Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Udall Challenge

Mark Udall is in a very difficult race for re-election. His share of the vote has exceeded 50 percent only once out of 15 surveys since March 2014. With massive negative advertising, Udall and supporting independent organizations have opened a gap of four points on average over Cory Gardner. But, as the Denver Post reported last week in their poll, the race could go either way.

Democratic senators in 2014 re-elections were elected, and in Udall’s case, first elected with President Obama during his election in 2008. And in spite of herculean efforts to separate from him, Udall is still highly affected by both the normal midterm association with the incumbent president and specific problems, such as ISIS, immigration and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • The President has lost the confidence of the public on foreign policy and his rush to catch up may not change enough opinions that the ISIS problem was partially his fault and, in any event, he was slow to react.
  • Immigration, which was to be a Democratic asset in this election with Anglo voters supportive of a path to citizenship and Hispanic voters anxious for a promised presidential remedy for large-scale deportations. Now, both groups are dissatisfied with the President as he has delayed his deportation relief and the surge to the southern border has shifted Anglo opinion to border enforcement from citizenship.
  • The ACA continues to be unpopular with the public. Pew Research reports it is approved by 44 percent of the public and disapproved by 53 percent.
The three issues have the possibility of pressuring independents to oppose Udall and Hispanics to just not vote.

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