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September 1, 2014

Posts in "Colo. Senate"

August 4, 2014

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

In 2014 Senate races, Pryor is one of the most vulnerable Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three months before Election Day, it’s clear some senators may not return to Congress after the midterms — and that’s mostly good news for Republicans.

The GOP’s path to the Senate majority includes a mix of open seats and targeted Democratic incumbents. The two most vulnerable seats are in South Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring. Republicans also have opportunities in open seats in Iowa and, to a lesser degree, Michigan.

But even if they are victorious in those states, the GOP must defeat at least two incumbents to reach the net six seats needed for control.

Luckily for Republicans, Democrats make up the vast majority of endangered senators seeking re-election. The GOP has a lengthy catalog of states where it has an opportunity to win, though there is a wide gap betweenthe  No. 1 and No. 10 most vulnerable senators — who are ordered by most likely to lose.

Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list will be updated monthly ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. For now, here is where the incumbents stand: Full story

July 15, 2014

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Udall is a co-sponsor on the Senate bill in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats want to make Rep. Cory Gardner the next Todd Akin — but it’s not so easy.

The Colorado Republican is challenging Sen. Mark Udall and putting a pivotal race in play for his party, which must net six seats to win control of the Senate. In response, Democrats have focused their attacks on Gardner on women’s health issues — a topic that has proved to be a land mine for some Republican hopefuls in past races.

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to have a procedural vote on a measure that would effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed some employers to not offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The vote will likely fail, but it’s given Udall a prime opportunity to serve as one of his party’s top voices on the issue in Washington and home in Colorado.

Full story

June 5, 2014

Cory Gardner Makes Major TV Buy in Colorado Senate Race

Cory Gardner Makes Major TV Buy in Colorado Senate Race

In Colorado, Gardner is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., will go on the airwaves starting Tuesday, with a major television buy for his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

In full, his TV reservations are worth $900,000, according to a Gardner campaign source. Of that sum, about $400,000 will be on broadcast, while $500,000 will be cable. The buy lasts from June 10 through the end of the month.

Full story

June 1, 2014

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the June primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.

Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.

Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.

June 3
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.

Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)

California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:

Full story

May 22, 2014

Tom Steyer’s 2014 Targets Start With Four Senate Races

Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ financial answer to the Koch brothers, has set his sights on specific Senate and gubernatorial races to spend the $100 million he’s earmarked for the midterm elections.

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, aims to promote candidates who support action to mitigate the effects of climate change. It was active in last year’s elections for Virginia governor and a vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The group has now targeted the competitive Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire, and the Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine gubernatorial contests. It will back the Democratic candidate in each case. Full story

April 24, 2014

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Poll: Colorado Senate Race Virtually Tied

Gardner is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed a virtually tied race for Senate in Colorado.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall led his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, by a single point  — 45 percent to 44 percent — in the survey. That split was within the poll’s margin of error of 2.7 points.

This survey was the first independent, live-interview poll conducted in the race since Gardner announced his candidacy in March. Until then, Udall had not attracted any top-tier opposition, but Gardner’s entrance into the race immediately made the contest more competitive.

Full story

February 27, 2014

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for ‘Shady Scheme’

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for Shady Scheme

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now faced with a top-tier Republican challenger, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign on Thursday painted the GOP’s swap of candidates between races as a partisan backroom deal unfit for the state’s independent nature.

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner dropped his House bid Wednesday in favor of the Senate race, which immediately put Udall’s seat in more danger. Meanwhile, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2010 and a long-shot to defeat Udall, dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s seat.

“It’s no surprise that a Washington ideologue like Congressman Cory Gardner worked with party bosses to cook up the ‘Centennial State Swap,’ the shady scheme hatched behind closed doors that enabled him to swoop into the Senate race,” Udall spokesman Chris Harris said in a statement. “Rather than bring Colorado’s independence to Congress, Gardner is bringing Washington-style backroom deals to Colorado.”

Full story

Tea Party Group Doubles Down on Colorado Senate Race

The Tea Party Express reiterated its endorsement of state Sen. Owen Hill in the wake of a major shake-up in the race for Senate in Colorado.

In a surprising move, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., opted Wednesday to run against Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck subsequently dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s 4th District instead. Likewise, state Rep. Amy Stephens reportedly dropped out of the Senate race as well.

But not Hill.

The Tea Party Express backed Buck’s bid for Senate in 2010, but endorsed Hill this cycle. In fact, the Tea Party Express blasted Buck in a Wednesday evening solicitation for donations:  Full story

February 26, 2014

Ken Buck Drops Senate Bid to Run for Cory Gardner’s Seat

With Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner vacating his 4th District seat to run for Senate, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is dropping his Senate bid to vie for Gardner’s open seat.

The maneuver partially clears the primary field for Gardner, while giving Buck a better shot at coming to Congress. Buck won the GOP Senate nomination in 2010 before losing to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

“Ken has decided to step aside because Cory is in a potentially stronger position to pick up the seat,” Buck consultant Walt Klein told CQ Roll Call.

But, he added, “there’s no deal” between the two men to swap places on the ballot. Full story

February 10, 2014

Tea Party Express Endorses Colorado Senate Candidate

The Tea Party Express has endorsed state Sen. Owen Hill in his bid for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the fall.

“I have no doubt that Hill will join the new wave of conservative leaders in the Upper Chamber that have bucked the establishment of both parties to tackle America’s unsustainable debt, crippling taxes, and intrusive, big-government policies,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said in a statement.

The backing of the national tea party organization signals Hill’s potential conservative support in the competitive GOP primary, which will be held June 24. Still, none of the contenders so far appear to be giving Udall or national Democrats much of a scare, despite recent polling that indicates otherwise. Full story

December 11, 2013

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Jane Norton Endorses in Colorado GOP Senate Primary

Udall is seeking re-election in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the handful of Republicans looking to take on Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has earned the endorsement of Jane Norton, who was heavily favored to win the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Amy Stephens announced that Norton has endorsed her over the rest of the Republican field, which includes 2010 Senate nominee Ken Buck. Full story

September 18, 2013

Recalls Haven’t Changed Colorado Senate Picture — Yet

Last week’s legislative recalls in Colorado, which boosted the spirits of Republicans across the state, are unlikely to alter the competitiveness of next year’s Senate race.

After a disappointing Senate loss in 2010 — and the gaffes that partly led to it — Ken Buck’s early position as the leading Republican in the primary field isn’t exactly striking fear in the hearts of Democrats. At this point, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is heavily favored for re-election.

Republicans don’t need to win this race to take back Senate control, but putting it in play could at least force Democrats to spend money. As it stands now, that’s unlikely to happen.

“If it were coming up this November, I would guess not terribly competitive,” Colorado-based Republican consultant Katy Atkinson said of the race. “Ken Buck is going to have to tell people why he’s electable this year when he couldn’t get elected against Michael Bennet — with a Democrat candidate who was unknown, in a year that was pretty heavily favored Republican.” Full story

July 15, 2013

The Senate Majority Fight in Post-Schweitzer World

Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.

But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Full story

July 10, 2013

Senate Candidate Making Rounds in D.C. #COSEN

Senate Candidate Making Rounds in D.C. #COSEN

A new GOP challenger for Udall, above, is visiting Washington, D.C., today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Randy Baumgardner, a Colorado state senator and rancher, is on Capitol Hill today meeting with various organizations as he gets set to formally kick off his campaign against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Friday.

Baumgardner, likely a long-shot candidate at this point, has not reached out to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has no meetings scheduled there, according to a GOP source. But he was spotted on the other side of the Hill at the National Republican Congressional Committee headquarters. Full story

July 5, 2013

Second-Quarter Fundraising Roundup

Second quarter fundraising hauls trickled in all week and offer insight into the health of a handful of House and Senate campaigns.

The fundraising deadline was June 30. The reporting deadline is July 15. Here is what we know so far:

Senate

  • #TNSEN: Lamar Alexander raised around $2 million.
  • #IASEN: Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley raised $1.5 million and has $2 million in cash on hand, according to the The Des Moines Register.
  • #VASEN: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner raised $1.4 million and has $5.3 million in cash on hand, according to a press release.
  • #MNSEN: Republican finance executive Mike McFadden raised $700,000 in his first quarter, according to a press release. Of that, $10,400 came from individual contributions from him and his wife.
  • #COSEN: Sen. Mark Udall raised $1.3 million and has $3.4 million in cash on hand, according to the The Denver Post.
See the House numbers after the jump.

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