23 October 2008

Campaigning CO

Via TPM this morning (last night), the NRCC can no longer support Marilyn Musgrave in her bid for reelection in Colorado's 4th District. The NRCC ad buy that came this week on Musgrave's behalf will run until Oct 28, then go off the air. That leaves Musgrave on her own in the crucial last days until the election.

Not sure how early voting factors in here, and whether or not Betsy Markey and the DNCC can capitalize on this late breaking bit of good news for Dems. The Denver Post today characterizes the race succinctly: "Internal polling from both campaigns has the congresswoman breaking even, at best." That should encourage the Markey campaign, but this has been a tough race through and through, including a surprising endorsement from the Post for the embattled Musgrave.

I'm no campaign strategist, but I'm betting now may be a good time to make a donation (or an extra little donation) to the Markey campaign and see if they can't capitalize on this recent news. Musgrave is, politically speaking, a cousin of the Michelle Bachman breed, and as such may actually polarize voters (and electrify donors) more than Markey herself can in the final days of the race. If you want an up to the minute ticker on the leaning of that race, I'd say watch the numbers. If Markey can effectively outraise Musgrave in the final days--and put that money to good use--then Markey's schedule may be intensely busy in District 4 and in Washington starting November 5.

The Denver Post further predicts today that "Colorado's days as a battleground state for the Nov. 4 election may be waning." In the closely watched Senate campaign, Mark Udall leads Bob Schaffer by a broad enough lead to inspire the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to pull its funding for the Democratic candidate in Colorado, probably to direct resources to tighter races in Oregon, North Carolina, Alaska (keep an eye on deliberations in the Stevens trial for indicators in that race) and Minnesota. The Udall campaign is likely feeling quite exposed in the closing weeks of an intensely bitter campaign, but has to be happy with their current standing.

One last Colorado campaign note: The McCain campaign continues to insist that "We are not pulling ads and will be on the air in Colorado through Election Day." That's campaign spokesperson Tom Kise, but the numbers tell a different story. The Post report today indicates that McCain dollars spent this week on airtime have dropped off 46% from last week and 54% from two weeks ago. For the final week of the election, McCain has purchased approximately 1/7 the airtime that the Obama campaign has reserved in Colorado. In an interesting aside, the McCain campaign has not purchased any advertising time from Channel 7. Not sure if that bodes poorly for the campaign, or for the ABC affiliate, a bit of an also-ran (like McCain?) in the Denver market.