In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Maes won the primary narrowly. Soon after, he had to back away from a claim that he'd worked as an undercover officer with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Despite mounting calls for him to drop out, Maes has stayed in the race.
Now, some of the GOPers who once backed him are starting to abandon ship. In a highly unusual move, Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck -- who, like Maes, attracted much of his support from Tea Party activists -- has recanted his endorsement of Maes. "I have decided that I can no longer support his candidacy for governor of Colorado," Buck said in a statement last week. "[Maes] is struggling to determine the best path for his campaign, his family and for Colorado." The Tea Party base is turning against him, too, with numerous Tea Party organizers telling Maes that it's time to get out of the race.
And now even Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a potential candidate for president, is writing it off. "We have put some money in Colorado," Barbour told reporters. "Past tense."
Now more shoes are dropping. Tancredo has rolled out endorsements from 20 elected and formerly elected Republicans, the Denver Post reported. "The narrative has been written about Dan Maes and the weakness of his campaign. He can't overcome it and beat Hickenlooper," said Republican state Sen. Ted Harvey. "We've worked very hard in the conservative trenches to have an opportunity like this ... and Tom Tancredo is the only strong conservative in the race who can raise money and put on a credible campaign."
Another Tancredo-backer is former Rep. Bob Beauprez -- who was previously the Republican nominee for governor back in 2006: "I think Maes' support will continue to evaporate rather dramatically, and I expect a coalescing of Republicans around Tom."
If Republicans are waiting for a coalescing of support for Tancredo, it better come quickly -- the TPM Poll Average shows the Democrat Hickenlooper in first place with 44.6%, then Maes in second with 28.1%, and Tancredo way behind at 12.7%.
Late Update Maes is responding to the crisis. "You discovered that I'm fallible," Maes told conservative activists on Thursday. "You discovered that I'm a human being. And perhaps you thought I was more than maybe I really was. But by golly, I've made a few mistakes, and I'm going to own up to them."