After State Sen. Tim Neville was surprisingly knocked out of the Republican battle for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, State Sen. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) took to Facebook to lament:
Everett: “Sadly, our only chance to defeat Michael Bennet is no longer in the race. Thank you, Tim, we know you will always be on the front lines in the fight for freedom and liberty. God bless you and your family.”
Reporters might write off Everett’s comment as despondency after a shocking loss by Neville, whom Everett was obviously backing. But judging from the first quarter fundraising numbers, showing that none of the GOP primary candidates are, in Politico reporter Eli Stokols’ words, “really crushing it,” you have the privilege of wondering if Republicans are starting to join with Everett in thinking the race has already been won by Bennet, who’s sitting there with $7.6 million in the bank.
No one in the crowded Republican field looking to unseat [Bennet] has reported more than $1 million cash-on-hand, and whoever emerges from the five-way fight likely will drained of resources just trying to win the June 28 primary.
The GOP fundraising leader, Jack Graham,the former CSU athletic director, dropped $1 million on his own campaign, and has, as ColoradoPols pointed out, more money in the bank “than the rest of the Republican field put together.”
Anything can happen, and big campaign spending may flow from 527 groups still unknown. But with the Colorado Republicans’ A-Team out of the race before they got in it, and the remaining B-Team not catching fire money-wise or otherwise, it’s a legitimate question for reporters to ponder: When will the toll of layers of candidates, piled upon divisiveness and Democratic unity, against the backdrop of an improving economy and even an increasingly popular president, make Republicans say, hmm, maybe we should throw our time and money elsewhere.