Colorado Senate: Gardner Touts Major Newspaper Endorsements, Leads in New Poll

Posted: Oct 13, 2014 2:12 PM
Colorado Senate: Gardner Touts Major Newspaper Endorsements, Leads in New Poll

Colorado Republican Cory Gardner leads hapless Democratic incumbent Mark Udall by four points (46/42), according to a new poll from SurveyUSA and High Point University:

Fox News' survey of likely voters in the state released late last week gave Gardner a six point advantage. Team Gardner is seeking to build momentum off of a string of newspaper endorsements, including the Denver Post's blockbuster nod that dropped on Friday. Money quotes:

[Washington] needs fresh leadership, energy and ideas, and Cory Gardner can help provide them in the U.S. Senate. In every position the Yuma Republican has held over the years — from the state legislature to U.S. House of Representatives — he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight. An analysis on ABC News' website, for example, singled out Gardner a year ago — before he declared for the Senate — as one of the party's “rising stars” who represented “a new generation of talent” and who had become a “go-to” member of leadership. And this was about someone who wasn't elected to Congress until 2010. Nor is Gardner a political time-server interested only in professional security. He is giving up a safe seat in the House to challenge a one-term Senate incumbent, Democrat Mark Udall, in what is typically an uphill effort. It's time for a change...Rather than run on his record, Udall's campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman's call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.

The campaign released the following ad that lets others do the talking:

If Gardner pulls off this upset, Ellen Carmichael argues at the The Federalist that his focus and discipline will have played a significant role:

Message discipline matters. Gardner’s consistency and restraint give Udall few openings for attack. When asked about his positions on birth control and abortion, Gardner responds clearly, calmly and with conviction. It’s obvious that he means what he says: one can support expanded access to contraception without forcing taxpayers to pay for it and without supporting abortion. We also know there’s no better way to frustrate a bully than to refuse to be bothered by him. Gardner’s disinterest in even entertaining Udall’s wild accusations demonstrate a political maturity. He knows he doesn’t have to fight every battle or feed a troll—even if that troll is a sitting U.S. senator.

Republicans haven't won a major statewide race in Colorado since 2004, so it would be premature and foolish for conservatives to dance in the endzone before this race is over. The Obama campaign's get-out-the-vote operation in Colorado was highly efficient two years ago, allowing the president to carry the state relatively comfortably in spite of close polls. But sometimes actions speak louder than words:

National Democrats are canceling more than $1 million of planned commercial airtime for Colorado congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff — a sign of waning confidence in his prospects. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had reserved $1.4 million for TV spending to boost Romanoff in the final two weeks of his race against Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. But a DCCC aide said Friday that those funds would be distributed to other races.

If the DCCC is pulling the plug in a marquee House race in the Denver suburbs, while Senate Majority PAC reduces its ad buy in the state, they can't be looking at particularly bright trends in their internal polling.