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Colorado Senator Mark Udall is up for re-election in 2014. As anyone who follows politics knows, that is right around the corner and the campaign has almost certainly begun. (We can thank Republicans like Karl Rove for the never-ending campaign.)

Riding Barack Obama's coattails 2008, Udall easily won his senate seat:

Obama took six of the 11 Western states, spreading the Democrats' apparent majority inland from the West Coast to include Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.
Here are the Colorado numbers from 2008:
Obama won with 54% and 1,288,576 votes.
Udall won with 53% and 1,230,994 votes.
(You'll note who got more votes than Mark Udall. This might be a standard occurrence in state votes, but it should not be disregarded in my humble opinion. A vote for Udall was mere millimeters away from a vote for Obama.)

Despite voters' clear mandate in 2008, and the obvious disgust with which they regarded Republicans nationally, our very wise Senator and his partner, both Udall and Michael Bennet, chose to use a tired, old strategy from the 90s: triangulation.

Triangulation has some logic behind it. And when wielded by the greatest politician of his generation, Bill Clinton, it seemed to work like magic. Democrats have been enamored of it since.

But there's a big "but" here that current Democrats in elected office haven't fully taken into account:

The 2008 move to the right by both Udall and Bennet immediately, and purposefully, hampered the ability of our newly elected president to act on his mandate and might've encouraged the historically belligerent behavior of Republicans:

Colorado’s two freshman senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, are part of a self-described centrist group of 15 Democrats meeting regularly “seeking to restrain the influence of party liberals in the White House and on Capitol Hill,” according to an account in Roll Call.

The group has a “shared commitment to pursue moderate, mainstream and fiscally sustainable policies across a range of issues, such as health care reform, the housing crisis, educational reform, and energy policy,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by the group.

To be perfectly blunt: nice job, assholes.

Fast forward to now where we see the evisceration of Tea Party Candidates everywhere, the resounding loss of many candadates favored by, and those who favored, the Bowles-Simpson budget B.S., the near extinction of the Blue Dog/Conservadem legislator in congress that Bennet and Udall so hastily joined in 2008, and the clear electoral success of Democrats, including Barack Obama and several newly elected Democratic Senators, who proudly and unwaveringly proposed progressive solutions to our most intransigent problems.

And with all this Public Policy Polling found that Mark Udall's numbers were out of sync with the election that just took place:

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Mark Udall’s job performance?
Approve ...................36% (Down from 2008)
Disapprove...............33%
Not sure ..................31%

Generally speaking, if there was an election for Senate today, would you vote for Democrat Mark Udall or his Republican opponent?
Mark Udall................45% (Down from 2008)
Republican .............38%
Not sure................ .16%

So this is the environment in which Mark Udall has to decide if and how to run again for a seat in the United States Senate.

The progressive electoral shift in 2012 is unmistakable.

The clear mandate given by voters is undeniable.

The evidence of Conservadem/Blue Dog strategy failure is abundant.

Udall's overly conciliatory track, plaintive and misguided pleas for bipartisanship, constant identification with Republican policies and solutions (Simpson-Bowles, cuts to Medicare and Social Security) and unfounded timidity on progressive values leaves him a very clear choice in how to run and win the next election.

Will Colorado's Mark Udall do what makes sense for Democrats in 2014 or will he decide to go home and sit in a rocker on his porch?

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Comment Preferences

  •  colorado is a RW radio state (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, conniptionfit, Brahman Colorado

    and that's why most blue dogs go right to survive. it has been dominating CO, like many states, for 20 years. intimidating and attacking the good and enabling and excusing the shit.

    if progressives want to push udall/bennet left or replace them with progressives the best way to do that, all things considered, is to weaken the ability of RW radio to be used to dominate CO politics.

    i lived in CO for years and watched/heard the process that has allowed the RW turn large low population areas with lots of senators into idiot lands because there are no free alternatives for politics while driving or working.

    anything to promote more progressive radio stations, break the RW stations, and discredit local RW blowhards like Mike Rosen, Doin a Heck of a Job Michael Brown, and that faux moderate idiot in the morning will do more than any increase in CO citizen activism to move CO and its blue dogs left.

    otherwise all their think tanks have to do is watch and snipe, feeding the CO RW blowhards as needed to undo the work of thousands of CO activists. the denver OWS protests, with the local blowhards egging on the cops, attacking the protestors, and intimidating local politicians is a great recent example. and i remember many anti nuclear, anti war, environmental and social justice protests that politicians didn't have to pay attention to because one loudmouth with some think tank talking points could shout over and minimize them.

    CO, a state that just legalized pot, only has ONE progressive station, AM 760, which broke in in 2005 and helped take CO blue.

    getting CU sports out of the mega limbaugh station KOA, maybe on grounds of incompatibility with their mission statement, would start the process. other state funded schools could follow.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:38:42 AM PST

    •  Udall was a progressive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr, certainot, realwischeese

      when he was US Representative for the People's Republic of Boulder.  Now that he represents the entire state, he's a lot more conservative.  Surpriiiiiise!

      He's just another dynastic scion looking for ever more power.  But you can't say he doesn't represent the state.

      •  and he and his staff, like most dems, think that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zappatero

        a made-to-order talk radio constituency following the latest misinformation, motivation, and coordination from the state's loudest radio stations deserves to be treated as a legitimate representation of popular opinion.

        as long as the right is allowed to do that by a left that perpetually underestimates and ignores RW radio, progressives will have this problem.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:32:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, in my part of the state, (0+ / 0-)

          RW talk radio is a legitimate representation of popular opinion . . . but for the most part I see your point.

          •  thelies are only 'legitimate' because there are no (0+ / 0-)

            free alternatives for politics while driving or working. they get to create their own legitimacy because they have  a monopoly for unchallenged repetition in that domain.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:07:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, believe me, (0+ / 0-)

              my part of the state had a hate radio audience long before there was hate radio.

              •  it's not the hate that makes RW radio effective or (0+ / 0-)

                significant. the haters will always be there

                it's the fact that if limbaugh and sons can yell it all day and no one gets in their face so it's acceptable (someone finally did- but too late for anita hill and hundreds of others)

                and it's the fact that 1000 of the main stations, mixing the main national talkers with locals, are all coordinated to sell the same lies and memes, long term and more topical, to create that alternate reality in which ACORN steals elections, romney ryan palin are acceptable, and obama cut 700 bil from medicare and watched and let ambassador stevens die.

                all basically because the left has been giving it a free speech free ride.

                (i remember driving thru so CO some years back, and on 5 AM stations i could get, limbaugh was on 3).

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:08:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, but of course. (0+ / 0-)

                  On the other hand, I'm safely on the left side of things, and can't stand AM 760.  Hell is having to listen to Thom Hartmann, or trying to finish a sentence in the presence of Randi Rhodes.

                  Let them have radio; it's a dying medium anyway, just as they're a dying demographic.  We can challenge them elsewhere.

                  •  20yrs i've argued w/lefties who think RWTR's dying (0+ / 0-)

                    and overrated as a medium, while it kicked our ass.

                    but i agree in large part on RR and TH unless it's background when working, or sometimes driving, especially when shit's happening in washington.

                    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

                    by certainot on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 01:14:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton, v2aggie2

    Just over a month since the election and someone here is already calling Democratic senators assholes!  

  •  I would venture that Udall noticed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zappatero, corvo, qofdisks

    how Latinos saved Bennet's ass in 2010, and would expect Udall to try to inject himself prominently in the upcoming immigration reform efforts.

    Because CO Republicans are as insane as any in the country, he can also probably count on running against a nut-job in 2014.

    But CO Dems are as disloyal and "centrist" as any in the country too. Udall, Hickenlooper, Bennet, Salazar, Ritter... the list of Senators and Governors is nausea inducing.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:54:32 AM PST

    •  dont forget the fight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magster

      Over Romanov and Bennett.  Romanov was the clear winner of the Dem caucuses in 2010.  He would be our progressive Senator toady, if Obama hadn't come and put his big feet in our primary.  We keep electing "centrist" Dems here in CO because we have a DLC party machine here, and all the party machine will offer is "centrist" candidates.  There are many liberals in CO who feel disenfranchised in a choice between a right winger and a centrist.  Even so, they aren't disloyal Dems.  They voted against the right wingers.  My friend who ran for our district house seat, said it was remarkable how many Republicans approved of Hickenlooper, and how many Dems, disapproved of him. And commented that they'd love to be able to vote for an actual liberal for Governor.  The same applies to Senator.

      •  I don't mind Bennet, actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuco35

        Maybe because I don't think he misrepresents himself. He just is what he is and doesn't seem cynically egotistical chameleon. Udall went from Boulder liberal to Joe Lieberman within a matter of months. He strikes me as a somewhat of a fraud (though the silver lining is if he sees being a progressive latino-lovin Senator is his ticket to re-election, then we can work to persuade him to wear that coat).

        No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

        by Magster on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 02:58:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The farther crazy Right the opposition, (0+ / 0-)

        The further Right wing the Democratic policies. Liberals need to strategize pulling the Republicans left of center.

    •  That has been our saving grace (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magster

      with all the Republican nut cakes that parade before the voters. Mcinnis, Maes, Tancredo, Musgrave, Gessler, Lamborn, Dick Wadhams. OY!

      It's an endless queue of Koo Koo.

      After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

      by Brahman Colorado on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:14:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait, you're labelling people who only bothered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zappatero, Gary Norton

    voting in the presidential election as purposely abstaining from voting for Udall because . . . it would have been easy to check his box, too? I'm sorry, but that's absurd. There are always voters who ignore Congress, and that's not because of some antipathy for the incumbent. You don't get to claim that there was some special attitude against Udall without providing some sort of proof that this is different from the normal downballot dropoff.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:26:16 AM PST

    •  I know there's a dropoff (0+ / 0-)

      I never miss the big races.

      Is it that hard? Could Udall have encouraged those voters to make that selection? Would a more pronounced vision have inspired them to vote down ballot?

      I said:

      This might be a standard occurrence in state votes, but it should not be disregarded in my humble opinion. A vote for Udall was mere millimeters away from a vote for Obama.
      How about a little, "Don't forget to vote for your Senator after you vote for your president?" from our locals?
  •  Hmm. (0+ / 0-)

       While progressives here can talk about Udall - is there an alternative option, or is this a generic "blue dog" complaint.
         I'm not from CO - so I don't follow all his politics.   Sending a message that Progressives are watching is fine - but if there is no alternative Dem - then what?

    •  Just grousing I figure. (0+ / 0-)

      But good practice to get the senator in line over the next 2 years, at least.

      “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Dreamer.

      by chuco35 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:20:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    any hope Udall can be primaried?

    Dems in swing districts: INSIST your republican rep incr tax on the wealthy -gerrymandering makes rep vulnerable...swing district list: http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1162387/48457188

    by grrr on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:44:42 AM PST

    •  I dunno that what it's about. (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's about making sure he recognizes that he is being watched by those whom he will be depending on for votes, and holding his feet to the fire now that he is definitely receptive.

      “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Dreamer.

      by chuco35 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:22:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Im on the Udall mailing list.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2

    ...and for the past 1.5 years he has been sending emails about the environment, debt and higher taxes for the rich, saving medicare ssn etc. Is he really a centrist/blue dog?

  •  Udall and Bennet come from a swing state so they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, FG

    have to work closely with moderates but Colorado is also kind of Libertarian-leaning state so I can understand some of their votes.  Not saying I agree with it entirely but I understand.  Udall though is a terrific champion of protecting civil liberties hence why he has been the lead Senator aimed at removing indefinite detention from the NDAA.  He's also one of the greenest and most pro-environmental Senators who supports renewable energy and green jobs.  He also supports the DREAM Act and marriage equality and protecting Social Security and medicare and also favors filibuster reform.  If you want to rally up people to make sure that Udall and Bennet vote the right way in the next month and over the next year, go for it.  But lets put the primary stuff to bed.  

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:15:30 AM PST

    •  Also that PPP poll showed his approval from 2008 (0+ / 0-)

      as a candidate.  Very few Senators have that same high of approval once they get into office.  Sherrod Brown and Bob Casey had very high favorables as candidates in 2006 and crushed their opponents from 16-18 points each.  This time they defeated them by 10.  So the PPP poll doesn't really strengthen your point.  You poll any Senator or Governor a while before election time, you're going to find a lot of people with no opinion or aren't sure.  31% not sure is a pretty big chunk and Udall has time to win them over.

      Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

      by poopdogcomedy on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:21:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  silly complaint about turnout dropoff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    Really, you're making an issue over the fact that "only" 97% as many people voted in the Senate race as voted for President? Don't you know that there's a definite decrease in participation as you proceed down the ballot? It's like that everywhere (with some adjustments based on the competitiveness of the races).

    Here's a demonstration of the effect in 2012 Washington:

    • a. Total voters -- 3,172,939
    • b. Voted for President -- 3,125,516 (98.5% of a)
    • c. Voted for Senator -- 3,069,417 (96.7% of a, 98.2% of b)
    • d. Voted for Governor -- 3,071,047 (96.8% of a, 98.3% of b)
    • e. Voted for Attorney General -- 2,925,453 (92.2% of a, 93.6% of b)
    • f. Voted for Supreme Court 9 -- 2,452,990 (77.3% of a, 78.5% of b)

    Note that our Senate race was uncompetitive, while the Governor's race was very competitive. Note also that Washington votes entirely by mail, so that no one will feel rushed and therefore have that excuse to stop marking after the first few races.

    Finally, it's remarkable that 1.5% of those who returned their ballots didn't even vote for President.

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -- K.Marx A.Lincoln

    by N in Seattle on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 02:02:13 PM PST

  •  Depende en como se define “radio progresiva” (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    There's a progressive AM station in Utah.  It just doesn't broadcast in English.

  •  I have no idea where you found progressive (0+ / 0-)

    electoral shift in 2012.

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