Most Coloradans know Tom Tancredo through his recent activities. There’s more to him than that. In the late 70’s, Tom was an Arvada state legislator, and his desk on the floor was his office. I worked there and was sitting at the sergeant’s desk one afternoon as Tom helped a constituent identify available assistance for that person’s profoundly disabled child. Tom displayed breadth of knowledge about options and depth of heart and caring about the child’s fate. I was impressed.
The Denver Post’s editorial staff uses the words “right-wing,” “obsessive” and “divisive” about Tancredo. Given the April PPP poll in which more than half of moderates and liberals had unfavorable views of Tom, the Post isn’t alone.
Republicans, however, hold different views, with more favorable opinions than unfavorable ones about Tancredo, by a margin of 1.27 to 1. The poll’s 7.5% margin of error among Republicans suggests caution about where Republicans really are, but trial heats between Hickenlooper and several Republican opponents show Tancredo just 7-9% worse off in Republican defections than the other choices.
For Republicans in Colorado to win, they must not lose 10% of the Republican vote, and they must win a comfortable majority of Independents. As of last month, Tom wasn’t doing that. The poll suggests, however, that rank and file Republican primary voters would find Tom an acceptable candidate.
Whether they should change their minds in the interest of winning in November is beyond my pay grade. Such considerations, if they were to occur, would fit into the national discussion of the direction, strategy and tactics that the Republican party ought to take to become, again, the majority party. Republicans should have that conversation. Tom’s years of service earn him a voice in that debate.