President Obama, with a 46 percent approval rating, will visit Denver this week in an attempt to energize Democratic voters to turn out — and open their wallets — for Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.
Already, the visit on Tuesday and Wednesday has turned acrimonious, with Democrats worried about how the unpopular president could reflect on Udall, and Republicans crowing that Udall stands for Obama’s most controversial policies, particularly the Affordable Care Act.
“He has been carrying Obama’s water in the Senate,” state GOP chairman Ryan Call told the Denver Post.
Udall famously dodged three consecutive questions by a TV reporter on the night of the State of the Union as to whether he wanted to campaign with Obama in Colorado. And although there are no joint appearances on the schedule, Udall wrote in a letter to supporters, “I’m grateful for President Obama’s support in this U.S. Senate race, and I’m looking forward to bringing him out to Colorado for a campaign event.”
Obama arrives in Denver Tuesday night and is scheduled to give a speech about the economy in a park Wednesday and then participate in a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee later that evening.
On Monday, Rasmussen reported that voters disapproved of Obama’s job performance by 53-46 percent.
Those numbers can affect Udall’s campaign, political strategist Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia told the Post.
“It matters enormously,” he said. “What Udall has to worry about … is that the Democratic coalition has eroded.”
Udall is in a toe-to-toe race with Republican Rep. Cory Gardner that has drawn national attention and millions of dollars of outside money. It’s one of a handful of senate races that could tip the balance of power to the GOP.
The state party has pounced on Obama’s low numbers and what they say is Udall’s close alignment with the president and his policies.
“We knew Mark Udall was out of touch with Coloradans, but his full-throated embrace of President Obama is another example of a strategic misstep by his struggling campaign,” said Colorado GOP’s press secretary Matt Connelly in a statement to Denver’s Fox 31. “While clear majorities of Coloradans oppose Obamacare, Mark Udall and President Obama support it. Coloradans support an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but Udall and Obama stand in the way.”
“It’s safe to say Republicans may be looking forward to President Obama’s visit even more than Senator Udall,” he said.
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