Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Udall’s Rocky Start

Fortunately for Mark Udall, the election is eight months away. The regular features of a comfortable re-election, such as the lack of a primary, money in the bank and a field of opponents who haven’t gained
traction, appear to justify his year-long placement in the “lean Democrat” category. But, his 2014 start hasn’t been auspicious. And suddenly he looks on the defensive and Washington is taking notice.

Udall’s seat has moved up the queue by Republicans anxious to take advantage of their apparent good fortune from the President’s weak polling numbers and Obamacare, which continues to generate news stories of cancelled policies, missing healthy young applicants and a complicated enrollment system.

Enter Udall’s staff trying to put the best data available out on Colorado’s Obamacare. That effort is now the center of a well-organized Republican effort to tie Udall tightly to Obamacare and add a whiff of conspiracy to mislead the public on the extent of cancellations of insurance policies for Colorado residents.

The incident is well-designed for Colorado Republicans.
  • The controversy involves Governor Hickenlooper’s administration so Republican gubernatorial candidates can use it.
  • The Senate candidate effectively pushing the issue into view is State Representative Amy Stephens, generally seen as the most dangerous candidate for Udall.
  • Most importantly, it ties Udall to Obamacare in his own mini-scandal – lousy issue for him, great future campaign advertisement for Republican candidates.
As Valerie Richardson reported:
Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said it’s unclear whether the uproar will dog Mr. Hickenlooper or Mr. Udall into the campaign season, but that it has the potential to become a “breakout issue” for Republican candidates.
“You couldn’t have a better issue for Republicans,” said Mr. Ciruli. “It’s about the one thing most problematic for Democrats, which is Obamacare. One of the main issues in 2014 for Udall is, ‘Did he vote for Obamacare? Was he responsible for Obamacare?’ And this fits nicely into that.”
See The Buzz blogs:
Udall re-election complicated by Washington D.C.
When do Colorado Democrats panic?
Udall faces challenges

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