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Dem Udall Moving Up In Colorado Senate Race

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CQ changed its rating for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Wayne Allard from "No Clear Favorite" to "Leans Democratic." Democratic Rep. Mark Udall is facing former Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer. They explain:

The national political environment continues to be more problematic for the Republicans than the Democrats. In Colorado, Democrats made big gains in the 2006 election. Barack Obama at the moment is at least an even-money bet to defeat John McCain in Colorado, which in 2004 backed President Bush over Democratic nominee John Kerry by 5 percentage points. Republicans still outnumber Democrats on the voter registration rolls in Colorado, though the gap is narrowing and political independents are now more numerous than either Republicans or Democrats.


Udall has an early edge in fundraising over Schaffer. As July began, Udall had $4 million left to spend, compared to $2.8 million for Schaffer, according to updated campaign finance reports that were filed last week. Udall's cash-on-hand advantage narrowed in this year's second quarter because Udall spent about three times as much as Schaffer did in the three-month period that ended June 30.

Udall also has plenty of ammunition. Schaffer recently admitted to pursuing an oil deal in Iraq that he knew was against U.S. interests, and he has ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.