Inside The Triumph of “Con Man Cory”

Cory Gardner and the smile that changed everything.

Cory Gardner and the smile that changed everything.

In order to understand what happened this week in Colorado's U.S. Senate race, which saw the first ouster of a sitting U.S. Senator from this state in decades, we return to a story that came out on Election Day by Politico's Neil Malhotra, titled "Why Do Voters Believe Lies?"

The lede of the story? Colorado GOP Rep. Cory Gardner.

There is no such thing as a federal personhood bill.” Or so said Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican candidate currently locked in a tight Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, in an interview a few weeks ago. It was a surprising statement—not only because the federal personhood bill, otherwise known as Life Begins at Conception Act, does in fact exist but also because Gardner himself co-sponsored it. “This is all politics,” he added, blaming Udall for spreading untruths about him.

It was, indeed, all about politics. Gardner’s strong support of personhood legislation might have bolstered his popularity among conservative Republicans. But after declaring his Senate bid, Gardner found himself having to appeal to a more moderate electorate (Colorado voters have repeatedly rejected a personhood ballot measure) and changed his position on the issue. So far, his equivocation hasn’t hurt him…

In the end, Gardner's decision to abandon the Colorado state Personhood abortion ban ballot measures he had supported for years right after entering the Senate race did not prevent him from defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Udall as we and many Democrats believed it would. As Democrats cried foul and began loudly hammering away at the inconsistencies of Gardner's flip-flop on Personhood, Gardner never once admitted that there were any inconsistencies. Udall, Democratic surrogates, and eventually the press itself grew exasperated trying to rattle the unflappable Gardner, pointing out that not even other proponents of the Colorado Personhood abortion ban or the equivalent federal Life at Conception Act agreed with him–his insistence that the two measures were different, or that Gardner's "federal Personhood bill" would ban abortion or abortifacient birth control.

The enormity of Gardner's falsehood on the state and federal Personhood bills shocked Democratic strategists, and convinced them that Gardner had opened himself to a fatal line of attack. But, as Politico's Malhotra wrote on Election Day, there was something Democrats hadn't considered:

[R]esearch has shown that attempts to correct misinformation don’t just fall flat; they often backfire. Forcing people to reckon with and argue against facts they don’t want to accept actually makes them more entrenched in their political predispositions…

People on both sides of the political spectrum do this. When they see information they like, they are not motivated to come up with reasons why it is wrong. When they see information they don’t like, they work very hard to discredit it.

The smile.

The smile.

Much has been made of Cory Gardner's indestructible smile. Gardner's sunny disposition ingratiated him with non-ideological voters, and made less informed voters of all stripes more likely to be skeptical of negative messages against him. The harsh subject matter of abortion, rape and incest, etc. contrasted against Gardner's smile, frequently positive ads, and upbeat demeanor generally. Gardner's parry to the attacks on abortion, a dubious proposal to make oral contraceptives available over the counter, succeeded in "muddying up" the issue–not enough to win over all women voters, but enough to win some and introduce confusion about where he really stood with others.

But abortion was far from the only issue on which Gardner was caught red-handed lying to voters. Local and national media fact-checkers dismantled Gardner's claims about his past support for renewable energy, questioned major discrepancies in Gardner's story about his "cancelled" health insurance plan, and easily discredited Gardner's crass fearmongering about the Ebola virus and the Islamic insurgency in the Middle East–just as a few examples. But Udall's campaign failed to make any of these demonstrable lies stick to Gardner. Part of it was the fact that Gardner had successfully "gummed to death" the abortion issue, which made it harder for voters to accept other negatives against him. But the other part was that Gardner was already winning the voters over with positive energy, trumping all such fact-based arguments.

In the end, this was a perfect storm for Mark Udall, and a challenge he was just not built to overcome. Udall, a contemplative and reserved public figure not predisposed to self-promotion, couldn't match Gardner's relentless charisma, and as a result the negative attacks on Gardner lacked a counterbalancing affirmative case for Udall's re-election. Gardner out-smiled and out-gabbed Udall–and not even the press, by September and October livid over Gardner's many evasions and falsehoods, was able to make a difference.

Does Mark Udall deserve blame for his punishing defeat, which almost certainly had negative effects down the ticket for other Colorado Democrats? Absolutely–once it was clear that the abortion attacks were not gaining the right kind of traction, Udall's campaign and Democratic surrogates should have broadened the message to include all the other things Gardner wasn't being honest about on the campaign trail. It wasn't wrong to attack Gardner over Personhood, especially after Gardner made it an issue–but it was wrong to rely on that message after it hit its point of diminishing return. Gardner's lies about energy, Obamacare, and other subjects could have supplemented a broader narrative of how voters couldn't trust Gardner on any issue. Instead of fixating on abortion, Udall's team could have pivoted to how all of these issues render Gardner untrustworthy.

It would not be wrong for Democrats, and anyone else who cares about honesty in politics, to be deeply concerned by what Gardner's lie-based victory says about our political culture today. In 2012, Mitt Romney was broadly perceived to be untrustworthy after his own flip-flops and false statements.

The difference, of course, is that Romney lost. But Gardner's victory in 2014 could validate the strategy of lying to win elections and never apologizing–or even admitting that you're lying, even after everyone with an ounce of political savvy knows it. Lying in politics is not new, of course, but Gardner has elevated it to a new level–of ruthlessness, shamelessness, or brilliance depending on whose side you're on.

And we cannot see how that is a good thing for America.

64 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • SixPointBull says:

      Here is a fun twist. Now that more votes have been counted, especially in Dem-heavy areas like Denver and Boulder counties, it's turning out that Gardner's victory over Udall was actually smaller than Hickenlooper's "squeaker" over Beauprez.

      According to the Sec of State, it's Gardner 48.46 percent, Udall 46.06 percent, for a 2.4 percent spread. That's a spread of 47,557 votes

      And it's Hickenlooper 49.13 percent, Beauprez 46.19 percent, for a 2.94 percent spread. That's a spread of 58,153 votes.

      Not exactly the narrative we heard about on election night — Gardner barely getting by, Hickenlooper running stronger. 

       

  1. SocialisticatProgressicat says:

    Ah Pols, you had me until:

    Udall's campaign and Democratic surrogates should have broadened the message to include all the other things Gardner wasn't being honest about on the campaign trail. It wasn't wrong to attack Gardner over Personhood, especially after Gardner made it an issue–but it was wrong to rely on that message after it hit its point of diminishing return. Gardner's lies about energy, Obamacare, and other subjects could have supplemented a broader narrative of how voters couldn't trust Gardner on any issue. Instead of fixating on abortion, Udall's team could have pivoted to how all of these issues render Gardner untrustworthy.

    I don't believe the electorate was interested in having Cory Gardner called a liar.  I don't believe folks were going to perceive him as untrustworthy (more than already did) just because there were more things to point at and say "see he's lying about this, too!"  If jumping up and down about how he's a liar isn't working, having more folks jump higher isn't going to help.

    I think they were interested in Udall differentiating himself by talking about his vision.  Yes, that can include knocks on Cory– we don't need someone who's going to create a worthless authority that does nothing to actually advance renewable energy and then brag about it; we need someone who is going to continue to fight to bring real energy solutions to Coloradans and to the rest of the United States, and here's how wel do that…  But that was never the message that came out of the Udall campaign.

    Although I'm more ideologically connected to Bernie Sanders, Mark Udall was a pretty great senator, and from all I've heard, a pretty decent guy.  I'm sad that he's no longer representing me.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Seemed like the point of the diary until this point. People assume pols lie. It's not a make or break thing.  Just like our righties, they can always come up with a Jhnny does it too excuse. The Udall campaign spent upwards of 90% of it's powder attacking Gardner for his anti-choice stance and for lying about his anti-choice stance. Only a few lightly aired early ads and a minor flurry at the end, most of it after people's ballots were received, was devoted to any kind of positive message about what Udall was for besides choice and proving his opponent lied.

      Earlier, I kept waiting for more ads on what Udall had supported and accomplished in Senate and what he planned to work on  if elected again. When I expressed my concern at events  back in September young people, mostly not from here, working on his campaign assured me they knew that the all abortion all the time ads were effective, that it was how Bennet beat Buck.  Ipointed out that they didn't seem to be moving polls in the right direction this time. I was just a little old lady bumpkin volunteer who should leave it to the "experts" was the unspoken message.   

      Colpols, wildly over-optimistic about Udall's chances right up until the end,  should listen to themselves.

      as a result the negative attacks on Gardner lacked a counterbalancing affirmative case for Udall's re-election. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/#sthash.Dz0beiig.dpuf

       

    • NotHopeful says:

      Mark Udall is a nice guy. Having met him, I feel confident about saying that. He's also a straight shooter, as they say here in the west, and I don't think his time in DC ever went to his head. In fact, I bet he'll come back home to Colorado.

      You  know, Gardner didn't win by that much. When all is said and done, the margin is going to be about two percentage points. Senator Udall won in Adams County, Boulder County (duh), Denver County (of course), Arapahoe County, and Pueblo County (barely). He lost Jefferson County by 120 votes at last count and  Larimer County by 565 votes at last count. He carried La Plata County in the southwest and numerous western slope counties.

      This loss wasn't about Mark, not really. Yes, he could have and should have run a better campaign. There wasn't enough emphasis on his environmental stands, for one, and he should have loudly proclaimed the success of the ACA and the improved (not perfect or even great) economy. No, this situation is the result of Democrats not voting! Again! If even 150,000 more voters would have turned out, there's a good chance Mark would have won his reelection race.

      With all mail voting and same day registration, there's no reason not to vote – except, as the Z says, the Dems didn't do enough when they had Congress 2009-2011 and the Dem Senate didn't do enough since 2011. Be loud, be proud, be progressive – that's the winning formula here in Colorado.

       

       

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        NH.  The truth is more Dems voted in 2014 than 2010.  The Dems actually had a higher percentage of votes relative to Republicans in 2014 than they did in 2010.

         

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        We all know it's tougher to get many Dem demos out to vote in midterms. If you need big turn out in a particularly tough for Dems year you have to run an exciting campaign that inspires people. And while negative ads are part of an effective arsenal, it really doesn't work well if you take it too far here in Colorado.

        Hick's great success in his mayoral runs and first run for Governor  was fueled by his sunny goofy ads. We work in the homes of a lot of rich suburban and Denver Republicans who have always liked Hick, a pretty close approximation of an old fashioned Eisenhower era Main Street Republican, and were happy to vote for him for Guv. If he had done nothing but attack his Republican opponent, those people might have taken it personally as Republicans and  may not have voted for him. Even in this skin of his teeth race with a moron for an opponent, his ads stayed pleasant and didn't go there. And he had just enough to win again.Years back, Ken Salazar won  a Senate seat picking up lots of Republican votes, also with a positive, cheerful, if hardly exciting, presence.

        The kind of campaign that Udall allowed to be run in his name might work in some other states but Dems don't win statewide here with nothing but grim attacks on their opponents. Supporting groups can bring the mean in reasonable proportion but the ads that say '' and I approved this messag"' need to be positive and, better yet, inspiring. All most of the public saw were a zillion "I approved this message " ads with Udall glowering and carrying on about what a putz Gardner is. That doesn't get you cross over votes and it doesn't inspire young or less frequent voters to make the effort to come out for you. It's a shame because he is a nice guy and is charming in small groups.

        You don't get to blame the voters for not being inspired to vote. When Obama whined about the fact that two thirds of the voters stayed home in his post election speech, that was very definitely not his finest hour.

        All those e-mails I got from DCCC  DSCC and other Dem orgs basically telling me how disappointed they were in my failure to respond to all of their fund raising requests were definitely not the way to my heart. If I weren't already a loyal active Dem voter my reaction would have been a big FU. Then there were all those with subjects lines like "All is lost" or "we're doomed" that were late funding requests meant to scare us into giving more but which many probably just took at their word. Sure there's a place for those tactics to scrape up more money but they aren't going to inspire anyone to be excited about supporting a candidate or about voting in general. Only the candidate's own campaigns can do that.

        If you're going to run a campaign based almost entirely on saying as little as possible on your record because it might associate you with your president or make you look too liberal or your advisers told you to stick like glue to one or two things aimed at one or two target groups and dissing your opponent as a liar, you don't get to complain that less likely voters weren't inspired enough to vote. Why would they be?

        • The realistThe realist says:

          I agree with what you say about the Udall campaign, plus the pointless, endless (and always deleted by me, a hard core, lifelong Dem) emails from the DCCC, DSCC, etc. None of that worked, for the hard core activist OR for the only slightly involved voter who needed to be motivated to get to the polls. I know that at least two months ago regular Dems in the county where I live were expressing concern to each other and to state Dem leadership (and whoever else would listen) about the direction of Udall's campaign. Why is it that the regular activist Dem can see this when the "experts" cannot?

          • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

            I stopped reading all of those "Oh, please send us money" emails months ago. I didn't mark them as spam, but I did delete them unopened. More money wouldn't have helped Udall. It would just have paid for more of those one-note ads. I suspect that, as has happened before, Udall's campaign was formulated east of the Potomac.Those guys have no clue how to campaign in the West; reference the Kerry campaign and their failure to grasp the popularity of yard signs here. Some Democratic Operative told him to hold that one note until the state turned red. They might not have known any better, but he sure should have.  

    • dustpuppydustpuppy says:

      Udall should have embraced Obama, promoted his own accomplishments instead of focusing on Gardner. Udall needed to sell himself, not sell Gardner..

      That said, I'm done with Third Way assholes, and the next Democratic Senator from Colorado will be progressive and populist. 

  2. itlduso says:

    Udall lost to a Tea Partier from the most reviled institution in the US — The GOP-led House of Representatives.  God help us if they ever run a moderate.

    We can blame the Crest White Strips, or the pathetic messaging of the Dems.  We have a growing economy, lower gas prices, lower unemployment, etc. yet we don't have a media strategy to take advantage of these.  God help us if we have to run in a bad economy.

    Maybe we can pay Frank Luntz to switch sides.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Thanks Cory . . .

    . . . you’re so unbelievably awesome !!!

    PS Oh, yeah, and thanks for solving all our problems, too!

  4. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Udall lost because Gardner lied?

    I bet whoever wrote this tripe has never been accused of being a deep thinker.

    Udall lied and lost.  Gardner lied and won.

    If ColoradoPols cared about honesty in politics there would have been one diary in the last year about whether Mark Udall lied when he said what he said about Obamacare.   Was there even one? Crickets.

    ColoradoPols cares about honesty in politics if it helps their candidate and ignores dishonesty if it hurts their candidate.  It is a partisan political blog.

    Let's try a little honesty and self-reflection in journalism before we criticize the candidates that do the same things that ColoradoPols now decries.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Assworm, are you honestly incapable of distinguishing the difference between a statement made in good faith, based upon all of the best information available at the time, that later turned out to be partially inaccurate, . . .

      and a long running series of bald-faced attempts to hide one's record and deceive one's listeners,

      . . . or are you still just the dumbest piece of crap that posts blather here???

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        D,  Udall was either terminally stupid or he lied.  I don't think he was that stupid.

        The whole purpose of Obamacare was to change insurance policies to include certain mandated terms that many policies did not have.  Those policies were by definition canceled.

        I get it.  You like Udall.  I don't share your illusion about his honesty.

    • Big Time says:

      Udall didn't build his political career on Obamacare and then lie about it when he was making a run for the senate.

      Gardner built his political career on personhood and lied about it when he was making a run for the senate. 

      That's a different kind of lie – the kind that gets to the issue of character. Time will tell if this character betrays his personhood allies or the voters who believed him in 2014 when he said his Federal personhood bill was simply a statement affirming his belief in life.

      The stage is set for Cory the Clown to disappoint a lot of people. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      As many of us have explained we don't believe it was a lie. I believe it was a stupid oversimplification, explaining that ACA isn't a government take over, that the government wasn't going to force people out of their private insurance and into a government system.  I won't go into that all over again here because what's the point? Ben there. Done that.  But your statement, the way you see it, is accurate in it's way: "Udall lied and lost. Gardner lied and won." What's accurate about it is that building a campaign on proving that your opponent lied doesn't work because supporters don't care. 

      Like you, most people are not all that concerned with whether or not a pol is technically guilty of a lie or the degree to which they're guilty of that lie or how that compares to the degree to which another pol is guilty of  lying. Pols "spinning" is taken as a matter of course.

       If, for a combination of rational and/or irrational reasons, you are drawn to one candidate, you aren't going to switch to another no matter how decisively the other proves your candidate lied. Take Bill Clinton as an example. Of course he lied when he said "I never had sex with that woman". Rs failed to crush him over it. He left office with high approval ratings anyway. It's not how people decide who to support. 

      So we can all go on arguing about the whole lying thing but It's been pretty much done to death. As you point out, Gardner lied, in the end even the local main stream media was harping on the fact that he lied and he won. So Dems who think proving an opponent lied is going to determine who gets elected should probably be putting their energy into other means of getting their candidates elected because that one doesn't work. And candidates need to take some time off trashing their opponents to inspire the people whose votes they want with positive messages about themselves.

  5. Joe ColoradoJoe Colorado says:

    It ain't right.

  6. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Who could've guessed Jason B/CPols would give Udall and Bennet a pass? Udall's re-election campaign began in 2009 and he started to betray voters and shift rightward before he even took the office

    Bennet carries on the cowardly actions even as we write this today:

    • ZMulls says:

      For years, much like Robert Redford's character in "The Candidate" seemed headed for, Udall seemed to rely overly heavily on his political advisors.  Among these was (is?) Steve Welchert, who I once heard describing the "pathetic bleeding heart radicals" who "blogged in their pajamas from their parents' basements."  He said (paraphrasing) that neither he nor any political operative worth their salt took "those people" seriously.

      This guy was a principal advisor to Udall, at least for a time; and I have no doubt that Udall drew many of his positions based on political advice from Welchert and other professional consultants.

    • MADCO says:

      Got it- the takeaway from '14 is to win in Colorado, and Iowa and elsewhere, candidates have to be further left.

      If only Udall was more like Sanders, and Romanoff was more like Kucinich.

       

      For the record- I disagree. But let's spend the next two years trashing Hickinlooper and Bennet so we can elect Senator Buck and Governor Penry.

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        +1

        This is why we miss you around here, MADCO.

      • ZMulls says:

        Again, there is a difference between "further left" and populist.  There's an abundance of polls showing that Americans overwhelmingly support many populist/progressive positions, even while voting against Democrats running for office.  It would be interesting to see an analysis of how losing Dem candidates ran their campaigns in areas that support, say, increasing the minimum wage.

        So far, it is abundantly clear that Dems don't win when they run as Republican-lite.

  7. ZappateroZappatero says:

    DSCC cancels ads for Landrieux in Louisiana runoff:

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled its advertising reservations for Sen. Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana.

    The committee canceled all broadcast buys planned from Monday through Dec. 6 in the state’s five major media markets, three sources tracking the air war told POLITICO. That’s about $1.6 million worth of time. The DSCC is in the process of canceling an additional $275,000 in cable placements, according to buyer sources.

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee, by contrast, has reserved $2.3 million of broadcast ad time over the next month.

    Bennet is a soulless, Corporatist Oligarch and I will never forgive Bill Ritter and Obama for foisting him on the citizens on Colorado. Oh, and he's a liar, something even Jason Bane does not approve of.

    • ZMulls says:

      Interestingly, Ritter chose Bennet over DLC hack and neoliberal Andrew Romanoff, who was DLC hack and neoliberal extraordinaire Bill Clinton's personal choice.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Minus the harshness, that's pretty much it. Wouldn't call Romanoff a hack but there's no way around his being DLC all the way. Not a dimes worth of difference between them on the left/right scale but Bennet was favored by the Obama crowd whereas Romanoff had been a strong Clintonite. Clinton lost to Obama. No surprise that Bennet was chosen. What did Romanoff expect? He backed the wrong horse. It happens.

    • CongressmanHaircut says:

      Bennet is a reliable and hard-working Senator. He's a top-five Senator nationally, if not the best Senator there is, based on how hard he works for his constituency, his party, and his willingness to be present at every event back in the state that he can possibly show for.

      I wasn't crazy about him at first. But he's fantastic.

      Your hot air is nothing more than that.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Something about not throwing good money after bad comes to mind.

  8. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!

    My tables!—Meet it is I set it down

    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

    At least I’m sure it may be so in Denver.

     

    Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5, by William Shakespeare

     

    [OK, it was Denmark, not Denver. But it seems an appropriate quote.]

  9. Andrew Carnegie says:

    DP, You are an ass hole.

    I get you picked every race wrong.

    Now Gardner and all the GOP are child molesters?

    Take a vacation.  You need one.

  10. CaninesCanines says:

    Prior to the results, New York magazine feature on Cory Gardner:

    Even if Gardner doesn’t win on Tuesday, it’s difficult to imagine there won’t be a crop of Republican candidates looking to replicate his campaign — with its relentless optimism and centrist-speak — in 2016, especially since the map will favor Democrats. But not all candidates can be Cory Gardner. They won’t all be able to avoid a destructive primary, tack center, and withstand the barrage of attacks that come with it.

  11. thrawn208 says:

    You guys gotta stop focusing on Cory's smile and likability. You gotta focus more on why Udall, arguably the most outdoorsy and moderate of Colorado's Democrat congressional delegation, couldn't appeal to rural Coloradans. 

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Because he did try to . . . ???

    • Big Time says:

      Stop focusing on Cory's smile and likability?

      Gardner is going to run for president in 2016 using the Obama path – state legislator, 1/2 term Senator and transformational figure.

      The GOP is going to line up behind its "Lancelot" who is going to ride into Washington on a white horse to save our Christian Nation. 

      That likability and that smile will be his "shining armor" that will protect him from the slings and arrows of the campaign.

      No, people need to understand what just happened. Cory Gardner just took the first step to his run for President in 2016. 

      There will be note vote on personhood in the U.S. Senate to sully his reputation because he won't be there. The first "vote" he will take on personhood will be to sign it into law as President in 2020 after winning a second term. 

      Please tell me I am wrong about this and this is only a recurring nightmare that will end soon. 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Holy WTF??? — I mean, I know this week has been depressing but, keeerist . . . 

        . . . fortunately that booming metropolis of Yuma isn't quite a Chicago yet, and those mountains outside my window mean this isn't Illinois, Toto . . . 

        • Big Time says:

          Desperate times call for desperate measures – who the hell else is going to beat Hillary? 

          Put Gardner (and Ernst? or another woman) up against Hillary and that's a stark contrast. If the GOP can hold themselves together and not form a circular firing squad (and there is evidence they have learned there lesson on that, this year) and they are 100% lined up behind Gardner, watch the f out. 

          If not Gardner, who? Paul? Too wacky. Jeb? Too Bushy. Christie? Too bah-bah-booey. Mitt? Too Mitty?

          The chink in his (and any GOP candidate's) armor is immigration – the Dems have to make that an issue within the next 6-8 months. 

          • Big Time says:

            Furthermore, the GOP just took the older voter in 2014 by a whopping margin … they will take it again because the world is still going to be scary and demographic changes are scary and the GOP will appear the more stable of the two parties. Meanwhile, Gardner helps them with younger voters – who show up in Presidential years. He's already established he's a big fan of the pill and he won't take a vote on personhood and Colorado voters just gave him their stamp of approval in a year when personhood lost by 60+%. War on Women is fading, social issues are fading – economy is key, Cory's boostrappin story of small town Yuma will appeal to middle class voters worried about the economy and how to make a better life and a better world to pass on to the next generation. You can already see the contours of the race and the message was similar to Mitch McConnell's victory speech about leaving a better world for the next generation – Cory Gardner is that next generation.

            AHHHHHHHHHHHH! 

            Somebody pinch me and wake me up from my nightmare!

        • ZMulls says:

          And, let us not forget, folksy/charming/rural Bob Dole lost–big–in 1996.  With far more "gravitas" than CG.

      • Molly Brown says:

        Please stop. That's ludicrous.

        • Big Time says:

          It is ludicrous, I agree. But in a Citizens United world – dont'chya think it's possible? Aren't some big backers with a certain agenda going to try to get their guy in there?

          I've heard people making predictions that Hillary will win by 10-12 points. If that's the case, what establishment GOP candidate is going to want to go up against that? 

          And, if he loses, he goes back to the Senate and takes another shot at it for 2020.  

          AHHHHH!

          The nightmare goes on. 

          • Big Time says:

            … and when you have the GOP in control of as many state legislatures they are that gives them the potential to push through Voter ID and possibly re-jigger the apportionment of of the electoral college votes Presidential candidates receive … http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/gops-election-rigging-plan-explained

            Folks – the American electoral system is being gamed by the GOP.

            The GOP is losing the demographic battle – gaming the system and putting a young budding rock star of a politician on the ticket may be a good bet for them and the window of opportunity seems to be now.

            If Gardner spends a lot of time outside DC in the next year, maybe touring Colorado, smiling and taking lots of pictures of him doing folksy stuff … hmmm.

      • DaninDenDaninDen says:

        No offence, you are wrong, Rs run establishment players 1st, like Jeb Bush # 1 contender at this point, With Rand Paul doing mischief at the edge. CG courted Tea Pers- wasn't one at core. & I will include this observation of ads, agreed wrong focus of issues ( economic was the winner) As I watched the series of ads they began to run together Cory G , Coffman & even Bo prez wereportrayed as to  out to limit womens choice. It became a matter of "signal to noise ratio" to hear Udall message. everybody was running the same attack strategy. Mark who?

         As for Cory, he has a comfortable glide path to back bench status   six yrs do what ever he wants. Lastly, a wag in a NY publication pointed out Rs ( & congress) were less popular than cockroaches, and the roaches weren't even campaigning!!. How  they parlayed this  dissatisfaction into blaming the top of ticket (not running PBO) to  including state wide senatorial D's , leaving the jerrrymandered house reps un scathed . Not a wave election per se, rather the 80 yr pendulum swing of party removal by unhappy, distrustful voters.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Short answer. You are wrong.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Reminds me of what I've been thinking about the contrast between the way his campaign presented him and that great video of him reaching the summit of another 14er with a million dollar boyish grin and modestly crediting the people who helped him do it. That stuff should have been in his campaign ads. That guy, who bore no resemblance to the grim scolder we saw for months, wouldn't have lost the advantage polls showed he had in the early days.That guy would have won by a more comfortable margin than Hick's. Sadly, his ad campaign couldn't have hurt him more if it had been a Republican funded anti campaign. 

  12. DaninDenDaninDen says:

    Dear Colpols thanks in advance for suspending(for a good while) Andy C, Think of it as an intervention. Waay too many repetitive posts, "Udall fudged the # on ACA etc"  I think I can speak for many that (post election) they need a break, less stress, to unwind, Posters please reply with your opinion.  As per your posting rules thank you, Dan

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