is “too conservative” is like telling a teenage boy that a girl is “too pretty” or a car is “too fast.”  Most Republicans naturally want to support the “conservative” candidate.

Democrats know this, too!

These aren’t really “attack” adds at all.  This is textbook reverse psychology intended to provoke Republicans to rally to the candidate being attacked. 

Yes, Democrats want Republicans to vote for Hanks and Lopez. 

Why?  Because Democrats know those two candidates will be weak opponents for their Democrat foes in November.  That’s why Democrats are spending more money in the Republican primary than all Republican campaigns combined.

A group called Democratic Colorado has spent $1.49 million to boost Hanks by pretending to attack him.  Meanwhile, Democrat Governors Association has donated $1.5 million to promote Lopez.

As a lifelong Republican, I take no pleasure in saying that another Republican is a weak candidate, but Republican voters must consider plain facts and vote with their heads rather than their hearts.

Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet has $6 million in the bank.  Do you think he’d rather face Hanks, who’s raised $57,492, or Republican Joe O’Dea, who has banked $1.4 million?

Bennet may be the most insignificant senator in Colorado history, but if Republican voters pit Hanks against him in November, we will be putting a big fat bow on Bennet’s third term.

We all know Jared Polis can personally finance his entire campaign for Governor, so don’t be surprised if the Democrats’ spending to boost Lopez traces back to Polis himself.

No Republican can match Polis’ checkbook, but if a red wave pours across the country in November, Republicans must be positioned to catch that wave.  Republican frontrunner Heidi Ganahl has raised just over $1 million, while Lopez – who has been campaigning for nearly four years – has barely $100,000.

In a state that has strongly soured on President Biden, Democrats know that Ganahl could ride a red wave to victory but Lopez unfortunately cannot.

Remember, Democrats have duped Republican primary voters before.  In 2010, Democrats spent $500,000 in the Republican primary to boost the infamous Dan Maes to a narrow victory over Congressman Scott McInnis.  Maes was such a disaster that he garnered just 11% of vote in November, finishing behind Democrat John Hickenlooper and a third-party candidate.

Democrats are betting they can sucker Republicans again.

A long-running joke among Republicans says, “There are two parties – the evil party and the stupid party, and we belong to the stupid party.”  Say what you want about Colorado Democrats, but when it comes to winning elections, they are not stupid.

Please, Colorado Republicans, don’t fall for the evil party’s tricks again.  The Republicans who can win in November are Joe O’Dea for U.S. Senate and Heidi Ganahl for Governor.

Mark Hillman served as Senate Majority Leader and State Treasurer.  To read more or comment go to