“This Colorado Senate race has national implications,” Quinnipiac assistant director Tim Malloy observes, “and it’s taken an ugly turn for the incumbent.” Actually, it was the ugly turn taken by incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and his party that may have put him seven points down with five left to go in Colorado’s Senate race. Udall’s incessant demagoguery on the so-called “war on women” appears to have backfired, as men give Cory Gardner a huge lead while women don’t even give Udall a majority:
With strong support from men, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican challenger in the Colorado U.S. Senate race, leads U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, the Democratic incumbent, 46 – 39 percent among likely voters, with 7 percent for independent candidate Steve Shogan, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 7 percent are undecided.
This compares to a 46 – 41 percent likely voter lead for Gardner in an October 24 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
With Shogan out of the race, Gardner is up 49 – 41 percent.
The gender breakdown reveals the actual breakdown. Udall’s obsession with contraception has netted him only a +6 among women, 45/39, short of a majority and far short of the gap he needed to remain competitive. Udall loses men by twenty-one points, 33/54. It hasn’t made him any more likable with female voters, either, with a favorability rating of +5 within the demo (49/44) — and -7 overall (43/50), thanks to the same -21 among men (36/57).
Colorado has a three-way race but no runoff system, so whoever leads after the polls close will win the seat. Even if Steve Shogan pulls out, though, the race doesn’t change at all, and neither do the demos. Gardner still holds a narrow lead among independents, and the gender gaps remain exactly the same. Among those who have already voted, Gardner leads by six, 48/42, with Shogan netting 3% so far. Only 10% say they might change their minds before casting a ballot, but those break out almost identically between the two main candidates; 92% of their voters say they have made up their minds. Second-choice breakouts show Gardner up by eight.
The collapse in Colorado is the Waterloo for the “war on women” meme, as I write in my column for The Fiscal Times today:
The incessant harping on contraception may have finally repelled women who have other concerns, such as the economy and national security, just like the millennials. But perhaps the desperation of Democrats to play this card with the same effectiveness as two years ago finally opened their eyes to the paternalistic attitude that Democrats took in positioning themselves as protectors, which implies that women can’t act on their own behalf.
Ground Zero for that meltdown ended up in Colorado, where incumbent Democrat Mark Udall earned the sobriquet “Mark Uterus” for obsessing on war-on-women issues to the exclusion of practically everything else. Republican challenger Cory Gardner called his bluff by backing proposals to make birth-control pills an over-the-counter purchase, which would greatly reduce cost and improve access for women. Udall fell into the trap by opposing the suggestion as an attack on access.
That pales in comparison to the desperate, last-minute attack on Gardner from pro-abortion group NARAL on Udall’s behalf. The ad features a male voice supposedly explaining in condescending tones to his girlfriend “Sweet Pea” that Gardner had banned all contraception and that birth control is now “on all us guys.”
He also helpfully explains to “Sweet Pea” that Gardner refuses to acknowledge climate change, which “everyone knows is weirding our weather,” because “Sweet Pea” apparently can’t be relied on to follow the election for herself.
Democrats think these voters will relate to “Sweet Pea” and her paternalistic scold of a lover who thinks birth control and climate change are the two biggest issues in their lives. Small wonder, then, that millennials and single women have finally become repelled by the “war on women” demagoguery and exploitative economic policies of Barack Obama, the Democrats, and their allies. No one likes to be taken for a sucker for long.
The “war on women” demagoguery strategy has provided a complete backfire on Democrats in this cycle. That may make it difficult for them to use it on behalf of Hillary Clinton in 2016, but don’t expect them to learn the lesson from just Udall’s experience — although it appears he will have lots of free time on his hands to remind Democrats of it over the next few years.