The Democratic rallying cry of a Republican "war on women" may be falling on deaf ears in Colorado, where Sen. Mark Udall is in danger of losing his seat to Rep. Cory Gardner despite a barrage of gender-based attack ads, The Hill reports.
"After a series of polls this past month have shown the race statistically tied or even with Gardner up, some Democrats are urging Udall to find a new refrain against his opponent, lest Republicans claim the seat in November," Alexandra Jaffe writes in The Hill's "Ballot Box" campaign blog.
The Udall camp admits that about half of its ad blitz against the Republican challenger is about reproductive rights.
Gardner has backed away from supporting legal protections for developing fetuses that would limit abortion and contraceptives. He has endorsed over-the-counter birth control.
Yet Udall continues to put Gardner's past position on rights for the unborn front and center.
A Colorado pollster, Floyd Ciruli, told the Hill that Udall's war-on-women strategy — a staple of several recent Democratic campaigns — might be backfiring.
Ciruli said that at this point in the contest, "there may be a feedback loop making fun of it."
A Udall spokesman disagreed, telling the Hill, “Not only do most voters agree with Mark on this issue, they are flabbergasted that it’s an issue at all."
Democrats contend that Udall's larger problem is the flagging popularity of President Barack Obama and, closer to home, the state's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper.
“There’s a little dissatisfaction with Obama that translates down the Democratic ticket,” Mike Feeley, a former Democratic state Senate minority leader, told The Hill.
Udall made sure to be out of the state this summer when Obama campaigned in Colorado on his behalf.
But scaring women and ducking the president hasn't blunted his opponent's momentum.
Colorado GOP strategist Dick Wadhams, a former state party chairman, marveled that Gardner's is "in a position to win," even after being "pounded unmercifully for six months" by Udall's attack-ad machine.
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