Outside spending fuels negative ads in tight Colorado Senate race
Democratic US Sen. Michael Bennet trails GOP challenger Ken Buck by 3 points in a Colorado Senate race that has seen outside groups spend heavily on negative campaign ads.
(Page 2 of 2)
Campaigning in Colorado Springs, Buck tries to reassure veterans that his calls to rein-in government spending will not hurt veterans and seniors. “I am not talking about privatizing social security," he says, "but if we do not change the system, it’s not sustainable. We have an immigration policy that encourages illegal immigration and is not sustainable.”Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“Ken Buck is more ideologically extreme than Republicans would have nominated in a typical year, but this isn’t a typical year and he’s still competitive,” says Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver.
Speaking at the end of a 72-hour bus tour in Denver on Sunday, Bennet told supporters in a Mexican restaurant and, later, the parking lot of a strip mall, that the money doesn’t count any more: what counts is getting out the vote.
“We are facing here the closest Senate race in the United States of America right here in Colorado,” he said. “We have a chance to send a message to say that the last thing we are interested in is in going back to the old policies that drove this economy into a ditch.”
Other races headed to the wire in Colorado include:
- Denver mayor John Hickenlooper (D) is leading former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who entered the race late as the American Constitution Party candidate, but has been closing the gap in recent week to 5.8 percent. Tea Party candidate Dan Maes won the Republican nomination by campaigning against politicians in Washington. But he but quickly dropped to single digits in approval ratings, after a weak campaign marked with controversy -- most recently news that the candidate turned over $72,000 of campaign funds to his own family.
- Three-term Rep. John Salazar (D) has been trailing challenger Scott Tipton (R) most recently by 4 points, in Colorado’s third congressional district. He is on an energetic tour throughout this vast, rural district to reverse that trend, but his votes with the Obama administration, including a vote for health-care reform, don’t play well with center-right voters in this district.
- Freshmen Rep. Betsy Markey (D), too, is under the gun in Colorado’s fourth district for her votes with House Democratic leaders that are unpopular in this district. Despite a troubled campaign, GOP challenger Cory Gardner is up three points.
- Two-term Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) is in a dead heat with GOP newcomer Ryan Frazier, who has the support of House Republican leaders. This race ranks No. 1 as a target for ads from outside groups not required to report their contributors.