Democrats' "war on women" falling flat in Colorado Senate

“Gardner gave him a lot to work with on that subject, but a lot people think he may have overdone it,” said one well-connected Democratic operative in the state.

Starting essentially from Gardner’s entry into the race, Udall’s main line of attack on the GOP congressman has been his support for a federal “personhood” measure, which would effectively ban abortion and restrict many forms of birth control.

Gardner, however, has said he regretted his past support for the statewide initiative and has also helped mitigate hits against him by coming out for over-the-counter birth control — the first in a string of GOP Senate candidates to do so.

The problem is not that the attacks on Gardner haven’t worked, Democrats say — it’s that Udall is swimming against a far tougher tide than many had initially expected, even when the party was preparing for a tough cycle.