Colorado's 7th Congressional District, represented by Democrat Edwin Perlmutter, has gone from a race no one expected would be tight this year to one of the Republicans' best pickup opportunities in the nation.

Former Coorstek CEO Joe Coors Jr has so shaken up the race that National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Pete Sessions proclaimed in an interview on CSPAN yesterday that Coors was one of the NRCC's best chances at taking away seats from the Democrats only two years after the historic 63-seat drubbing Democrats took in 2010.

From the National Journal interview on CSPAN: (See the video here)

BILL PLANTE: Well, Congressman, you get the pickup that you expect, what are those new Members going to be like? Are the new Members going to be like the freshman class of the last time around? And then, if that’s true, are you going to have trouble keeping them all in line?    

SESSIONS: You know, thank you very much, Bill. As you well understand, last time was different from this time. This is a presidential race and implications all across the country argue that we will have Members that will win very – will selective areas – as pickups. And that’s really what we’re talking about here – the pickups.  

We are going to win at least one, as you know, in Arkansas, in Oklahoma, a couple in Georgia we’re going to pickup. And then we’ll have new seats that have been transferred in Texas, we’ll keep up a couple there.  But by and large, there will be people that are in individual places around the country – Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, Brendon Doherty in Rhode Island – since when are Massachusetts and Rhode Island good Republican pickup seats? This cycle they are. You’ll have, certainly, Joe Coors in Colorado, Jackie Walorski in Indiana. So we’ve got a good number who are individuals in dots across the country and they will be very unique people. This is not what I would say is going to be a wave election but it will be an election of individuals who are simply better candidates with better ideas in specific seats who are with Mitt Romney on the ballot. [Peak emphasis]

With Coors having already dropped $750,000 on TV ads introducing himself to the electorate, a large portion of which is brand new to both Coors and Perlmutter due to redistricting, he's become a real threat to the incumbent Democrat. Not only has Coors been up on TV in a big way, but he's done it in a virtual vaccuum with no significant opposition in paid media. 

And polls are picking up the impact. 

Last week, the Coors campaign released a poll showing them 9 points up. While we doubt their lead is that big, and certainly whatever lead they have right now is soft due to no negative ads hitting Coors yet, it's certainly something no one was expecting this time last year. Notably, the Perlmutter campaign refused to divulge their internal polling numbers, while still insisting Perlmutter was up in them. Sure, Edwin, we'll just trust you on that one.

As we predicted last December when rumors of Coors' imminent entry in the race surfaced, like Gilbert Gotfried of days of old, the Coors' campaign is going to keep Perlmutter UP-ALL-NIGHT.

(Pic via Facebook)