With the US Presidential and Congressional elections only fifteen months away, Dan Hamilton takes a look at the tough Senate races that lie ahead. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of BritainAndAmerica.
The utterly-uninspiring Wayne Allard, who has held this seat since 1996, is honouring his pledge to serve a maximum of two terms in the Senate and is retiring in 2008. Having won his races in 1996 and 2004 by less than 3%, he would always have faced a difficult campaign in 2008.
Colorado narrowly voted for George W Bush in 2004 but it would be fair to say that the Republican’s traditional grip on the state, as in the case of Virginia, is weakening. Their internal party machinery in the state is in turmoil following the loss of the state’s other Senate seat in 2004 to the then Attorney General Ken Salazar and the Governorship and a congressional seat in 2006.
Whilst the popular Democratic Congressman Mark Udall has been on the record since 2004 as a challenger for the Senate seat (regardless of Allard’s decision), the Republicans appear to be saddled with former Congressman Bob Schaffer as their candidate. The Republicans would love former Governor Bill Owens to run, yet he has shown no inclination to give up the lucrative directorships and lobbying contracts afforded to senior former politicians in the United States. For a state that is increasingly moderate, Schaffer’s ultra-conservative positions on virtually every issue will make it extremely difficult for the Republicans to hold onto this seat.