Wednesday’s surprising race swap between Representative Cory Gardner and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck may demonstrate a game changer for Colorado’s Republican Party.
“It really is a move that made a lot of sense for all the parties involved,” said Colorado State University political science professor Kyle Saunders. “That in and of itself shows an increased awareness of the Republican Party and an increased discipline of the Republican Party of seeing an opportunity and taking advantage of it.”
Saunders said the solidly Republican 4th Congressional District is a more natural fit for Ken Buck. He adds that Gardner has a better opportunity to win the Senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.
A Feb. 6 Quinnipiac University Poll showed a small lead for Udall over top Republican competitors.
Buck narrowly lost to Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in 2010. Some Republicans were worried that the mistakes Buck made on the campaign trail against Bennet might doom him against Udall.
Meanwhile another leading Republican candidate, State Representative Amy Stephens, announced plans to drop her bid Feb. 27, calling Gardner “the great uniter.”