We're less than two weeks away from the Colorado GOP precinct caucuses. Only days ago it looked like Colorado's caucus would be a coronation, now it's undeniably going to be a dog fight. As Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call explained to Denver Westword's Michael Roberts yesterday, due to the fluid nature of the race the primary campaigns are only now beginning to implement their plan of attack in Colorado.
Ron Paul's campaign is the one exception. Colorado has always been a top target for them, as caucus states reward the type of fervor and organization unique to Paul's campaign. Paul is the only candidate with a physical campaign office, as we reported back in November. He's placing advertising all across the interwebs and we've received numerous reports from readers that Paul is polling in the state.
He's likely to improve on his 2008 showing when he received 8.4% of the vote for fourth place, and only won Gilpin County — a notoriously libertarian area. To help boost his chances Paul will be campaigning in Colorado on Tuesday, January 31, per a report from an NBC reporter's Facebook page.
Mitt Romney is set to visit the state on February 6 and 7, as Call told Denver Westword.
In 2008, Romney cleaned up in Colorado, taking over 60% of the vote. While Romney is slightly favored to win Colorado, it's almost certain the race will be much closer this time around.
Romney's campaign has no physical office, but is instead relying on a kitchen cabinet set up, sources say, along with a heavy Colorado contingent at HQ in Boston.
As we've noted before, Romney's Political Director is Colorado native Rich Beeson. Also on Romney's team is the former Executive Director of the Colorado Republican Party, James Garcia. Garcia was the state GOP GOTV director in the 2008 cycle and rose to become the Executive Director during the 2010 cycle, when Republicans turned out 108,000 more votes than Democrats by election day.
Yesterday, Romney's campaign rolled out a list of local heavy hitters, from Phil Anschutz to Greg Maffei. In June, Romney's campaign announced its Colorado leadership team, consisting of a who's who of the Republican establishment, from former Governor Bill Owens to former US Senator Hank Brown. But, as we pointed out then, the establishment won't provide much actual voter support. Just ask candidates from last cycle.
Gingrich's campaign has had a much smaller emphasis on Colorado heretofore. In the last publicly available poll on the Colorado GOP primary electorate, from early December, Gingrich was clobbering Romney by 19 points. Gingrich's campaign has gone from the political graveyard and back since then, so that polling probably doesn't mean much. No word yet on if Gingrich plans on visiting Colorado.
Santorum's campaign has also been quiet about his plans for Colorado though he told The New York Times he plans on campaigning here. He last visited Colorado for the Western Conservative Summit in July 2011, and was in Denver in April 2011 (h/t Ernest Luning) where he spoke at an event hosted by the state GOP in Denver.
If you hear of any campaign events or political moves made by any of the Republican contenders, let us know at tips (at) coloradopeakpolitics.com
Check back at the Peak for the latest on the Presidential race in Colorado.
(Photo Credit: Colorado GOP’s Facebook page)