Already pegged by The Hill as one of the most vulnerable U.S. Senators facing re-election in 2016, and the only Democrat on that list now that Sen. Harry Reid has decided to retire, Michael Bennet is still scrambling to consolidate his base. With his polling numbers hovering just above the 50% mark among Democrats and Democrat activists actively protesting his fundraisers, we cannot blame him one bit.
Bennet’s latest pander was an amendment he introduced last week that effectively declared climate change to be a national security issue. While this might mollify the environmental extremists who comprise a meaningful spot among Democrat special interest groups, foolish analogies like these are not going to sit well with the broad middle ground of voters who decide elections in Colorado.
But, let’s be clear. It’s nearly impossible to win statewide if your base is at just 53%.
It looks like Bennet’s vote on the Keystone Pipeline has backed him into a corner of sorts. While a vote against American energy would have caused moderates in the state to take pause, and would have certainly provided his opponent with an never ending message point for media buys and direct mail, it has obviously caused a fissure in the Democrat base that is going to take some time to get over. It may also take some more absurd legislative proposals as well. Whether this is a vicious cycle or virtuous cycle all depends on your view.
But, could environmental extremism be the Mark Uterus of the 2016 election? Please say yes.