"Republicans in the state were frustrated because with the national wave rolling across the country, Colorado stood out as a notable exception," said University of Colorado professor Ken Bickers. Wadhams has also been criticized by some Republicans for not adequately vetting candidates. "After a series of improbable events occurred that led to the nomination of a very flawed candidate, Dan Maes, some of the same people that had roundly accused me of unfairly interfering in the process, then a year and a half later were demanding to know why I didn't interfere in the process," Wadhams said. In the Senate race, Republican nominee Ken Buck stumbled in his bid against Sen. Michael Bennet (D), eventually losing a close contest. "Ken took some positions that made him unacceptable to a large group of unaffiliated voters who otherwise voted Republican but they couldn't in the Senate race," Wadhams said. While the two marquee races in the state did not end well for Republicans, the party had success in several down-ballot races. Republicans won control of the state House and ousted two Democrats in the U.S. House in 2010. Still, given the national climate, both statewide races were well within Republicans' grasp, and many Republicans were disappointed, with some laying blame squarely on Wadhams. But there are limits to what party chairs can and cannot control. "Party chairs are not superhuman," said Bickers. "They can't keep a party from melting down."