Ken Buck: Colorado is a Romney vs. Santorum race
February 6th, 2012
03:12 PM ET
3 years ago

Ken Buck: Colorado is a Romney vs. Santorum race

(CNN) - Ken Buck, the tea party-backed Colorado Republican who came up short in his 2010 bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, has kept a low profile since that narrow one-point loss.

Buck is not endorsing a candidate in the presidential race before Tuesday's caucuses, though the campaigns of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both reached out.

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But Buck, now seeking a third term as Weld County District Attorney, did handicap Tuesday's caucuses in an interview with CNN.

His prediction: Romney wins with close to 50 percent of the vote, thanks to his support from the political establishment and a healthy Mormon turnout, while Santorum runs a strong second.

Romney took 60 percent of the Colorado vote in 2008, handily beating John McCain, but Buck doubts that the former Massachusetts governor will do better this year.

"I think Romneycare has him, and his changing positions on social issues and some other things hurt him," Buck said. "But I think he is still viewed as the most electable of the Republican candidates when it comes to a head to head with Obama. He won't be as popular with the other more conservative Republicans, but I think the Mormons will turn out in large numbers and support him."

He said Santorum has emerged as the main conservative alternative to Romney in Colorado, where only registered Republicans are allowed to participate in the caucuses.

The former Pennsylvania senator has campaigned aggressively in Colorado, which has a substantial and vibrant evangelical community, since he pulled out of the Florida primary fight last month.

"I think it's partly the evangelical push, but Santorum is a worker," Buck said. "He shows up, he hits a lot of the right places. He is somebody who is viewed as getting out there and meeting with a lot of people."

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are largely non-factors, he said.

Paul won only 8% of the Colorado vote in 2008, and though Gingrich is campaigning in Colorado on Monday, he has almost no operational presence in the state.

"I don't see much of a Gingrich influence here," Buck said. "I don't see any ground game for him. I don't see him on the air. It seems like he has decided to take a pass on Colorado."


Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Ken Buck • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    Just the mention of this guy being a tea party candidate lead me to ignore the rest of this article. Nothing worthwhile or intelligent could possibly come out of his mouth.

    February 6, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    There are some crazy right wingnuts in Colorado, but fortunately, they are in the minority. No republican man should impose their reproductive beliefs on women until they, themselves, experience carrying a child for nine months and giving birth themselves.

    February 6, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Al

    Beats me how evangelicals can vote for Santorum when he killed (medically induced miscarriage) his own baby!!

    February 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    When I saw the word " handicap" with Buck, I had to smile.

    February 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. unsub

    Noot is done by March!

    February 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. P

    I'm from Colorado, and I'm going to caucus for Ron Paul.

    February 6, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Another guy who privately wants to support Romney because he knows he will win the nomination, but is afraid to because he doesn't want to alienate his Tea-Party base. Just like Jim DeMint in South Carolina.

    February 6, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Emmy Skaddittle

    the primaries are for lying to your base not electing them. I am pretty damn sure that the middle of the road independents are not going to to vote for the crazy religious guy

    February 6, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    The young eating their parents. The tea baggers were front page news two years ago. Now they are the trash left behind after the left in the big RVs to go back home to fade into the sunset.
    Even the she devil couldn't do it (unless she was really given the chance – she'll sleep with anyone) but I digress
    for the newterman leroy.

    February 6, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Jake

    reaching out for the endorsement of a loser? WHY?!

    February 6, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Hey Rick, maybe you can finally get over 11% of the vote...LOL. Buck said "Santorum has emerged as the main conservative alternative...." translation; Santorum is the latest favorite of the extreme ring wing nut jobs. He'll soon be joining Perry, Bachmann, Cain and Trump on the sidelines, where they all belong. Newt will be joining them soon as well. This group of idiots and clowns is the best the GOP can do thanks to the Tea Baggers.

    February 6, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. whiteguy

    Ken Buck is an idiot. That's why he last his race in Colorado.

    February 6, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Peter

    Ken Buck....Glen Beck.....They even look alike! Too close for comfort.

    February 6, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |