Tom Tancredo did the right thing Tuesday, announcing his exit from the Colorado Republican gubernatorial primary.
"I've said a million times, on this race, on this campaign, I do not want to win a primary just to lose the general," he told 9 News Denver. "If I can't figure out a way to make it work, we won't run."
The iconic former five-term conservative congressman assessed his realistic odds, then wisely stepped aside. His base of loyal special interest supporters posed strong potential of a primary win, but his prospects of ultimate victory were low.
This had to be a difficult decision by a man who has long been willing to serve the public.
Despite Tancredo's move, the Republican field remains crowded with eight declared candidates. Others would do themselves and their party a favor to follow Tancredo's lead if they can't raise big money soon and achieve good name recognition.
Democrats won nine of the past 11 gubernatorial elections, controlling the office for 34 of the past 42 years. Changing demographics only worsen prospects for the GOP.
Learn from Democrats, who seldom have primary slugfests in Colorado. Avoid a destructive primary, support one candidate, and give Colorado a serious contest in the general this fall.