Various polls show the U.S. Senate race between Michael Bennet and Ken Buck to be among the nation's deader heats. That means turnout will likely determine the winner -- a situation seemingly to Buck's advantage, since Republicans are perceived to be more enthusiastic this year and estimates show more GOP members have taken advantage of early voting. What do you say to that, Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid?
"If you look historically, beyond just the hard count of Republicans versus Democrats, it usually favors Republicans in Colorado, especially in early and mail votes," Kincaid says. "But on election day, typically more Democrats turn out. So we feel pretty good about where we're at."
So how do Bennet boosters plan to convince Dems to reject the malaise often associated with midterm elections and line up in big numbers next Tuesday? Kincaid doesn't go into detail, saying only that "we have a comprehensive strategy. But we've known all along the race is going to be very close, and that's why it's so important that everyone votes: Democrats, Republicans and independents. Every vote will matter in this election."
Although many surveys show Bennet continuing to trail Buck, the current senator has been inching closer, with most of the gains pegged to Dem-hyped controversies: Buck's "buyer's remorse" statement to the alleged victim in a date-rape he declined to prosecute, his comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism, his implication that global warming is a hoax and, most recently, suggestions that he isn't a believer in the separation of church and state.
In a sense, Buck's turned into the gift that keeps on giving -- although Kincaid steers clear of admitting it. Instead, he uses the Bennet camp's favorite descriptor for Buck: "extreme."
"All these things that have come out recently underscore a larger concern about his policies -- policies like decreasing corporate taxes to zero, giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, ending Medicare as we know it," he says. "All these extreme policies pile up and give you an idea of who Ken Buck really is."
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Meanwhile, he maintains that the Bennet team feels "the wind is at our back."
But a weak turnout could quickly change a tsunami into a gentle breeze.
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