April 29, 2004


'Invisible army' key in GOP matchup: Schaffer has loyalty now, but voters could turn to Coors (M.E. Sprengelmeyer And Dick Foster, April 29, 2004, Rocky Mountain News)

There's an "invisible army" mobilizing in the Republican U.S. Senate contest, and where it lines up could influence the race between Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer.

Their ranks are thousands strong, hunkered at dining-room tables reading books, conjugating verbs, doing math and science lessons with their children.

They're home- schoolers - predominantly Republican parents, often religiously motivated, with their own special interest in politicians who shape the nation's education policy.

It may take some sort of secret weapon if former congressman Schaffer is to beat the better- known, better-bankrolled beer baron Coors.

Schaffer's camp includes many committed supporters who are familiar with his work in the state legislature, Congress and at a think tank that promotes home schools and private-school vouchers.

The question for Schaffer's campaign is whether they will stick with him in large enough numbers once Coors' education platform becomes as well known as his family name.

As it stands now, Schaffer shows signs of strength among school- choice supporters - a key GOP constituency that is highly motivated to get to the polls.

Doesn't seem like an issue where Mr. Coors will leave room to his Right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2004 11:34 PM
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