Good analysis of the Colorado U.S. Senate race today from the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels:
Abortion, immigration, the federal government shutdown — to hear the left tell it, Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner has a multitude of sins to answer for as he campaigns across Colorado to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.
The right isn't any happier with Udall, but it's his vote for the Affordable Care Act that will be hammered again. And again. And again. [Pols emphasis]
With control of the U.S. Senate at stake, millions of dollars will be spent over the next eight months to dissect, distort and doctor their records…
Bartels explores some, but not all, of the campaign themes likely to be used against Cory Gardner in this year's U.S. Senate race in today's story, which we recommend in its entirety. She notes Gardner's proud support in 2010, as recorded in a 9NEWS CD-4 primary debate, for the "Personhood" abortion ban amendment–even helping gather signatures to get Amendment 62 on the ballot that year. And what we've discussed in this space as a particularly strong hit on Gardner, his role in last year's economically disastrous shutdown of the federal government:
Take last year's government shutdown in the midst of Colorado's devastating floods. Rocky Mountain National Park alone lost nearly $11 million in revenues. Democrats say the shutdown occurred when a group of Tea Party-type Republicans, Gardner included, refused to support funding mechanisms unless Obamacare was delayed or overturned.
Gardner supporters argue the congressman was part of a group of Republicans trying to come up with a deal. Democrats counter the effort came after fellow GOP members of Congress were on TV blasting their own party over the shutdown…
The government shutdown was a huge setback for Republicans politically, with the public overwhelmingly turning against House Republicans in particular as the manufactured crisis wore on. The tremendous and very real economic damage to communities like Estes Park, which saw tourism plunge during the shutdown and even after neighboring Rocky Mountain National Park was shuttered, stands in stark contrast to the proven mendacious attacks on Sen. Mark Udall over the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare." And don't forget the added drama of anger from East Coast elected officials from both parties over Gardner's vote against Hurricane Sandy relief, then seeking relief dollars from the same source for flood relief in Colorado.
As for health care, what's Gardner's plan? We already know it doesn't include coverage for pre-existing conditions. And that's before we even get to the video clip we grabbed back in 2011 (top) of Gardner lavishing praise on the Ryan Plan GOP budget that would have privatized Medicare.
And this is the point that becomes clear from today's story: as the Obamacare-centric attacks on Democrats get debunked, and the "horror stories" being spread about the new law fail to pass elementary scrutiny–and are not substantiated by the experience of actual voters–the efficacy of Obamacare as a weapon against Democrats is breaking down. Conservative attack groups like Americans for Prosperity have been running shrill anti-Obamacare ads for months, but are meeting a progressively more chilly reception from the media as their false claims become more widely recognized. Assuming that continues, the days of persuasively spreading total lies like "millions have lost health insurance" could be about over.
Once that happens, Democrats have an awful lot of things to talk about.