Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gardner’s Entering the Race Puts Colorado in Play

February 26 marked the day Colorado’s U.S. Senate race became targeted by national Republicans and Washington D.C. pundits.

In a series of interviews, I helped describe the significance of Congressman Cory Gardner’s entrance into the race.

KOA, April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs, 2-26-14:
  • Assuming a successful transition into the race, his strengths within the Republican Party and two terms in the House, when he was seen as a rising star, makes him competitive to Mark Udall.
  • Udall’s vulnerability is due to President Obama’s weak approval in Colorado (37%) and the dislike of ACA (only 37% approve of it).
  • National Republicans and Washington D.C. pundits believe Republicans can win the senate, and Colorado is now on the list.
Channel 9, Brandon Rittiman, 2-26-14:
“They’ve got at least one or more polls that show Obamacare and the president are hurting Udall, and that Udall has not established a sufficient identity after 5 years of being in the U.S. Senate,” 9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli said.
Reuters, Keith Coffman, 2-27-14:
“This completely changes the dynamic of the race,” said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Denver political pollster. “Gardner will be attacked by for being extreme, but he is an affable candidate who can come across as center-right.”
A Republican has not won a statewide election to be governor or a U.S. senator in Colorado in more than a decade. But Udall, 63, is perceived as vulnerable over his support for the Affordable Health Care Act, which is unpopular in Colorado, Ciruli said.
Now that Gardner is in the race, the money will start flowing, Ciruli predicted, noting that Udall has amassed $5 million so far in his re-election war chest. Buck, campaign contribution records showed, had raised just $379,000 by the end of last year.
“Republican donors have been looking for a serious candidate to take on Udall,” he said
Greeley Tribune, T.M. Fasano, 2-26-14:
Political analyst Floyd Ciruli of Denver said the moves by Buck and Gardner will make the Republican Party stronger. 
“It’s a much stronger ticket. Buck will be very strong at the Congressional level,” Ciruli said. “I think in terms of engineering this, I think the leadership of the party here recognizes that the one thing that has been missing after this long sort of drought where they have not been able to win a top-level seat is that Cory was probably the star out there and that his entrance into the race would change the entire dynamic.”

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