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Colorado Senate Seat Becomes Potential Pickup for GOP

Rep. Cory Gardner jumping into the race throws a curve ball at Sen. Mark Udall.

by
Bill Straub

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March 11, 2014 - 12:07 am
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WASHINGTON – Democratic control of the U.S. Senate – already tenuous as a result of retirements and stiff Republican challenges – has become even more perilous as a result of recent events in Colorado.

In what amounts to a game of trading places, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a Republican who intended to challenge incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in the November election, dropped out of the race to run for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Gardner, in turn, jumped into the Senate race, providing Colorado Republicans with a significantly better chance of capturing Udall’s seat.

Gardner, 39, of Yuma, who won a second term with 58.4 percent of the vote in his Republican-leaning district in 2012, is, according to Buck, “in the strongest position” to defeat Udall, who finds himself tarnished by his association with President Obama, whose popularity continues to plummet, and his support for the Affordable Care Act.

A Quinnipiac University Poll, taken in February before the switcheroo, showed Colorado voters split over Udall, with 44 percent saying they approved of his performance and 44 percent giving him a thumbs-down. At the same time, Udall held a less-than-impressive three-point lead over Buck, 45 percent to 42 percent, who was considered an inferior candidate to Gardner.

An incumbent polling below 50 percent usually means trouble.

“The air is getting thinner for Democrats in the Rocky Mountains,” said Colorado Republican Committee Chairman Ryan Call. “President Obama and Sen. Udall’s broken promises and failed leadership have caused Coloradans more grief than they can manage.”

National political analysts have noted the change. Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, has moved the race from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic,” commenting that “Gardner should give Udall a stiffer challenge than the other Republicans in the field.”

Colorado Democrats immediately pounced, condemning the “backroom deal” cooked up between Buck and Gardner, asserting that the GOP is looking to further strengthen its ties with the Tea Party movement.

“Given Republicans’ back-room wheeling and dealing, Coloradans will see that Cory Gardner is simply a Ken Buck-radical who is neck deep in Washington sleaze,” said Rick Palacio, the Colorado Democratic Party chairman. “Gardner is just another reckless House Republican when it comes to dismantling Social Security and Medicare, banning abortion and many types of birth control and irresponsibly putting our economy at risk to advance his political agenda.”

In a statement, the Udall campaign acknowledged Gardner, with a campaign war chest in excess of $1 million, will prove formidable.

“Cory supported the twice-defeated ‘personhood’ ballot initiative to outlaw abortion — even in the cases of rape and incest — and ban many forms of birth control,” the statement said. “He voted for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which would privatize Medicare, slash education funding, and give millionaires a $125,000 tax cut. He also joined a group of Republicans that proposed a plan to privatize Social Security.”

Gardner, the campaign said, also opposed overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the government’s ban on gays serving openly in the military.

“We must stop Cory’s momentum dead in its tracks,” it said.

In announcing his candidacy, Gardner warned that “the United States that we know is fading” and insisted “this fight is about the future, for our families, children and grandchildren.”

“Amidst big government boondoggles and unaccountable bureaucracies, the people of this country find themselves working harder and harder each and every day only to see the promise of opportunity slip further and further from their reach,” Gardner said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

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Top Rated Comments   
There are glimmers of hope here in Colorado, but the Democrat-controlled state just passed voter laws that you would not believe. You don't have to present an id. There will be no voting on election day, only early voting and mail in ballots. You can walk into a precinct and declare your "intent" to move to that district and receive a ballot and vote, no identification, no proof of residency. The fix is in, but if enough people vote in this election the Democrats might not be able to generate enough fake ballots to win.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Since Colorado effectively legalized marijuana in their state, the Dems will have a hard time getting their people to the polls......................
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Weren't we supposed to win the Senate four years ago?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There will be no voting on election day, only early voting and mail in ballots. "

Would that be Constitutional in a Presidential election?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are glimmers of hope here in Colorado, but the Democrat-controlled state just passed voter laws that you would not believe. You don't have to present an id. There will be no voting on election day, only early voting and mail in ballots. You can walk into a precinct and declare your "intent" to move to that district and receive a ballot and vote, no identification, no proof of residency. The fix is in, but if enough people vote in this election the Democrats might not be able to generate enough fake ballots to win.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are similar voting rules in New Hampshire, and they have been in place since at least 2004. Can you point to five instance of voter fraud there because of the rules, which would be prevented with a drives license? I am talking about convictions not allegations.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
In order for there to be convictions, there must be investigations. And since most if not all voting fraud occurs in Democrat strongholds, investigations do not happen. Inner city districts routinely have soviet style 100% turnouts, with soviet style 99-100% democrat votes. In areas where the schools have no PTA's, where parent-teacher conferences attract less then 10% of parents, and where civic organizations are few and far between. But every election day 100% of the populace shows up. DO you honestly believe that really happens?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cite the sources of your numbers if you are going to make such drastic claims.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since when are New Hampshire and Colorado a Democratic strong hold? I will take from your response that you concede my point. Bonnie claimed that these new voting rules would lead to rampant voter fraud, and I asked from someone to show that based on rules in similar states.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dems have always flouted the law in favor of militant tactics. See http://clarespark.com/2011/12/10/before-saul-alinsky-rules-for-democratic-politicians/. Their opposition MUST get out the vote to defeat them. No excuses please.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
It really does not matter since most elections are fixed in the former USA; the large cities like Denver, Seattle, Philadelphia etc cast the votes for their phantom clients. So that is why large states are controlled by corrupt urban democrat machines, Baltimore controls Maryland, Detroit controls Michigan, Philadelphia controls Pennsylvania, NYC controls New York etc. Philadelphia elections resemble the Stalinist state where Staling always won at least 99% of the vote.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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