Desperation, thy name is Colorado’s Mark Udall

posted at 8:01 am on August 6, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Save for one New York Times/CBS online poll, which was savaged by The American Association for Public Opinion Research for demonstrating “little grounding in theory,” incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) cannot point to much evidence to suggest that he’s going to have a good year at the polls. That survey was the only since March to find the incumbent senator cresting 50 percent support while maintaining a 4-point lead over his challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

The majority of the polling in the race Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat is not promising for the Udall camp. Outside of July 7 – 10 NBC News/Marist survey which found Udall leading Gardner by 7 points, almost every 2014 survey has shown Udall and Garner statistically tied with none indicating the incumbent has the support of a majority of Colorado voters.

But the public opinion surveys are only one metric that indicates that this race is competitive. Another is the incumbent’s behavior, and Udall’s camp is sending the signals that this race is too close for comfort.

This pattern of behavior is best exemplified in this latest ad which resurrects 2012’s War on Women with all the grace and prudence of Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

The themes in this spot are as familiar as they are ham-fisted; Gardner wants to make abortion a felony in all cases, opposes any form of contraception, and plans to force women to wear Burkas. Okay, even that last claim was too much for Udall’s ad-makers to embrace… but I doubt his team has ruled it out.

The ad “Backwards” is a near mirror image of another spot the Udall campaign ran against Gardner in April. You will recognize the themes and the nearly identical script of “Backwards” in this ad, “Respect.”

Politifact took on the claims in this ad and judged many of them to be misleading. While Gardner once supported personhood measures as a state representative, measures which were resoundingly rejected by Colorado voters in 2008 and 2010, he has since renounced that position.

In a further complication, Gardner recently made a major about-face, saying he no longer supports the personhood movement, partly because he now thinks it could potentially impact access to certain forms of birth control.

“The fact that it restricts contraception, it was not the right position,” Gardner told The Denver Post. “I’ve learned to listen. I don’t get everything right the first time.”

Gardner’s campaign notes that in 2007, he was one of five to cosponsor an anti-abortion measure in Colorado that specified that “nothing in this section shall prohibit the sale, use, prescription or administration of a contraceptive measure, device, drug or chemical.” This bill, his campaign said, demonstrates that while Gardner is pro-life, he is not anti-contraceptive.

Politifact still found it in their hearts to rate Udall’s ad “half true,” but even that is a dubious rating given the representative’s statements.

The polls suggest this race is close with the incumbent maintaining a slight edge, but Udall’s desperate ads indicate that it the race for Senate in Colorado may be closer than even the polls indicate.


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We can’t get cocky

22044 on August 6, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Met some Coloradoni…Coloradifia…people from Colorado at this motorcycle rally I attended for the last few days.

That’s all, just met them, the key part is that we met them at the Buffalo Chip getting our bikes washed by the Buffalo Chip beauty pageant contestants who were wearing…uh….skimpy…I mean SKIMPY bikinis.

O_O Eyes wide open the entire time. Hoooo boy.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

When you can’t run on policy ideas…go to culture wars…

workingclass artist on August 6, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Met some Coloradoni…Coloradifia…people from Colorado at this motorcycle rally I attended for the last few days.

That’s all, just met them, the key part is that we met them at the Buffalo Chip getting our bikes washed by the Buffalo Chip beauty pageant contestants who were wearing…uh….skimpy…I mean SKIMPY bikinis.

O_O Eyes wide open the entire time. Hoooo boy.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Did they speak english?

workingclass artist on August 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

getting our bikes washed by the Buffalo Chip beauty pageant contestants who were wearing…uh….skimpy…I mean SKIMPY bikinis.
O_O Eyes wide open the entire time. Hoooo boy.
Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Pics or it didn’t happen!! ;)

geojed on August 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

O_O Eyes wide open the entire time. Hoooo boy.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Nice to see there are cultural events where you live.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

I really don’t think a “war on women” ad means the candidate is in trouble. That strategy worked brilliantly in 2012 and the Dems are going to that playbook again. It’s just smart politics.

mypalfish on August 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Dems are such pathetic liars.

/Losers

Key West Reader on August 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM

“war on women” ad
mypalfish on August 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Voters still stupid enough to fall for this, shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Alabama Infidel on August 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Met some Coloradoni…Coloradifia…people from Colorado at this motorcycle rally I attended for the last few days.

That’s all, just met them, the key part is that we met them at the Buffalo Chip getting our bikes washed by the Buffalo Chip beauty pageant contestants who were wearing…uh….skimpy…I mean SKIMPY bikinis.

O_O Eyes wide open the entire time. Hoooo boy.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Why talk Politics when there are better things to do look at….

ToddPA on August 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Sturgis.com is already posting pics and I will neither confirm nor deny that there is a pic of my custom ride somewhere on the site.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

But yeah, I’m still a pessimist about all these pols from every party.

Udall is a fud but they’re all fuds. Right here in my district the main GOP candidate is a guy who has run for just about every office there is, he’s a nice enough person but seriously, it’s time to move on with your life and get off the public teat.

Bishop on August 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM

The fact that Udall and other Colorado Democrats have a 180 on fracking and joined Hickenlooper in support, and they’ve all gone running at warp speed from the anti-gun initiatives they were all-in on just two years ago shows the Dems can’t run political campaigns in Colorado yet using the same template as in California or the northeastern states. But that doesn’t mean, as with Obama in 2012, that they won’t be able to fool just enough voters come November to get re-elected (and it will be interesting — since this is Colorado — if we see any reports of activist groups offering to swap legal pot for votes in the state to goose turnout, in the run-up to Nov. 4).

jon1979 on August 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

The themes in this spot are as familiar as they are ham-fisted;

In the first ad, I find it galling to see a mother seated next to an adorable daughter–yes, actors I’m sure–talking about her daughter having “choices” that would have effectively taken that daughter out.

I realize that Gardner has support for personhood legislation in his background, but it’s in the past. If CO women can’t get past that, they deserve more of Harry Reid. What I don’t get is the claim of his opposition to birth control. He needs to beat that back aggressively.

BuckeyeSam on August 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM

In the first ad, I find it galling to see a mother seated next to an adorable daughter–yes, actors I’m sure–talking about her daughter having “choices” that would have effectively taken that daughter out…

BuckeyeSam on August 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM

And, killed her grandchild.

Fallon on August 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

In the first ad, I find it galling to see a mother seated next to an adorable daughter–yes, actors I’m sure–talking about her daughter having “choices” that would have effectively taken that daughter out…

BuckeyeSam on August 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM

And, killed her grandchild.

Fallon on August 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Progressive logic…like a pretzel

workingclass artist on August 6, 2014 at 9:10 AM

And are the Gardner response ads equally as biting? All too often, the GOP candidate gets into the weeds on stuff like this-especially the ‘personhood’ stuff-and can’t find their way out. He needs to fight fire with fire.

changer1701 on August 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Smart politics…

“For one thing, he hammered home the idea that the GOP (and Dems, too, for that matter) must “stay focused” on putting America back to work and stop “getting distracted” by divisive social issues.

This was, as it happened, a topic of intense interest at the media luncheon, since the previous week Perry had caused a mini-tempest by comparing homosexuality to alcoholism at an event in San Francisco. When a reporter coyly broached the subject by asking what sorts of issues Perry considers “a distraction,” the governor dove right in, citing his San Francisco gaffe as Exhibit A. (“I stepped right in it!”)

When pressed, at the luncheon and elsewhere, on whether he considers homosexuality a disorder, Perry repeatedly maintained that his personal views are not pertinent, that decisions on gay rights should be left to the states, and that the federal government has far more pressing crises to confront….”

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/meet-the-new-rick-perryis-he-the-same-as-the-old-rick-perry/375571/2/

workingclass artist on August 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Birth control…birth control…birth control….are Dem(dumb)women bumping uglies 24/7…anything else concern them?

msupertas on August 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

This is what happens when we allow career politicians; losing a race is tantamount to career destruction. The politician resorts to anything to prevent that from happening; morals and ideals are an early casualty.
We get damaged and compromised individuals managing our country.

Time for both term limits and career limits for elected public office.

mad scientist on August 6, 2014 at 9:19 AM

And twisting little minds is good for children, she got on tv after all!

Cliff by the Ford on August 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Plenty of material out there supporting that Udall hates women, if Gardner’s team will look for it.

Re the girl, will she be groomed to be Sandra Fluke Jr.? May it never be…

22044 on August 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Birth control…birth control…birth control….are Dem(dumb)women bumping uglies 24/7…anything else concern them?

msupertas on August 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Birth control is almost never really an issue – it’s just used to make the link to abortion and keep abortion going. Because no one is really against birth control in general, the pro-abortionists like to make the tie (specifically as it concerns certain contraceptives that can also be abortifacents) so an anti-abortionist can be construed as somehow way out there. It’s dishonest, so it’s a perfectly effective progressive tactic.

GWB on August 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

I really don’t think a “war on women” ad means the candidate is in trouble. That strategy worked brilliantly in 2012 and the Dems are going to that playbook again. It’s just smart politics.

mypalfish on August 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

I’ve seen the Udall ads dozens of times (throwing up in my mouth a little bit each time) in the past couple of months and I’ve seen a few Gardner ads during that time. The Gardner ads are good, but don’t address the Udall ads at all. And the Udall ads are running (it seems to me) much, much more frequently that Gardner ads.

If I was a voter who wasn’t sure who to vote for I’d come away with the impression that Gardner is kind of a nice guy, but he could also be a douche, whereas Udall at least fights for what he believes in.

I’m not sure what to think about all this. It’s almost as if the GOP doesn’t really want to pick up this Senate seat. As a Republican I keep waiting for some hard-hitting ads, but it never seems to happen. It’s very discouraging, and if Gardner looses by a narrow margin in November, I’m going to be pissed that the GOP squandered a great opportunity.

Again.

lovesthesun on August 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I’ve been watching with bemusement since Cory Gardner first decided to run against Udall. There’ve been a ton of ads on Denver TV like this from outside groups pulling every buzzword out of the well with the whole “war on women” meme, pictures of the Koch brothers with oil oozing across the screen, and the words “too extreme” highlighted in nearly every ad.

It’s insulting to believe that after the health care debacle, the economy, Colorado going to pot, and countless other issues, that the Udall campaign and its backers are foolish enough to believe that “women” all think alike in Colorado and that the one issue on their mind is reproductive health care whether or not they get contraceptives.

Captain Scarlet on August 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Democratic women a la Hildebeast, Botox nan, Senata candidate Nunn in GA etc are so f’n ugly, they don’t need birth control.

Their face is all they need to prevent pregnancy.

txdoc on August 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Udall is running almost exclusively on birth control – it’s all he has – although recently they’ve added Dingy Harry’s evil Koch Brothers to the mix.

Simple fact is Udall is a 100% Obamatron who fully supports Feinstein/Bloomy style radical gun control, 0bumblescare, open borders, big spending, he’s against oil drilling – basically, he’s a hardcore lefty.

I just hope there aren’t too many airheaded wymynzes who believe his lies about Gardner, and end up voting for the rest of the leftist crap Udall supports.
Unfortunately the Peoples’ Republik of Denver-Boulder is full of leftist idiots.

dentarthurdent on August 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

And are the Gardner response ads equally as biting? All too often, the GOP candidate gets into the weeds on stuff like this-especially the ‘personhood’ stuff-and can’t find their way out. He needs to fight fire with fire.

changer1701 on August 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

No. There have been a few ok ads, but the GOP is not going hard after Udall yet – maybe they’re saving their money for closer to the election – I hope. But so far, I haven’t seen much from the GOP, and they have more than enough material to choose from.

I really hope Gardner isn’t trying to play “nice guy” and allow himself to get run over – like Romney did.

dentarthurdent on August 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Gardner is running ads that state it’s time for a new generation. The old generation has saddled the new generation with debt. Personally, I’d like to see Gardner ads that note that Udall voted against Keystone. I’d also like to see ALL Republican ads note that Udall (and all other senators) chose to run off on vacation rather than addressing the border issue. Probably wise not to fall into the war on women trap. Need to publicize more the number of bills that Harry Reid has refused to discuss in the senate. Make it a national issue to get rid of Udall.

I’ve sent Gardner more money. Hope he uses it wisely.

COgirl on August 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I’ve sent Gardner more money. Hope he uses it wisely.

COgirl on August 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I would like to make some financial contribution to Gardner’s campaign as well.

I also have the opportunity to write opinion pieces for a major (left-leaning) newspaper here in Colorado. What would be a nice topic to write about as a conservative?

sohumm on August 6, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I also have the opportunity to write opinion pieces for a major (left-leaning) newspaper here in Colorado. What would be a nice topic to write about as a conservative?

sohumm on August 6, 2014 at 12:28 PM

How about pointing out Udall’s lies and just telling the truth about Gardner?

dentarthurdent on August 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

The whole war against women campaign was used against Ken Buck in the last election, and it worked, which is why they are trying it again. If that’s all they got, they are desperate. The midterms in Colorado is mostly about energy and drilling. We don’t want to be the next California.

lea on August 6, 2014 at 1:13 PM

How about pointing out Udall’s lies and just telling the truth about Gardner?

dentarthurdent on August 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

An excellent idea. I am a woman minority, so that should help.

However, I’ll have to contact Gardner’s communication director before sending anything to my journalist friend.

I will have to be extremely careful, since the newspaper editor changed 3-5% of my article last time. I have never met the editor in person, but I believe she is a liberal.

sohumm on August 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

A border crisis, chaos in the ME, weak economy, Obamacare….. and Udall wants to make the election about abortion and birth control?

Plus he’s the guy who won’t be seen with Barry. Hope he loses.

cat_owner on August 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Plus he’s the guy who won’t be seen with Barry. Hope he loses.

cat_owner on August 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Ya – he doesn’t want to be seen in public with King Putt cuz that doesn’t “play well” with the voters – but otherwise he has his nose firmly planted up King Putt’s backside….

dentarthurdent on August 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I’ve seen the Udall ads dozens of times (throwing up in my mouth a little bit each time) in the past couple of months and I’ve seen a few Gardner ads during that time. The Gardner ads are good, but don’t address the Udall ads at all. And the Udall ads are running (it seems to me) much, much more frequently that Gardner ads.

If I was a voter who wasn’t sure who to vote for I’d come away with the impression that Gardner is kind of a nice guy, but he could also be a douche, whereas Udall at least fights for what he believes in.

I’m not sure what to think about all this. It’s almost as if the GOP doesn’t really want to pick up this Senate seat. As a Republican I keep waiting for some hard-hitting ads, but it never seems to happen. It’s very discouraging, and if Gardner looses by a narrow margin in November, I’m going to be pissed that the GOP squandered a great opportunity.

Again.

lovesthesun on August 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The same thing happened in Virginia between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. Rather than address the issue, or better yet, turn the tables by talking about a war on kids, Cuccinelli remained silent and lost. It’s a poor strategy.

Stoic Patriot on August 6, 2014 at 6:46 PM