A new ad from Sen. Cory Gardner’s sputtering re-election campaign has no need for its full thirty second run time, since the first two seconds convey the whole message:
Using a photo of your counterpart from the opposing party is a bold gambit, like Gardner does with Sen. Michael Bennet above, and Gardner goes even farther–citing a quote from his opponent John Hickenlooper at some point in the past saying something favorable about. Presumably there’s return service of their mutual affection somewhere in the record of them both serving in office over the past decade, but that’s not what this ad is about.
In a state which has shed most of its remaining “purplish” image over the past two elections, evolving into something much closer to a Democratic-dominant blue state, Gardner trying to appeal to voters by noting the past approval of Democrats including his own opponent makes a kind of contrived sense. It’s a little…incongruous to have the same John Hickenlooper Gardner has been vilifying relentlessly suddenly held up as a character witness, but that’s what you do when you’re down by double digits in the polls.
The other risk inherent to invoking the enemy as a character reference is, they don’t have to play along:
— Michael Bennet (@MichaelBennet) October 6, 2020
Ouch–but it’s hard to have much sympathy for Gardner, having left the proverbial door open.
All told, this latest ad is an interesting if transparently desperate play by Gardner, for which points for effort though not actual votes should be awarded. If the polls prove right on Election Day, consistent with the steady progression to the left this state has undergone since Gardner’s narrow 2014 victory, Colorado has moved past the phase of needing to pretend what it wants politically–and that’s the role Gardner is trying to fill.
Colorado is now the wrong state for it, and 2020 is in every way the wrong year.