BREAKING: Newt Gingrich Suspends Campaign

Newt Gingrich will suspend his Presidential campaign…next Tuesday. The Associated Press and Fox News are reporting that campaign sources are telling them that Gingrich will finish his six-day swing through North Carolina before formally suspending his campaign next week. He is expected to endorse Mitt Romney in next week's speech.

As soon as news broke, the reaction on Twitter was more sarcasm than surprise. One user tweeted "BREAKING: Newt Gingrich's campaign was over weeks ago." 

Gingrich hasn't won a state since his home state of Georgia had a primary in early March. He had hoped to work his way to a brokered convention, but a candidate must win at least five states to be nominated at the Republican National Convention. Gingrich only won two — Georgia and South Carolina.

Gingrich was hoping for a win in Delaware last night, but Romney took the state with nearly 60% of the vote, pushing Gingrich to reconsider his campaign. His campaign is also under a mountain of debt, with Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings at the end of March showing the campaign $4.3 million in the red

Supporters had held out hope that Gingrich would rise from the ashes yet again, like the former Speaker had done multiple times already this cycle. But it was too late in the process for another electoral rebirth. 


DUELING FOR DELEGATE SLOTS: The Real Race That Matters This Weekend Is Personal

With Colorado precinct caucus winner Rick Santorum no longer in the race for the White House, this weekend's Congressional district assemblies and State Convention is now less about the Presidential candidates and more about Colorado Republicans' chance to represent the GOP in Tampa.

Reports The Colorado Observer's Valerie Richardson:

DENVER — With Rick Santorum out of the race, the burning question for the GOP faithful attending this weekend’s Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention is: Now what?  

Will Santorum’s legion of Colorado supporters switch to Romney, the all-but-certain nominee, in order to boost their chances of punching their ticket to the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla.?  

Will they bounce to Newt Gingrich, viewed by many as the second-best conservative candidate? Or will they form an alliance with the small but intense band of Ron Paul supporters as part of a Paul-for-President slate?  

Republican state Sen. Kent Lambert, a pledged Santorum delegate, gave what may be the only correct answer: Who knows?

Readers report that at last night's 7th Congressional district assembly most of the time at the microphone was spent by candidates for the Republican National Convention, rather than candidates for public office. There was an almost complete lack of mention of Presidential candidates by the delegate hopefuls.

Not that it much matters who each delegate supports for President, though it will be interesting to see how well Romney coalesces support and whether Ron Paul's supporters can get some of their own elected.

Ultimately, the race is all-but-over with Romney the last frontrunner standing. 

The lack of partisan fights seems like it will be a common theme throughout the weekend's festivities, as there is only one statewide race other than President — CU Regent — and there are very little contested primaries this year. Compared to 2010, this year's nominating assemblies seem likely to be more unity events than divisive fights. 

With internal party squabbles mostly set aside for the weekend, it's the rank and file of Colorado Republicans that gets to shine.

Reports The Colorado Observer's Tyler Sandberg:

DENVER — You’ve heard of the iMac, the iPod, and the iPad. Now meet the iGOP.  

A slate of young, tech savvy Republicans have bound together to run for Republican National Convention (RNC) delegate slots, calling themselves the iGOP.  

The four Republicans — Kelly Maher, Brett Moore, Alexander Hornaday and Jonathan Keyser — have a unique pitch to the voters at the 1st Congressional District Assembly and State Convention in Denver this weekend.  

They promise, if elected, to bring the RNC back to Colorado through real-time Facebook and Twitter coverage of the multi-day political extravaganza.

With an eye-popping 800+ candidates for only 12 RNC delegate slots at State Convention we won't even try to guess who is going to come out on top.

That staggering number of GOPers looking for a trip to Tampa is more than double the number that ran for a spot in 2008, demonstrating how fired up the conservative base is in Colorado. 

Good luck to all of our readers in the running. 

For some tips on how to succeed in nabbing one of the prized tickets to Tampa, check out Lynn Bartels's profile of 2008 delegates in the much-missed (but still archived online) Rocky Mountain News


BREAKING: Rick Santorum Dropping Out Of Presidential Race

ABC News is reporting that former US Senator Rick Santorum will announce he is suspending his Presidential campaign at a press conference in Pennsylvania today. In doing so, Santorum will be ensuring that Romney will reach 1,144 delegate mark to clinch the nomination well before the Republican National Convention.

Santorum had a nearly impossible task ahead of him, needing to win 75% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. 

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is still in the race, although no neutral observer expects him to have any chance at winning. Gingrich has vowed to stay in the race "all the way to Tampa" where the convention is being held this year. 

Santorum was recently sidelined from the campaign trail after his three year-old daughter Bella was hospitalized. Romney took his negative ads off the air when Santorum left to tend to his family. 

While conservative commentators are snarking on Twitter that Santorum dropping out could make way for yet another Newt resurgence, that is obviously not going to happen.

In dropping out now, Santorum is preserving his reputation among the conservative grassroots and social conservative leaders. Recently, Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, suggested it was time to drop out.

Santorum's exit is about a month later than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee exited in 2008. Like Huckabee, Santorum used a surprise showing in Iowa, combined with strong social conservative support, to challenge the establishment-backed frontrunner.

With Santorum out, let's be honest. This race is over. Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for President in 2012. 


DANGEROUS ASSOCIATIONS: Gingrich Colorado Campaign Operative Tied To Jack Abramoff

Newt Gingrich has a Jack Abramoff problem. Or to be more precise, the former House Speaker and Presidential candidate has an Italia Federici problem.  

We reported last week that Federici was helping organize Colorado for Gingrich, yet no mainstream press picked up on our report. We received only a single email from someone digging further into the story.

So we'll go ahead and break the story wide open.  

Federici, who worked on Gale Norton's 1996 US Senate campaign in Colorado, pled guilty in 2007 to tax evasion and obstruction of a Senate investigation into the Abramoff lobbying scandal. She was sentenced to two months in a halfway house, four years of probation and ordered to pay more than $74,000 in restitution.  

She was sentenced on December 14, 2007, meaning her four-year probation ended only weeks before the 2012 Iowa caucus.  

Since our original report we've had a second source confirm Federici's involvement with the Gingrich campaign.

We reported on Federici’s involvement with the Gingrich campaign in a post about the former House Speaker’s campaign operation in Colorado, which was ramping up in anticipation of Tuesday’s Republican precinct caucuses.

Even with Federici's assistance, Gingrich fared poorly in Colorado, coming in third with 12.79% of the vote. 

Ms. Federici has had a relationship with Speaker Gingrich going back many years. A March 1, 2000 story from The Hill newspaper noted that Gingrich was the keynote speaker at the inaugural fundraiser for the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA), the group co-founded by Federici and later tied to the Abramoff investigation.  

Federici co-founded CREA with former Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton in 1997, here in Colorado. The group then incorporated in Washington, DC in 2000, operating primarily on donations.  

Court documents reveal that Federici introduced Jack Abramoff to Steven Griles, who she was dating at the time, one week before Griles was nominated to be the deputy secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI). Soon after that introductory meeting, Abramoff and his clients became contributors of CREA, donating approximately $500,000 between March 2001 and May 2003.  

Many of Abramoff’s clients were subject to DOI oversight, including Native American tribes either operating, or interested in operating, gaming operations on designated Federal land.  

Federici served as a conduit between Abramoff and Griles, including communicating with Griles and Abramoff about how to stop Indian tribe casinos from opening in areas that would compete with other Indian tribe clients of Abramoff.  

Griles was sentenced to ten months in prison and fined $30,000 in 2007.  

Federici pled guilty on tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation into the matter. She admitted that she made “materially false and misleading statements” to the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that likely limited the Committee’s ability to understand the full scope of Abramoff’s contact with Griles.  

In her testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2005 Federici received a now infamous grilling from Senators John McCain and Byron Dorgan.

McCain’s statement at the beginning of the hearing read: “In fact, documents obtained in the course of the investigation suggest that Mr. Abramoff might have had his tribal clients pay so much because he perceived that CREA’s president, Italia Federici, would help him get inside information about, and possibly influence, tribal issues pending at the Department of the Interior.”

You can see highlights from her testimony after the jump.


FARGO VS FINLAND: Santorum & Gingrich Rip Obama’s Energy Policy In Golden

While the GOP caucus contenders canvassed Colorado for votes over the last week, mostly at rallies and campaign speeches, two candidates spent some time addressing a critical policy issue for Colorado — energy. At the Consumer Energy Alliance 2012 Colorado Energy Summit, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich laid out their plans to reduce energy costs and fully utilize the natural resources this country is blessed with.

Unsurprisingly, they had some harsh words for President Obama's war on domestic energy — at least the type of energy that doesn't directly lead to campaign donations a la Solyndra. 

Gingrich, in typical fashion, espoused the harshest criticisms of Obama, calling his administration "the most anti-American energy administration that we've ever had. And the consequence is you have the highest cost of gasoline in American history."

He even mentioned something we touched on two weeks ago, specifically the fact that the growth in domestic energy production has been occurring on non-federal lands, much to the chagrin of Obama's anti-energy enviro allies.

Just as we did, Gingrich pointed to North Dakota as a prime example of the disconnect between the amazing technological breakthroughs occurring in the private sector and the lack of energy development on federal government land.

In North Dakota, thanks in part to fracking and horizontal drilling, from 2008-2010 oil production doubled on private land, but fell on federal lands.

The growth in production on private land has led to North Dakota having the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at a striking 3.3%.

Rather than seek to lower unemployment through increased production on federal lands across the country, Obama's administration has spent its time propping up bad green energy companies like Solyndra and Fisker, a car company who received a $529 million Department of Energy loan to build their cars in Finland.

In smacking the Department of Energy loan program that has been pilloried for wasting American taxpayer dollars to fund companies of political allies, Gingrich made it clear where investment decisions should be made.

"I don't want to have some bureaucrat deciding between company A and company B. I mean, if they were good venture capitalists they wouldn't be getting a GS15 salary."


You can see highlights of Gingrich's speech, as well as Santorum's, after the jump.

Gingrich’s speech highlights:

Santorum’s speech highlights:


SANTORUM SHOCKER: 7 Takeaways From Last Night’s Three-State Sweep

Last night's three state Santorum sweep was a shocker to say the least. While his wins in Minnesota and Missouri were somewhat expected based on prior published polling, Santorum's out-of-nowhere victory in Colorado stunned pundits and politicos across the board.

We had been predicting for a few days that Santorum would have a strong finish at the caucuses, stronger than many in the chattering class had accounted for in their analysis. Yet even we didn't see the win coming.

He worked the state harder than anyone, positioned himself as the true Romney alternative and rode a last minute wave of momentum into a momentous victory. 

Here are 7 takeaways we took from last night's Santorum shocker.

1. Colorado conservatives' independence: Just as Colorado conservatives sent a clear message to John McCain in 2008 that they weren't willing to sign on to his inevitable candidacy, overwhelmingly voting for Romney, in 2012 they reminded the country of their rugged Western independence, giving the race to 2012's version of 2008 Romney, Rick Santorum. Romney did not work the state hard enough giving voters a reason to support him, but rather was trying to ride the wave of inevitability. That doesn't fly here.

2. Endorsements matter, just not from politicians: While Romney had all of the statewide elected officials, 16 state legislators and the full stable of former elected officials like Hank Brown and Bill Owens, Santorum had the folks that conservatives really care about. In 2012, Michelle Malkin's endorsement matters far more to conservatives than Mark Waller's or Larry Liston's. Malkin, who has twice as many Twitter followers as Santorum's Presidential campaign, and has been ranked the most influential blogger in politics, was an enormously powerful force in branding Santorum as the leading anti-Romney. In the future, we suggest candidates spend less time seeking John Suthers' endorsement and more trying to convince those that the grassroots listens to.

3. Newt Gingrich is dead in the water: Just as we predicted the day of the caucus, perhaps the most significant long-term impact of last night's results is that Gingrich has lost the mantle of the conservative alternative to Romney. He wasn't on the ballot in Missouri, finished a distant fourth in Minnesota and was a complete non-factor in Colorado's race. With $600,000 in debt, his campaign will watch in agony as Santorum sucks up millions in grassroots fundraising over the next couple of weeks that they direly need to run ads in the expensive media markets of Super Tuesday. Santorum now has the Mo', the money and the mantle. And Gingrich won't even have a debate to shine in for another two weeks. 

4. PPP sucks at polling Colorado: Democrat polling firm, Public Policy Polling (PPP), has an atrocious track record in Colorado. Last fall they polled the state but oversampled Democrats by 8-points, rendering their results meaningless. The night before Colorado Republicans went to their precinct cacucus, PPP released a Colorado poll with Romney at 37, Santorum 27, Gingrich 21, and Paul at 13. The real results? Santorum 40, Romney 35, Gingrich 13, Paul 12. PPP got it embarrassingly wrong. Note this for when they show polls with Obama leading in Colorado in the next couple of months. 

5. Ron Paul's supporters aren't voting Republicans. As AP reporter Kristen Wyatt noted on Twitter, Ron Paul's rallies had more people than he got votes last night. As we've seen in other states that have elections closed to only registered Republicans, Ron Paul vastly underperformed expectations. That seems to be because his support comes from a young demographic that doesn't tend to be registered as Republican. While he surpassed his showing of 8.4% in 2008, he still came in a distant fourth place. As voters had to be registered as Republicans since December, they had to prepare months in advance, something not conducive to the younger demographic. In Iowa, voters could change their registration the day of the caucus, which likely boosted Paul's finish there significantly. In Colorado, he had no such luck. 

6. Romney can't mail it in anywhere. With no TV ads, little direct mail, and only a modest ground effort, Romney thought he could win with a light Colorado foot print and he was so very wrong. Some pundits have said that he can only win with negative TV blitzes, forgetting that Presidential elections are almost entirely defined by negative ads on TV. Even the supposed positive campaign of Obama ran more negative ads than any Presidential campaign in history. Santorum is certainly going to see his fair share of attack ads in the coming weeks, but Romney will need to not forget the lesson he keeps learning, which is that he can't take anything for granted. 

7. This race still has some juice left in it. While Romney was hoping February would be a coronation, it instead is shaping up to be a hard fought slog. Romney is still the nearly prohibitive favorite to be the nominee, but last night put a serious chink in his armor of inevitability. He has not closed the deal with the base by a long shot. Conservatives have not been convinced that he can champion their cause in his campaign. After his gaffe on the 'very poor,' even establishment Republicans began to doubt his image as the more professional disciplined candidate to take on Barack Obama. Between needing to prove his conservative bona fides and demonstrate his superiority as a candidate through message discipline and campaign organization, Romney has some serious challenges ahead of him before he can claim the nomination. 


AN ALTERNATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Could Colorado Force Gingrich Out & Bring Santorum In?

With Rick Santorum surging in the latest Colorado poll, and leading in polls in the other two states voting today — Minnesota and Missouri — will the results from today's races unofficially end Newt Gingrich's campaign? Could Colorado force Gingrich out and bring Santorum in?

The former House Speaker's campaign in Colorado seems like a microcosm of his broader national effort, going from the graveyard to the top of the field, and back down again.

In August, Gingrich was in 5th place at 11% in the state, 2 points behind undecided/someone else at 13%.

By early December, Gingrich charged into the lead, spanking Romney by 19 points in Colorado. In the latest poll, released last night (here), Gingrich has fallen to third at 21%, with Santorum moving firmly into second at 27% and Romney leading with 37% support. 

Should Santorum outpace Gingrich in all three states today it will would mean more bad headlines for a campaign that hasn't been able to reignite the fire it had burning beneath it as recently as the South Carolina primary, when Gingrich trounced his competition. 

It would also give credence to Santorum's argument that it is he, and not Gingrich, who has claimed the mantle of the leading Romney alternative. 

With no meaningful contests until Super Tuesday, Gingrich is going to have one helluva difficult time making his case that he is the conservative choice over Santorum.  

To make his case, Gingrich needs wins, money and debates. Unless it's close in Colorado and Minnesota, Gingrich won't get even get credit for placing well. To make matters worse, he's not even on the ballot in Missouri today.

Without that credit and momentum he'll have a hard time raising money. His campaign is currently $600,000 in debt and will need millions more to pay for TV advertising in the expensive media markets that dominate Super Tuesday states like Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Most foreboding for Gingrich's uphill battle post-Colorado is the fact that there isn't another debate until February 22nd. As one of the most effective GOP primary debaters in modern history, Gingrich has reignited his campaign multiple times already this cycle on the strength of his debate performances.

Without another debate for two weeks, Gingrich will have little to latch onto for life support. 

While Gingrich is most certainly not going to drop out after today, Colorado could go a long way in unofficially ending his candidacy.

So much for The Denver Post which was eager to say the Colorado caucus wouldn't matter.

We should end with a caveat, and a large one at that. Never, ever underestimate the ability for Newt Gingrich to come back from seemingly impossible odds. He's risen from the political graveyard more often than a Chicago voter. 

But if things don't change dramatically, Newt's Hail Mary comebacks may well be over with.


WHO WILL WIN COLORADO? Romney And Santorum Duel For Centennial State Prize

With little available public polling we don't have a compelling statistical basis on which to make this prediction, but we believe the Colorado caucuses are shaping up to be a duel between Governor Mitt Romney, who won a sweeping victory here in 2008, and Senator Rick Santorum, the surging conservative who has nailed down key endorsements from key conservatives across the state. 

Romney, no surprise, has the superior organization here in Colorado. He's worked hard to cultivate support and that promises real dividends on Tuesday night, but Santorum, more so than Gingrich, has capitalized on Romney's inability to close the deal with the base.

In garnering the endorsements of grassroots favorites like Tom Tancredo and Bob Schaffer, Santorum has positioned himself to soak up much of the anti-Romney vote. His endorsements are heavy on a Northern Colorado contingent, including CD4 CU Regent Sue Sharkey and Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, and he spent most of Saturday campaigning in Loveland and Greeley. Those endorsements and time spent could hint at a strong base of support in Northern Colorado, tapping into the section of the state where Ken Buck ran up the biggest margins of victory in the 2010 US Senate primary.

Santorum has crisscrossed the state hitting small communities and hot pockets of conservative voters in the same way he did in Iowa. At eight events by Sunday, Santorum leads all other candidates for Colorado campaign visits, combined. And we believe that the results of that effort will be a strong showing on Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich was leading the Colorado polls when Democrat pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP) surveyed the state in early December, whooping Romney by 19 points. PPP's most recent poll — just the results from the first day were released yesterday — show Gingrich slipping to third at 18%, Santorum surging into second at 28% and Romney atop the field with 40%. 

Gingrich's campaign has been trying to downplay the results in Colorado, with Gingrich CO spokesman Tom Lucero calling the caucuses a “dog and pony show” that doesn't directly impact delegate selection, which Gingrich has said is his main focus now. 

Ron Paul's campaign has been the only one to open a formal office in the state, which has been operating since November in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver. While expectations were initially high for Paul, he has underperformed recently in caucus states, especially ones that are closed to non-GOP voters, like Colorado.

As Michael Sandoval of Peoples Press Collective notes, PPP's first day results show 33% of Colorado voters saying they could still change their mind before Tuesday's caucus. That large chunk of undecideds will mean campaign organization is even more important, as last minute contacts from campaign volunteers and the candidates themselves can still swing large amounts of votes.

Santorum's sudden rise is giving credence to his argument that it is he, and not Gingrich, who is best suited to be the conservative alternative to Romney. PPP's poll shows Santorum with the highest favorability with 68% of voters seeing him favorably to 21% with a negative opinion. He is also polling strongly in Minnesota and Missouri, the other two states voting on Tuesday.  

As Newt Gingrich isn't on the ballot in Missouri, Santorum will get his shot there to take on Romney, one-on-one.

Romney's campaign recognizes the sudden threat of Santorum, holding their first press call hit on Santorum this morning for his earmarking habit while in the US Senate. 

For Romney, a big win in Colorado will bolster his argument that he is strongest in states that are key in November. His ability to deliver a substantial margin of victory will also further enhance his frontrunner profile and deafen arguments that voters are still searching for a Romney alternative.

Romney is not taking Colorado for granted, holding a campaign rally in Centennial tonight and one in Loveland tomorrow morning, as well as visited the state on Saturday in Colorado Springs for a quick event before shuffling back to Nevada for his Silver State victory speech.  

While we are not prepared to make any specific predictions on the final results, we do feel comfortable saying one thing: Colorado precinct caucuses are finally going to count, so get out and vote.  

Check back at the Peak for the latest Colorado caucus results as they come in on Tuesday.


NEWT’S COLORADO TEAM: As Caucuses Near, Team Gingrich Staffs Up

While Mitt Romney has secured the most Colorado endorsements and Rick Santorum has held the most Colorado events, Newt Gingrich has been noticeably absent from Colorado. That's not for lack of support — the last poll of Colorado, in early December, had Gingrich beating Romney by 19 points. Today, Gingrich's campaign announced his Colorado spokesman as former CU Regent and GOP Chairman of Larimer County, Tom Lucero. (See the announcement here)

Lucero took over the Chairmanship of the Larimer County GOP last year, helping to clean up the financial mess left behind by former Chairman Larry Carillo. Chairman Carillo allegedly took thousands of dollars of county GOP money for his own personal bills and failed to file finance reports for months. Carillo was charged with felony theft and left thousands of dollars in fines for the county GOP to pay before it could begin raising a single cent for this year's election.

In only a few short months, Lucero took the county party from $35,000 in the hole to having $8,000 in the bank, along with new rules to avoid a repeat of the Carillo situation. He recently stepped down as Chairman to spend more time on his business. His addition to Gingrich's Colorado team is good news for the former Speaker and his supporters. 

Also of note in Gingrich-land is GOP operative and Tea Party favorite Patrick Davis of Colorado Springs, who is the State Director for Gingrich's campaign in Colorado. 

We wrote about Davis last month in his efforts to make conservatives open their eyes regarding ridiculous fracking regulations being considered in Colorado Springs and other localities around the state. 

A well-placed source tells us that DC operative Italia Federici is helping organize Colorado for Gingrich. She was also, according to our source, helping the Gingrich campaign in Iowa and South Carolina — where Gingrich trounced Romney. 

Helping organize efforts for Gingrich in Pueblo is the Vice President of Somos Republicans, Steven Rodriguez. Somos Republicans' mission statement is to double the size of the Hispanic GOP voting block in two years. The group endorsed Newt Gingrich's campaign two weeks ago. In 2010, Rodriguez ran against state Representative, and now CD3 Congressional candidate, Sal Pace (D-Urination).

With Gingrich staffing up in the state, and the only campaign ad being run in Colorado a negative spot from Rick Santorum hitting Gingrich, we're betting the former Speaker will be arriving any day now. Our sources say "stay tuned."

If Gingrich does schedule a campaign event, you can find it on our comprehensive GOP Primary Candidate Colorado Event Schedule — the only one we know of in the state.

If you hear of other GOP primary campaign efforts in Colorado, email us at tips (at)

(Lucero pic via Peoples Press Collective Flickr)

(Davis pic via Patrick Davis Consulting)


B-B-B-BLOWOUT: Romney Trounces Competition In Florida, Santorum Collects Big Colorado Endorsements

Yesterday in Florida Mitt Romney finally got his frontrunner groove back. After getting a "Palmetto Pounding" in South Carolina at the hands of former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the former Massachusetts Governor returned the favor with his own electoral shellacking. Meanwhile, former Senator Rick Santorum was focusing his time and effort here in Colorado, where he picked up some big time endorsements.

Romney's 16 point trouncing of Gingrich in Florida re-shifted the race heading into February, a month dominated by low-turnout caucuses that has been described as a "Rubicon of downtime" that campaigns must survive before Super Tuesday on March 6.

The race now shifts to Nevada's caucus on February 4 and Maine's caucus, a strange week-long process that takes place from February 4-11, virtually ensuring no coverage is given to that race. 

On Tuesday, February 7, Colorado conservatives get to weigh in and Rick Santorum is playing hard for Centennial State GOP votes.

Today, at a campaign event at Colorado Christian University, Santorum unveiled endorsements from former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former Lt. Gov Jane Norton, former Congressman and current Chairman of the state Board of Education Bob Schaffer, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, and state Senators Kent Lambert and Scott Renfroe. 

That is notable not only because that list contains a hefty chunk of high profile conservatives, but also because many, including Tancredo and Conway, endorsed Romney's campaign in 2008. 

Santorum has announced more events in Colorado than any other primary contender, including an event in Lone Tree yesterday, four today and another one in Golden on Monday. Kirk Siegler of NPR reports on Twitter that Santorum has also scheduled events for the day before Tuesday's caucus, including an event at DU.

Ron Paul was in town yesterday, drawing crowds of over 1000 people. It is expected he'll surpass his fourth place showing from 2008, but it is hard to determine how well he will ultimately do here. Paul has been underperforming expectations in the last couple of states, especially in states with elections open to only registered Republicans like Colorado. 

Newt Gingrich has yet to schedule a Colorado event. NBC's Chuck Todd reported he would be skipping Colorado, but sources close to Gingrich's campaign in Colorado tell us to "stay tuned." There's been talk of Gingrich attending the same energy summit event as Santorum in Golden on Saturday. 

Romney plans on being in Colorado on February 6 and 7, with a source informing us of a fundraiser in Cherry Hill Village/Englewood on the night of February 6. He may arrive even earlier, according to Fox 31's Eli Stokols who reported that Romney was potentially coming to Grand Junction on Saturday night, based on a Romney campaign offer of a press charter there. Stokols most recently tweeted that the GJ event may end up being in Colorado Springs.

If you hear of any GOP events we don't have listed on our schedule of events, please email us at tips (at)

(Photo Credit: CO GOP Facebook page)

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