Americans for Prosperity is expanding its reach in the 2014 midterm elections, with a new ad targeting Senator Mark Udall of Colorado.
The ad, which the Denver Post reports is backed by a nearly $1 million buy over the next three weeks in Denver and Colorado Springs, should look familiar: It is almost a carbon copy of attack ads that AFP has run in North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Hampshire, and other midterm battlegrounds.
The Koch brothers-backed “dark money” group may not win points for originality, but it is sending a strong signal that Republicans smell blood in the water in Colorado. Just a few weeks ago it appeared that Senator Udall would have a relatively easy re-election campaign against failed 2010 candidate Ken Buck, but U.S. Representative Cory Gardner’s late entrance into the race has Republicans feeling confident about their odds of stealing the seat. A week ago, the Republican National Committee hired 13 new staff members and added 12 new field offices in the state, clearly indicating its confidence that the party can give Udall a tough race.
The polls suggest that they are right. A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday finds Udall leading Gardner by just 42 to 40 percent, with 17 percent undecided. That tracks closely with a Rasmussen poll from last week, which had Udall up 42 to 41 percent.
Republicans need to gain a net six seats to win control of the Senate; given their incredibly favorable electoral map (Democrats must defend seven seats in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012), a victory in Colorado would almost guarantee a Republican majority.