By David Hill - 01/17/06 12:00 AM EST
On Monday, my polling firm lost a valued client and Colorado Republicans lost their 2008 Senate nominee. Wayne Allard chose not to seek reelection. I could be down in the dumps about this development, but I see some upside.
Allard’s admirable decision affirms a personal sense that the veterinarian from Loveland is one of the finest individuals I have ever served. Polls convinced me that Allard is so widely respected and universally liked in Colorado that he could have broken his term-limit pledge, sought a third term and been reelected. In the end, though, it was a private decision by Allard and his family that sealed the deal. Wayne Allard would be a man of his word and strong values, not a patron of pragmatic politics. So he’s not running.
His decision is particularly courageous when you consider that top Republicans and conservatives everywhere were strong-arming Allard to run. Even former officeholders who honored their own term-limit pledges became ambivalent about Allard’s past promise to voters. Given the current weak state of Republican fortunes in Colorado, some were tempted to put political expediency ahead of principles. In just a short time span, the state’s GOP has lost control of both chambers of the legislature, majority control of the congressional delegation, a U.S. Senate seat and the governor’s office. It has been a slow, steady slide. And losing Allard’s seat — just because of a term-limit pledge — might be the coup de gr