10/08/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Dan Maes may be about to spell doom for the Republican Party in Colorado. The GOP gubernatorial candidate is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, and right now he is badly embattled. In fact, he is polling at around 13% in the recent PPP polling. The problem for Maes and the Republican Party in Colorado is that, should he fall below ten percent of the vote in November, the party will be downgraded to minority party status.
According to Dave Kerber, the chairman of the Arapahoe County Republican Party, this is what the whole problem for the GOP would mean if this disaster happens to them:
MINOR PARTY STATUS
“First the determination of whether the Republicans would be a minor party is if the a party’s candidate for Governor receives less than 10% of the vote. Should Dan Maes receive less than 10% of the vote, all Republican candidates for the next two election cycles 2012 and 2014 will have minor party status.”
“The current rule is that the major parties (currently Republican and Democrat) have a lottery to determine which candidate will be first and second for all races. Then the minor parties have a lottery to determine their respective order beneath the major party candidates. Finally independents appearing on the ballot through petition will have a lottery to determine their ballot placement below the major parties and minor parties.
“The effect of the designation of minor party status for the 2012 election would be that our candidate for president will not be in the top two lines which will be reserved for the Democrat and American Constitution Party candidates. We will be left to compete for ballot position with the Greens, Socialists, American Communist Party, Libertarians. Prohibitionists etc.
“Our state house and senate candidates will similarly be relegated to bottom positions. In 2014, when we have our US Senate, Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer etc races, again, we will be at the bottom of the ballot fighting the libertarians etc for ballot placement. As we all know, being at the top or toward the top can mean several percentage points in the vote, enough in a close race to secure victory.”
“Being a minor party can cut the ability of our candidates to raise money. Under Colorado law if a minor party candidate is designated by the party’s assembly for the ballot, that candidate will automatically be designated for the general election ballot without the need of a primary.
“The purpose of this was to save County Clerks from having to print up and distribute minor party primary ballots where there are so few voters and a primary would be meaningless. The major parties on the other hand are on all primary ballots even without competition. As a minor party, all of our candidates who would not face a primary challenge would automatically be designated for the general election ballot.
“The problem arises in that campaign finance rules allow for a State House candidate, for example, to raise $200 in the primary election and $200 in the general election. As a major party and therefore a primary, all our Republican house candidates can raise $400/ donor. As a minor party, that candidate would only be able to raise $200/donor for the general election only.
“The Democrats, as a major party, would continue to raise $400/donor. This would put our candidates at a great disadvantage through two election cycles.”
Maes has been struggling with a plethora of problems including several scandals. Even a tack to the Right has not helped him as he has been out flanked on that side by Tom Tancredo, who is running on the American Constitution line. On the right, he is facing off against John Hickenlooper, who is currently the favorite to win in November.
For the record, Maes’ position on marriage equality is thus:
“Research over the decades supports that traditional marriage between a man and a woman that is preserved in one marriage creates an environment most likely to reproduce successful marital and socioeconomic results. More efforts need to be taken proactively to educate and inform all Coloradans that one of the most proven paths to successful children and families is in traditional marriage.”
Currently, Maes is not likely to win only 10% of the vote, but it remains a possibility.