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Colorado Sen. Udall Finds Attacks on Pro-Life Candidate Backfiring


Mark Stricherz - published on 10/20/14 - updated on 06/07/17

The Post endorsed Gardner, a decision made more remarkable by its endorsement of Udall in 2008 and support for abortion rights and for same-sex "marriage." Floyd Ciruli, an independent pollster in Denver, said Udall’s strategy has backfired. “The “war on women” ads are so repetitive and harsh that they not only seem to have lost affect, but are producing a backlash of criticism,” Ciruli wrote on his blog this month.

Voters’ impressions of the candidates changed. AsWashington Postreporter Aaron Blake noted, Gardner’s favorability ratings soared. On May 8, Gardner had a favorability rating in the mid-30s, according to Public Policy Polling. On October 13, Gardner had a favorability rating of 50 percent, according to CNN. (Gardner’s unfavorability ratings remained in the low 40s).

Udall’s support dropped. In July, the senior senator had a disapproval rating of 47 percent, according to Public Policy Polling. By this month, Udall’s unfavorability rating was 53 percent, according to CNN.

Gardner has pulled ahead in the race, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. He enjoys a three-point percentage lead over Udall.

Will Gardner’s lead hold up? If it does, said Nathan L. Gonzales, deputy editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, both political parties will need to rethink their strategies on abortion.

“I’m not even sure we can understand the importance of this race as regards to this issue," Gonzales said. "Democrats have gone full steam ahead on abortion and choice. If Udall loses, what lesson will they learn? If Republicans win, what lesson will they learn on over the counter sales of birth control? Does that have consequences in the presidential race?”

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