Essentially, you have two really interesting characters in this race. John Hickenlooper was the two-term governor of Colorado. He’s also the mayor of Denver. Cory Gardner, of course, is a very conservative Republican, ties himself very tightly to Donald Trump and to Mitch McConnell.
So John Hickenlooper, being this popular governor, you know, has the independents, a lot of independents on his side. And, of course, about 30% of the state is registered Democrat. So the Democrats are feeling very, very good about John Hickenlooper.
However, Hickenlooper has really been his own worst enemy. As you remember, he ran for president for a very short time. And during that time, he was asked repeatedly about running as a Senate candidate and he repeatedly said, you know, I’m not cut out to be a senator, I’d hate it, this is not what I want to do. And of course, those soundbites are playing over and over and over again in Cory Gardner’s ads.
Additionally, Hickenlooper has been in this situation as governor where he violated the ethics standards of Colorado. He had taken some plane flights from donors, et cetera and he was cited for that. But he was also cited because he didn’t want to testify initially and was cited for contempt. He used taxpayer money to pay for his defense. Those have been ads across the board.
On Cory Gardner’s side, he’s portraying himself in statewide ads as an environmentalist. And that really has flown in the face of the other ads that Democrats and his critics saying that he’s voted nearly a straight ticket with the administration, with President Trump and Mitch McConnell, and voting often to lower environmental standards across the board. So it’s a pretty heated debate over the Senate race and it’s narrowing. John Hickenlooper had a double-digit lead in this race and now it’s a single-digit lead.
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