2013 was filled with weeks that Gov. John Hickenlooper would rather forget. Between natural disasters and Democratic lawmakers sending him controversial bills to sign into law, Hickenlooper enjoyed very few great weeks last year.
But it seems that 2014 is offering Hickenlooper a bit more good luck. It’s only mid-week, but this week may become one of the best the governor enjoys all year.
First of all, the 2014 legislative session is about to come to a close. As of this writing, no major controversial bills have been passed that would have ended up causing problems for the governor.
Secondly, campaign fundraising reports were released this week showing that Hickenlooper’s campaign raised nearly $1 million during the first four months of 2014 and has $1.65 million dollars on hand.
Finally, if those stories weren’t good enough news, the same fundraising reports show that his Republican opponents have clearly not only run into fundraising problems but also have spent a good deal of money on the primary so far. When you look at the cash on hand numbers, which will always look better for an incumbent, Hickenlooper has nearly five times the amount of all of his GOP opponents combined.
Even pessimists have to agree that Hick is having a great week.
With a little under six months until Election Day, this great week for Hickenlooper may soon become a distant memory. But when you compare this week to where he was a year ago, it’s easy to see that the momentum is going in the right direction for the governor.
After the primary, negative ads will begin to remind voters of the unlucky weeks John Hickenlooper had in 2013 and perhaps the good luck from 2014 won’t matter much at that point.
But remember, all of those negative ads are expensive. Whoever is victorious at the GOP Primary on June 24 will certainly have an easier time raising money in the fall without the burden of three GOP opponents. But will they have enough time to raise money from GOP funders who will also be looking to help fund a epic fights for the U.S. Senate and in the 6th Congressional District?
Every week that goes by like this for John Hickenlooper makes the job for his eventual Republican opponent even harder. Folks that want to see a Republican in the governor’s mansion are being asked to support many campaigns, but many of them want to donate to a candidate or a cause with momentum.
When the incumbent governor is having weeks like this, it is immensely difficult for his opponents to build any serious steam.
Now with the legislature taking the rest of the year off, any major stumbling blocks of controversy must come from the clear blue air. Nathan Dunlap’s case proved last year to be such an event, but is there a similar situation on the horizon for this year?
I imagine that John Hickenlooper’s opponents are hoping that something is coming to wreak havoc on his 2014. They better hope something unexpected is coming, because if Hickenlooper has many more weeks like this one in 2014, he’ll have another one in early November.
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– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.