Grand New Party

"Grand New Party" Continued...

Issue: "Four horsemen of the apocalypse," Oct. 4, 2008


U.S. Senate: Mark Udall (D) v. Bob Schaffer (R)

Democrats throughout the country are touting Colorado as a model for grassroots political campaigning after a cadre of new organizations in the state helped grab Democratic control of the governorship and both legislative chambers for the first time in 40 years. Leaders of that grassroots movement say this year's race between Democratic Rep. Mark Udall and former Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer will serve to gauge the Colorado model's effectiveness more so even than the presidential election. Wealthy political operatives in the state have dedicated millions of dollars to securing victory for Udall, yet the Boulder Democrat has never pushed his lead in the polls to double digits and remains vulnerable to a late surge. Recent attack ads from the Udall team paint Schaffer as in the pocket of "big oil" due to his past employment with oil and natural gas developer Aspect Energy. Advantage: Udall

New Mexico

U.S. Senate: Tom Udall (D) v. Steve Pearce (R)

One year ago, Sen. Pete Domenici announced that health issues would prevent him from seeking reelection for a seventh term. New Mexico's trio of House members promptly rushed to fill the void. Republicans narrowly chose conservative Rep. Steve Pearce over moderate Rep. Heather Wilson to carry the mantle of retaining the long-held GOP Senate seat. Democrats put their money on Rep. Tom Udall (Mark's cousin), who opened the general race with leads in the polls as high as 28 points in June. That gap has since narrowed considerably, shrinking to just 7 points in a Rasmussen survey of likely voters from early September. The reason: energy. In an aggressive advertising campaign, Pearce has portrayed Udall as an extreme environmentalist opposed to measures that could reduce gas prices. That strategy has proved so effective as to press the Santa Fe Democrat to modify his green message. Udall now contends that he has long supported the expansion of domestic oil drilling and nuclear power development, a difficult case to make given the candidates numerous votes against such expansion. Advantage: Udall


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