Any political party must work as a team to win. While the primary process will become at times a competitive and even divisive, any inability to set those feelings aside and back the nominee will give the party trouble.
A few Republicans this cycle know what kind of trouble that is, but none has more than Dan Maes against Democrat John Hickenlooper for Colorado Governor. He got opposition from the national party, and he’s collapsed in the polls.
Back when Dan Maes was the fallback winner of the Republican primary, after Scott McInnis imploded, he wasn’t in bad shape. Tom Tancredo was splitting the vote, but the Magellan Strategies and Public Opinion Strategies both had Maes running well ahead of Tancredo, putting the third party candidate in position to fade and become irrelevant by November.
But after the RGA and other national Republicans made it clear they would not accept the will of the primary voters in this race, Maes has lost a dozen points in the polls, with Tancredo being a prime beneficiary of that. In the new Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research poll Maes is now in terrible shape, as the poll shows Hickenlooper 44, Tancredo 34, Maes 15 (MoE 3). Apparently when your own party attacks you, the voters aren’t inclined to support you.
If only it were always so easy to divine the reasons for shifts in the polling.