RNC Chair Steele backs candidate supporters are deserting

Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes (R) has "nobody left" -- except for Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Maes has been losing support from just about every one of his prominent backers since a story broke that he embellished his record as a police officer in Liberal, Kan.

Maes also had to pay a record fine for campaign finance violations.

Several former supporters called on him to quit the race and promised to write-in other Republicans' names on the ballot.

In September, state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams said Maes "has nobody left."

Enter Steele, on his cross-country bus tour.

The RNC chairman was in the Denver suburbs Thursday night to rally Republicans.

"You have a chance now, despite all the crazy noise from primaries and all of that, to focus on the agenda," Steele told the crowd of roughly 150 Republicans. "And the question, very simply is: do you want a Democrat to run the state of Colorado or do you want a Republican to run the state of Colorado? And if you want a Republican, Dan Maes is your man."

Steele's endorsement came as a recent Pulse Opinion Research poll for Fox News found Maes getting just 15 percent of the vote in the three-way contest with Democrat John Hickenlooper and former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who is running on the American Constitution Party line.

Maes' support is at less than half of what he had shortly after winning the GOP primary over former Rep. Scott McInnis in August. Still, Steele said he couldn't support Tancredo, despite his better odds of winning.

"Mr. Tancredo and I have known each other a long time. We've been through the wars together, and I understand he made a decision to go a different way," he said. "As chairman of the Republican Party, I support the Republican nominee, and I encourage every Republican in Colorado to stand with that nominee and to make sure that nominee has a chance to win."

Maes issued a statement Friday thanking Steele "for his leadership."