The Tampa Bay Times and the Denver Post have both come out with their endorsements for their respective state’s tightest and biggest race. In Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott is battling with former Governor Charlie Crist as both hope for a second term while in Colorado, Sen. Tom Udall is competing against Rep. Cory Gardner in his re-election campaign. In both, the challengers appear to have a slight edge. Recent polling puts Crist ahead of Scott, although the two have been tight and trading the lead throughout the campaign season. In Colorado, Udall had a comfortable lead for most of the year until last month when some polls showed Gardner taking the lead. Udall has spend most of his campaign painting Gardner, who is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, as an extremist on women’s issues, specifically contraception and abortion. However, Gardner does believe women should be able to buy over-the-counter birth control.
The Denver Post specifically mentioned Udall’s misinformation campaign in their endorsement of Gardner.
Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.
The Denver Post also argued that Udall has been ineffective as Senator, especially in comparison with the state’s junior Senator, Michael Bennet, whom they praise. Gardner and Bennett, they argue, would be able to best represent Colorado with passion and a combined clout on both sides. The Post said they were endorsing Rep. Gardner in spite of Sen. Udall being closer to them ideologically.
The Denver Post had endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012 and he won Colorado in both elections.
In Florida, the Tampa Bay Times endorsed Charlie Crist in his race against Gov. Rick Scott. The Times also argued that this was the election that should have occurred in 2010. The Times said that if Crist had run for re-election in 2010 rather than running for the Senate, he would likely have won against Scott. In 2010, Crist ran for the Republican nomination against then-Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio. When Rubio won the primary, Crist left the Republican Party citing his frustration with the Tea Party and ran in the general election as an independent. In 2012, he supported President Obama’s re-election campaign and Democrats used him as an example of the Republican Party becoming too extreme for moderates. Later that year, Crist joined the Democratic Party.
In the Times’s endorsement, they went issue-by-issue and compared the two governor’s records. Crist, they argue, would stand up for average Floridians while they say Scott would be looking out for only businesses’ interests.
Stick with TKNN for continuing Election Center coverage.