Colorado’s Senate campaign is the second most expensive in the country, in terms of outside money being spent, trailing only North Carolina.
In just the past eight days, outside interest groups have poured $10.5 million into the race, according to USA Today. That brings the total spending to nearly $61 million, dwarfing the $27 million the candidates’ own campaign committees have spent.
That money has mostly been spent on TV ads — specifically 12,211 ads that have aired in just the past two weeks, USA Today reported, citing a new study by the Wesleyan Media Project.
The paper added that about 80 percent of the outside spending has been on ads attacking candidates rather than supporting them.
Republican challenger Cory Gardner is slightly ahead of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the polls, with a margin of 3.6 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.
This is despite Udall benefiting more from outside spending.
“Udall has a slight advantage,” USA Today reported, “with $32.2 million spent either to support him or attack Gardner, while $28.5 million has been spent to support Gardner or attack Udall.”
Part of the reason Udall may be trailing is his campaign’s — and his supporters’ — insistence on continuing to play the “Cory Gardner is waging a war on women” card, which has practically been the sole focus of his campaign. It’s gotten so tiresome that the Denver Post singled it out as among the reasons it endorsed Gardner over Udall.
But Udall supporters are doubling down on the message, with NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado releasing an ad this week warning that if Gardner is elected, it will lead to a shortage of condoms because he will have banned other forms of birth control. (Gardner actually advocates the sale of birth control pills over the counter.)
Media outlets are having a hard time reporting on the new ad with a straight face. National Review mocked it twice, once in a straight news story titled “Udall Going All In on What Hasn’t Been Working” and again in a mock send-up blaming Gardner for banning everything from bread to Ramen noodles — “anything that could hurt an unborn child.”
Even local media can’t hide how tedious the Democrats’ message has become.
“It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment the Democrats’ battle-tested ‘War on Women’ strategy morphed from political genius into farce,” wrote Denver’s Fox 31 in an article about the ad, “but a last-minute TV ad released Wednesday by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado that suggests Cory Gardner’s election would lead to a condom shortage is yet another example of how the Democratic messaging has seemingly jumped the shark.”
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