After Ed Perlmutter won his 2010 race by 11 points, the conventional wisdom held that he would be unbeatable in 2012. The candidacy of Joe Coors Jr is quickly changing that calculation.

In a sign that national Republicans see significant strength in Coors’ chances at knocking off organized labor's biggest Colorado stooge, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced today that Coors has made "Young Gun" status in their Congressional candidate support program. That qualifies him for financial support from the NRCC, something that will come in handy this fall when the cost of TV ads skyrockets due to competition from the Super PACs and Presidential campaigns.

By comparison, Ryan Frazier didn't make Young Gun status until September of 2010

Why is Coors moving up the ranks so quickly? Probably because of ads like this — his second so far this cycle:

This ad buy is part of Coors’s larger $400,000 flight, according to Lynn Bartels. It’s not so much the size of the buy that should frighten Democrats, but the content of the message.

Coors comes across as likeable, accomplished and manages to sneak in an attack on DC and Perlmutter without even mentioning his opponent’s name. In a matter of a few months, Coors has succeeded at taking the 7th Congressional District from a lost cause to one of the most competitive Congressional races in Colorado.

He may not be a beer, but he is quickly becoming Ed Perlmutter’s worst nightmare.