“A vote for me is a vote for extremism”

A bipartisan group Crowdpac, whose mission statement is “to give politics back to people – to make it easier for citizens to learn about politicians, and to find and support political candidates that match their priorities and beliefs,” has some bad news for Sen. Mark Udall: they just made it even easier to compare Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner.  Needless to say, it ain’t too flattering for Udall.

Both campaigns have been going to extraordinary lengths to label the other campaign as more extreme than themselves, yet this is the second time a non-partisan, outside group has utilized a wide-variety of factors and found that Udall is more extreme than Gardner.  FiveThirtyEight already labeled Udall as the most liberal vulnerable Senator this election cycle.  Now, Crowdpac using an algorithm created by a Stanford professor that factors in donors and votes, places Udall further from the center than Gardner.  Udall’s extremism on environmental issues (where he ranks 9.4 out of a possible 10, with 0 being a true moderate) is especially pronounced, and quantifies what we already knew from his many well-known associations with eco-extremists.

When we turn just to their voting records, Gardner has voted with liberals more often than Udall has voted with conservatives.  If Coloradans want a Senator who knows how to work across the aisle and not just be a rubberstamp for their party, Crowdpac shows Gardner is the right choice.

But, it’s not just that Udall is further from the center, or that he works less across the aisle than Gardner, it’s that Udall is by far more often bought and sold by donors outside of Colorado than Gardner is.  While nearly 80% of Gardner’s donations come from within Colorado, over 40% of Udall’s come from outside of the state.  Democrats have shrilled about outside money pouring into our Colorado race, when the reality is it’s Udall who’s being opening the door for them.

Finally, it’s time to put Udall’s cynical, negative campaign strategy in perspective.  If one only judged what the most important issue to Gardner and Udall was based off of Udall’s campaign, it would undoubtedly be the so-called “women’s issues.”  Yet, when Crowdpac quantifies how much attention either candidate spends on such issues by looking at press releases, events, interviews, etc. neither of them have such issues in their top ten, with both spending around 1% percent of their time focusing on what Udall has made the center of his campaign.

You’d think if Udall is going to prey upon women’s fears to further his political career, he could spend at least 2% of his time when he’s in Washington fighting for such issues.  Who’s the one in this race really exploiting women?