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Mark Udall’s Very Bad Week: Colorado Senate Moved to Toss Up

This week has had a lot of bad news for the campaign of incumbent Colorado Senator, Democrat, strong Obamacare proponent, environmental enthusiast, Mark Udall.  Whether it was news about his PAC giving his campaign money, a CNN analyst predicting his loss, new polling showing the race essentially tied and multiple vulnerabilities for Udall, or the change in the race ranking to toss-up, none of it was good news for the embattled Outward Bound Senator.

Lets unpack this very bad, no good, week for Mark Udall.

First up is a post from last Friday, courtesy of the fine people over at the Colorado Observer. In the Observer post we read that Udall has reorganized an old PAC with three other struggling Senate campaigns, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan,  and Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa.

The quartet raised $212,002 for the joint PAC in the first quarter of this year, according to Federal Election Commission records filed with the Senate Office of Public Records.

Among the contributors were Hume Steyer, the older brother of billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, and Chris Hughes, publisher of The New Republic magazine.

The Colorado senator also contributed $40,300 from his PAC to his own campaign, Udall for Colorado.

The fact that Udall is using a PAC to raise money to help his campaign isn’t all that surprising. The Steyer connection is also not surprising. The hypocritical stance that Democrats have on high dollar investors directing the ideological compass of their party is well known by most conservatives who read RedState.

Speaking of which, the Observer goes on to note that Udall’s PAC, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, helped create a website called “stopthekochbrothers.com” for the liberal fundraiser Act Blue.

We’ll come back to the Steyer hypocrisy in a moment, but first let’s go to the news on Monday.

On CNN’s State of the Union Stuart Rothenberg, of the Rothenberg Political Report, said that he thinks “Udall loses in Colorado to Cory Gardner in a race that three months ago we would have said was off the table.”

The Observer’s Valerie Richardson highlighted some of the reasons for Udall’s recent slide:

Udall has seen his political fortunes drop this year perhaps more dramatically than any other Senate incumbent, thanks to a combination of factors that include President Obama’s declining popularity; an outcry over Udall’s staff pressuring state insurance officials to revise their Obamacare cancellations, and Gardner’s recent jump into the race.

By Wednesday the sharks could smell the blood in the water. While Americans For Prosperity botched the roll out of a solid attack ad by using a photo of Udall and Obama at a press conference for the Aurora shooting, another lesser known conservative group took to the web with a video ad buy calling Udall out for the aforementioned Steyer hypocrisy.

The National Journal reported on the video along with a few details on the online ad buy from American Commitment, the group behind behind this video.

The online ad buy is worth $40,000, according to a spokesman for American Commitment, and is part of a larger campaign from the group to link Democratic candidates with Steyer. In March it released a similar online ad featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Just to add to the already hypocritical relationship between big green donor Steyer and his friends in the Senate like Mark Udall, the Washington Free Beacon reported on the same day that this ad campaign against Udall launched that Steyer was deeply involved in a $67 million Ponzi scheme. Not exactly the guy I would want bankrolling my campaign, but then I am not a democrat.

Moving on…

Yesterday was all about analyzing the new polling that had come out. The Wall Street Journal noted the dangerous waters that Udall is treading with regard to his very vocal support of Obamacare.

According to the Chamber’s survey, six in 10 voters oppose ObamaCare and 55% view President Obama unfavorably.

Earlier this month when asked if he would vote for Obamacare all over against despite knowing all the flaws, Mark Udall said he would with no equivocation. Now, I am not a political strategist, but I am pretty sure you don’t want to be on the wrong side of 60% of your potential voter base, especially as an incumbent who has consistently polled under 50% throughout the election cycle.

Next was the Quinnapiac poll which showed Cory Gardner down one to Udall and reflects the Obamacare sentiments in the Chamber’s poll. I suppose at this point the Udall campaign collectively paused to change their under garments.

Which brings us to the news today that the Senate race between embattled incumbent Senator Mark Udall and Representative Cory Gardner [no relation] has shifted from “leans democratic” to “toss up.”

Here is the image of the Cook Political Report’s recent ratings change which notes the new status of the Colorado Senate Race.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 11.44.45 AM

This is not where the Colorado Democratic party expected to be right now. But alas, it is where they are. And as the Wall Street Journal noted in the article above, the “War on Women” strategy may no longer work in Colorado, where there are “a lot of suburban “soccer moms” who tend to be culturally conservative, particularly in the Colorado Springs area.”

Additionally, the polling has noted that voters are predominantly concerned with the economy and jobs, neither of which are strong issues for Udall’s campaign.

This was a very bad, no good week for embattled incumbent, Democratic Senator Mark Udall. And next week isn’t looking any better.

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