Colorado only has a handful of media markets that serve the population centers of our state, which is making it really hard for liberal U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s whole “define Cory Gardner first strategy” to actually be successful.
Udall and Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio seem to think that Coloradans are unaware of Gardner’s record, and that it is something in need of exposing. The problem with that strategy is that, for the last four years, Gardner has been representing a district that largely consumes Front Range-based media, especially when it comes to TV news. That means not only have people in Gardner’s 4th Congressional District seen every attack ad ever made about Gardner but so has almost every community that is part of the Front Range, except for Colorado Springs. And let’s face it – Gardner doesn’t have to worry about shoring up the vote in Colorado Springs.
The Pueblo Chieftain, which is read by Gardner’s constituents in southeast Colorado, has diligently kept up with Gardner’s tenure in Congress, and even endorsed him during the last two elections. The only media markets where Gardner has enjoyed little exposure is Durango, which is served by Albuquerque TV, and Grand Junction.
Former Rep. Betsy Markey and former state Senator Brandon Shaffer, both Democrats, have already tried all the same spin that Udall is relying on today. That’s why the attacks coming out of Udall’s camp feel so stale. Democrats have already spent millions of dollars blanketing Colorado media with these tired and desperate attacks. Nothing that Udall and Palacio hope to expose is actually new information for Colorado voters. Gardner’s record and positions are out in the open. He’s publicly debated his opponents during the last two election cycles and has always been very clear about where he stands. Voters have already heard this stuff, and it hasn’t brought Gardner’s stock down one bit.
Udall, on the other hand, has largely enjoyed a free pass for the last six years. He’s never felt the sting of millions of dollars highlighting his support of devastating cap-and-trade policy or his opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.
If Mark Udall and Company would like to use the same tactics and attacks against Gardner as Betsy Markey and Brandon Shaffer did, then we’re guessing his results will be about the same.