COLORADO POLITICS — Democratic congressional candidate Levi Tilleman said Friday he’ll drop out of the 6th District primary if a poll he has commissioned shows that primary rival Jason Crow is the only Democrat who can unseat five-term Republican Mike Coffman in the suburban swing seat.
Tillemann told Colorado Politics he expects to have the results in hand Monday of a survey measuring the two Democrats’ relative strength against Coffman and will quit the race the next day “for the good of the nation and the party” if it looks like Crow’s position is “substantially” better.
But if it turns out national Democrats have been bluffing, Tillemann added, he plans to call on Crow to withdraw and for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to “stop meddling” in the party’s primaries.
Crow led Coffman by 5 points in the only public polling so far released in the race. The February survey, which didn’t pit Coffman against any other Democrats, was commissioned by End Citizens United, a liberal group that backs campaign finance reform and has endorsed Crow. It was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina — the same company Tillemann hired this week to poll the race.
Tillemann’s pledge is the latest salvo in an escalating battle between the Democrats’ left wing and the party’s establishment — in this case, embodied by New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the DCCC chair, who said earlier this week that polling demonstrates the more centrist Crow has a chance to beat Coffman, but Tillemann doesn’t.
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