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Tancredo Officially Enters GOP Race in Iowa

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The field vying for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination got even more crowded this week when 5-term Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo entered the race on Monday in an on-air radio announcement in Des Moines.

Tancredo, a former schoolteacher and Education Department appointee under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has been the most vocal opponent on the Hill against illegal immigration since he took office in 1999. Until recently, Tancredo had chaired the 104-member bipartisan House Immigration Reform Caucus (now headed by California GOP congressman Brian Billbray).

Tancredo may be viewed in GOP circles as a single-issue candidate, but the congressman has been a consistent voice for change on this issue, which has significant support among the Party's conservative wing. The Republican congressman has frequently levied the harshest of criticisms at his own party members, leadership, and President George W. Bush for not enforcing America's federal immigration laws and for neglecting to secure its ports and borders.

In early surveys taken before Tancredo announced his candidacy, the Congressman was polling in the low single digits in most states. Tancredo polled at 2 percent in a January Zogby poll of likely GOP Iowa caucus voters and 1 percent in each of the last three American Research Group polls of Hawkeye State republicans. In a recent ARG poll in his home state of Colorado, Tancredo scored 7 percent of the support of likely GOP voters.

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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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