Will Ken Salazar out, there's less work to do.
John Hickenlooper (4-1)
Hickenlooper is the likable and the greatest maverick as well as the best in the race that can show he isn't partisan politics. However, he has not shown leadership as mayor. Promising the end to homelessness in 10 years isn't working out so well. Creating part of the the clean light rail, but then letting it slip by getting the rest to be powered by coal, as well as high taxes to pay for it. 2010 is the year you don't want the words "high taxes" next to your name. However is favorability is high, why? The media loves him and all people can remember is the Hickenlooper FOR Mayor guy, not the Mayor Hickenlooper. People love his promises, but his actions are less then stellar. Still, he will have funding and with a new haircut, will probably be the GOP's worst opponent. They still can paint him as an urban, tax hike, poor leadership candidate, which is partly what they painted Ritter as.
Andrew Romanoff (5-1)
A much better candidate then Hickenlooper, but switching races shows only one thing, his want of power, not of helping people. With Romanoff gone though, Bennet will be stronger in the Senate race with his tons of cash raised to keep the puppet in. Romanoff has shown by running against Bennet that he isn't a rubber stamp for the Democratic Party, which could play well. His Senate campaign has been a disaster though, it seems he isn't even in the race and he won't have a chance running like this in the Governor's race. Romanoff has a record of leadership, even if it is liberal, something Ritter lacked and Colorado wants. It still will be very diffacult for Romanoff to jump into this race though, but if he does, he could win.
Ed Perlmutter (6-1)
The one benefit of Perlmutter, is money. Perlmutter is sitting on a mountain of cash he's raised up, which he may need for his Congressional race if he chooses not to go for this now that the GOP has real candidates in the race wanting his seat. If Perlmutter does run for Governor, the GOP has a high chance of picking up this seat (CD-4 is on the top of the list anyway) giving the Republicans a majority again. Perlmutter though, has only shown a love for power. All he wants is higher office, he's not in it for the people, but the title. When Ritter needed to appoint a Senator, everyone said "Romanoff" while Perlmutter wanted it, it will be a tougher sell to the people of Colorado though in a 30 second commercial then if it was Romanoff who would be switching races. Perlmutter has been a liberal and union rubber stamp, unpopular now in Colorado. He won't be able to move to the middle with no record of doing so
John Salazar (10-1)
Without his brother Ken in the race, John could run, but it doesn't seem likely. The Latino vote made up 30% in the prior election an expected to be up to 35% in 2010. The GOP cannot win if there is a huge outcome in the Latino community voting against them. Salazar also is a rancher, a plus. He's from the west which could be a plus if McInnis beats Dan Maes who is also from the west. Salazar though, can't prove he's a blue-dog, fiscal conservative anymore. He voted for the stimulus and health care public option. Colorado cares more about electing a fiscal conservative then a social libertarian or moderate and Salazar doesn't fit that ticket. It also seems like the Republicans may have a chance to pick up his seat as well in 2010, so if he leaves his seat, the Republicans almost are certain to win the third back.
Terrance Caroll (25-1)
The Speaker of the House is not mentioned, but still a possibility. However it is past very unlikely, so we won't spend too much time on him. Caroll is young and a minority which could bring in young and minority democrats to the polls which would help swing the race. Caroll is a strong liberal though, helping pass bills in the House that most of us think are unreasonable like strange and high new taxes, more government control, wasteful spending and less efficient government.
Diana DeGette (30-1)
Though if she comes into this race her Denver seat will be safe for democrats, DeGette is by far, the most liberal politician in Colorado. She would be not be able to win the general and would lose by double digits. DeGette started the movement to block the health care bill if covering abortions was not included in it. She has been a clear rubber stamp for the far left. She has only supported tax hikes, wasteful and inefficient spending and government control. Colorado is a libertarian leaning state, and in 2010 the focus is on economic issues, which Colorado stays on the right, DeGette would not even be able to paint herself has a moderate-liberal. She could not win and most likely will not even be mentioned in the talks for who will succeed Ritter.
Cary Kennedy (50-1)
Has been elected state-wide, barely, yet is the most likely person in Colorado to lose re-election. She is being out-raised 2-1 and almost 4-1 by the total Republican funds in the race. She has shown irresponsibility in her position as state Treasurer and has not even taken leadership on fiscal issues, being excluding from important general assembly meetings. If Kennedy is the choice, she will lose by possibly the greatest margin ever and the Treasurer seat will be solid Republican.