With election season about to kick into its traditional high gear after Labor Day weekend, most voters’ first stop in researching the candidates they’re seeing in the news is to Google their names–maybe with an issue like “pro-life” appended to narrow the result.
If you search Google for “Joe O’Dea pro life,” you’re greeted with this ad from O’Dea’s campaign:
Another response some users are receiving tries to get a jab in about Michael Bennet’s recent ad depicting the Senator fly fishing, which makes absolutely no sense outside a small class of political insiders:
That’s just weird, folks. One in a hundred might get this joke.
Most users are seeing one of these paid advertisements, along with a few ads from Michael Bennet’s campaign explaining O’Dea’s stumbles on the issue of abortion– claiming to be “personally very pro-life,” supporting the Supreme Court picks who just overturned Roe v. Wade, and declaring his support for 2020’s Proposition 115 failed abortion restriction ballot measure. Both sides are spending to make sure their message is above the fold for search engine queries.
Unfortunately for O’Dea, here’s the very first non-paid search response:
This directs to a page from O’Dea’s primary campaign days, consisting a number of anti-abortion activists in Colorado essentially arguing that O’Dea will be better for the pro-life movement because he’s a more viable Republican candidate than Ron Hanks.
And also shoring up O’Dea’s anti-abortion bonafides:
Joe O’Dea strongly supports a nationwide ban on late-term abortion, a nationwide ban on taxpayer funding for abortion, a nationwide parental choice requirement, and will fight any attempt to make religious hospitals perform a procedure they object to. Joe is adamantly against Chuck Schumer’s late term abortion bill, and strongly opposes Jared Polis’ late-term abortion bill.
This week, a number of Republican candidates including Colorado’s Heidi Ganahl and Barb Kirkmeyer were caught deleting references to their formerly strident positions against abortion. O’Dea wasn’t one of them–but now you can see why the others started mashing the delete button after winning their primary. The gulf between Republican primary voters and the general electorate is so vast on this issue that it’s impossible to please one side without alienating the other.
When the average voter sees an ad for “pro-choice” Joe O’Dea followed by a bunch of ads calling O’Dea a liar and then a page from O’Dea’s own primary campaign that says the same, they’re going to realize something’s fishy–and it’s not the fish Bennet caught.