In 2008, Colorado voters went with Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin by a margin of 54 to 45 percent. John McCain and Sarah Palin haven’t found much political success here in 2010, either.
In the Third Congressional, Sarah Palin endorsed Bob McConnell over Scott Tipton. The more-experienced Tipton won 56 to 44 percent.
McCain campaigned with U.S. Senate hopeful Jane Norton in Grand Junction and elsewhere. It was a closer race, but Buck won.
Did McCain’s efforts actually help Norton? Consider some interesting results from Mesa County, where McCain actively campaigned. True, voters there went with Norton over Buck by a wide margin: 60 to 38 percent. But Norton is (originally) a Mesa County local, so it would have been surprising for Buck to win there. Mesa County voters also favored the loser in the governor’s race — Scott McInnis — by an even wider margin: 70 to 27 percent. McInnis is also (basically) a local — he used to hold the Third Congressional seat — but his campaign imploded over the plagiarism scandal (as well as his general inability to spark enthusiasm among his party’s faithful).
I think that’s an interesting result. Norton, by all accounts a strong candidate, did relatively worse in Mesa County than McInnis did. Of course there may be some more subtle things going on here, but maybe the Democrats should hire McCain to come back and campaign for more Republicans through the general. (Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet doesn’t seem too sure he wants much more of Obama’s “help” through the general.)
One lesson that candidates might draw from the primary is that Coloradans don’t seem to put much stock in the opinions of outsiders.