Liberal fervor for gun control puts Senate candidates in tough spot

O’Malley cited past mass shootings at Columbine High School and a movie theatre in Aurora, Colo., asserting, “there were a whole lot of moms and dads here who lost sons and daughters in those massacres and they want this to be an issue we address as a people.”

Democratic strategists based in Colorado, however, warn that presidential candidates would pay a price for such talk come general-election time.

“I have a feeling that [Clinton] is wise enough from her Arkansas roots not to come to Denver, Colorado, or Colorado Springs and decide what I’m going to do is a major speech on gun control,” said Rick Ridder, a Democratic consultant based in Denver. “She’s got enough political wisdom, and if not somebody will kick the tires off her campaign plane, make sure she doesn’t land here and give that speech.”

Another Colorado-based Democratic strategist said gun control is not a great issue for embattled Democratic candidates such as Bennet.

“I don’t feel like any Democrat needs to run on gun control as a primary concern. There are larger, more pressing issues at play. I don’t think it’s great ground for any Democratic candidate to be spending their time on,” said the strategist, who requested anonymity.