COLORADO
     Nov. 4, 2014 U.S. Senate

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+Cory Gardner (R) 
983,891 48.20%
Mark Udall (D) i 944,203
46.26%
Gaylon Kent (L) 56,262
2.76%
Steve Shogan (UNA)
29,472
1.44%
Raúl Acosta (UNA)
24,151
1.18%
Bill Hammons (UPA)
6,427
0.31%
write-ins (2)
38


2,041,058

Active Voters: 3,649,041.  Ballots Cast: 2,075,837.
Plurality: 39,688 votes (1.94 percentage points).

 CO Secretary of State



REPUBLICAN PICK-UP
Notes: 
U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R) defeated freshman U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D) by less than 2 percentage points.  This was the third closest Senate race of the cycle, and the second most expensive (>).  In addition to the major party candidates there were as well four others on the November ballot.

Several Republicans were vying to challenge Udall including Ken Buck, the 2010 U.S. Senate nominee, state Rep. Amy Stephens and state Sen. Owen Hill.  In Feb. 2014 Gardner, then 39 years old and a rising star in the GOP, made it known he would run, and he formally announced his candidacy on Mar. 1.  Gardner's entry cleared the field and he ultimately won the party's nomination uncontested.  Gardner was elected to Congress in 2010, representing the 4th CD (Eastern CO).  He previously served five years in the Colorado House; earlier he worked for Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) for three years. 

Udall was elected to the Senate in 2008 after serving five terms in Congress representing the 2nd CD (Boulder) and one term in the Colorado House; he previously worked for Outward Bound for 20 years. 
Like Gardner he did not face a primary challenge.  By the time of the general election campaign he was 64.  
 

The two candidates' first debate was hosted by Club 20 in Grand Junction on Sept. 6 (>).  After a lull of one month, they then debated three times in one week: one hosted by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Politico on Oct. 6 (>), then the Denver Post on Oct. 7 (>), and a raucous debate in Pueblo on Oct. 9.  Their final meeting was the KUSA-TV debate at 9News in Denver on Oct. 15 (>).


Throughout the campaign the Udall camp focused much attention on Gardner's position on abortion and personhood.  In March 2012 Gardner co-sponsored the federal "Life Begins at Conception Act," but by March 2014 he had backed away from that position.  Meanwhile at seemingly every opportunity Gardner noted that Udall voted with President Obama 99 percent of the time.
 

In a bit of a surprise, on Oct. 10 the Denver Post endorsed Gardner, saying Congress needed "fresh leadership, energy, and ideas (>)."  Gardner ultimately won by a bit less than 40,000 votes out of more than two million cast (1, 2).  After the campaign, Washington Post's "The Fix" opined "it's clear that Cory Gardner was the single best candidate of the 2014 election."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Colorado race was the second most expensive of the 2014 cycle, with spending by the campaigns and outside groups totaling $105.6 million (1, 2).  The Udall campaign spent $20.5 million and the Gardner campaign $12.5 million; spending by outside groups totaled $71.8 million.  On the Democratic side nine groups spent more than $1 million led by the DSCC ($10.1 million), NextGen Climate Action ($7.4 million), Senate Majority PAC ($6.1 million) and the League of Conservation Voters ($3.1 million).  On the Republican side, eight groups spent more than $1 million led by Crossroads GPS ($8.7 million), NRSC ($6.4 million), US Chamber of Commerce ($3.7 million) and Ending Spending ($3.3 million).


Campaign Managers:
Cory Gardner: 
Chris Hansen
(Mar. 2014)  Campaign manager on Capito for West Virginia, July 2013-Feb. 2014.  Chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Gardner, Jan. 2011-June 2013.  Campaign manager on Coffman for Congress, June-Nov. 2012.  Campaign manager on Cory Gardner for Congress, Mar.-Nov. 2010.  Campaign manager on Green for Congress, Sept. 2009-Feb. 2010.  Director of outreach and planning in the Office of San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, Dec. 2008-Aug. 2009.  Campaign manager on April Boling for San Diego City Council, June-Nov. 2008.  Campaign manager on John McCann for Assembly (78th District, San Diego), Sept. 2007-June 2008.  Legislative assistant to Assemblywoman Shirley Horton (78th District), Dec. 2006-Sept. 2007.  Deputy campaign manager on Horton for Assembly, July-Nov. 2006.  Account executive at Coronado Communications, Jan.-June 2006.  Bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA, 2005.

Mark Udall:  Adam Dunstone
(July 2013)  Senior associate at RBI Strategies, Jan. 2012-Dec. 2014.  Campaign manager for Proposition 103 (CO), Aug.-Nov. 2011.  Campaign manager on Romer for Denver Mayor, Dec. 2010-June 2011.  Deputy campaign manager on Bennet for Colorado, Jan. 2009-Nov. 2010.  Campaign director/media consultant at Fletcher Rowley Inc.-Apr.-Nov. 2008.  Field director and earlier deputy field director and regional field director in Davenport on Biden's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.  Deputy campaign manager, Angie Paccione for Congress in Colorado, 2005-06.  Previously executive director of ThisMatters.org and Be the Change USA grassroots political organizations in Denver area.  B.A. from Michigan State University, 2004. 


See also:
James Hohmann, Alexander Burns and Jake Sherman.  "Gardner to run for Senate in Colo."  Politico, Feb. 26, 2014.

Noah J. Gordon.  "16 Questions: The Colorado Senate Race."  The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014.

--.  "How Will Latino Votes Influence Colorado's Senate Battle."  NBC News, Oct. 28, 2014.

Lynn Bartels.  "In Colorado, the GOP shifted the ground game."  Denver Post, Nov. 8, 2014.




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