Another week, another national publication noting just how vulnerable Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is. In April, Politico ranked Bennet’s seat as one likely to flip in the 2016 election. Oddly enough, like Politico, the Washington Post listed Bennet’s seat as number seven on the ranking. Here’s what the Washington Post had to say:
“Colorado (Democratic-controlled): This seat gets tougher for Republicans because of Coffman’s decision not to run. Republicans point out that Sen. Cory Gardner (R) opted against the 2014 race and then reconsidered, but we’ll believe it when we see it. And Gardner was the shining star of the Colorado Republican Party in a way that Coffman just isn’t. The GOP bench in the state is also surprisingly thin.”
There is much to rebut here. First and foremost, Coffman may not flash a megawatt smile like Gardner, but, make no mistake, he is a formidable opponent. He’s already won statewide several times (including the year that former gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez lost by 17 points) and has won in one of the most competitive districts over and over. To say Coffman is not a star is to have ignored Colorado for 20 years.
Coffman’s decision to not run certainly takes off the table one of Republicans’ most battle-tested options; however, to say the bench is not deep is just plain false. From Republican District Attorney George Brauchler to State Senator Ellen Roberts, the GOP has plenty to choose from for a variety of races.
The Washington Post got one thing right, though. Bennet’s seat is likely to flip.