Dan Maes, the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in Colorado, is now polling at only 13 percent according to the latest PPP poll. Beyond helping to ensure that Democrat John Hickenlooper wins, Maes’ total implosion as a candidate could end up costing the Colorado Republican Party its legal status as a major party.

PPP (PDF) (9/30-10/2)
John Hickenlooper (D) 47
Tom Tancredo (AC) 33
Dan Maes (R) 13
Undecided 7

According to Colorado state law, a party’s candidate for governor must get over 10 percent of the vote to retain the legal status of a major party. If Maes fails to cross that threshold, the Republican Party in Colorado would be demoted to minor party status. At only 13 percent, this is the lowest Maes has been in the polls.  The general trend of all polling has Maes steadily losing support as the right-leaning vote coalesces around Tom Tancredo, who is running on the American Constitution Party ticket. Although the chance is probably remote, there is at least a possibility that Maes could fail to get 10 percent in the general election.

There would be real implications for the Colorado GOP in 2012 and 2014 if they lose their major party status. According to the Denver Post, their candidates wouldn’t get good ballot placement and it could hurt the fundraising of State House candidates.