With the GOP on a 10 year losing streak for top tier statewide races, you can’t blame Cory Gardner for mixing it up when it comes to strategy.
Gardner’s campaign released two new ads this week, using the tag line “a new kind of Republican.”
The tag line comes after the ad featuring Gardner in front of a wind farm and detailing his support for renewable energy and past work on the issue.
The other ad shows Gardner talking about the idea of making birth control available without a prescription.
It’s not surprising that Gardner is promoting moderate points of view now that we are past Labor Day.
Frankly, Democrats and Republicans will both be looking to secure votes from the all important group of independent voters that decide every election in Colorado by heading to the middle of the political spectrum.
The question is how will Colorado voters react to a “a new kind of Republican.”
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I think it is a good gambit to attempt. It’s not like “same old traditional Republican” was going to attract hordes of unaffiliated voters.
But I think the effectiveness of the tag line will be proven in how often Gardner is truly okay with bucking standard GOP platform traditions. That’s a careful balance to strike and one that is not always easy.
Gardner will need to pick more issues than birth control and renewable energy if he plans to be a truly new kind of Republican. He’s also going to need to find the traditional Republican issues that unaffiliated voters want to see updated.
What will Gardner want to show voters that will make him a new kind of GOP leader?
Mark Udall is trying to walk that same careful stretch in the middle of the spectrum. On one hand, he cannot completely abandon all of President Obama’s policies but he also cannot embrace all of the policies of a very unpopular president.
Udall is not trying to become a new kind of Democrat, but he is certainly turning his back on some decisions made by our Democratic president.
The GOP doesn’t have a president that Gardner needs to argue with to look like a new kind of Republican, but it does have a Congress that doesn’t exactly embrace compromise.
Would a new kind of Republican actually be looking for ways to work across the aisle? That’s quite a stretch, especially since Gardner is still a member of that same Congress. But that would certainly make headlines as a new kind of attitude from a Republican.
Whether it’s becoming a new kind of Republican or a Democrat willing to disagree with his president, it will be very interesting to watch how both Mark Udall and Cory Gardner work to attract the 30 percent of Colorado voters that truly holds all of the cards.
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– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.