Mark Udall Loses Senate Seat, Hickenlooper Hanging On

Senator Mark Udall has lost the U.S. Senate race to Cory Gardner. The media called the race for Gardner early, but Udall waited a few hours before giving his concession speech, which you can view here. The Post says he "held back tears" but he didn't look very upset to me. He smiled a lot and made some jokes. Gardner reminds me of a throwback to his lookalike predecessor, Gov. Bill Owens. I muted the TV for his speech. In Denver, Gardner only got 26% of the vote to Udall's 69%.

Both Udall and Gardner ran relentless negative ads on local TV for what seems like months. They were both like one trick ponies. Udall harped on Gardner's stand on abortion while Gardner attacked Udall as a clone of Obama. It's a shame Udall didn't focus more on his record of accomplishments, particularly since Gardner has none.

Gov. Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob "Wrong Way" Beauprez are still battling it out. With 89% of the vote counted, Beauprez has 5,000 more votes, but it's too close to call. [More...]

Interestingly, Gardner has 40,000 more votes than Beauprez. So a lot of people voted for Gardner but not Beauprez. Beauprez didn't even win conservative Jefferson county.

On the House side, Democrats Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter won by comfortable margins.

A Republican won the state Attorney General's race, and the "Personhood" amendment failed for the third time, 65% to 35% (current numbers.)

The national and local media reporting of results for Colorado has been spotty all night. None of the networks and websites have the same numbers at the same time. They all claim to be live and up to the minute, but clearly they are not.

All in all, a disappointing, but not unpredictable election night, both in Colorado and across the country.

< 2014 Election Results | Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper Re-Elected >
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    Charlie Pierce on the GOP and the (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 08:14:20 AM EST
    Tea Party:

    Last, and I hate to break this to Tom Brokaw, and to Kasie Hunt, who talked about how the Republicans know they have to "govern," but this election couldn't have been less of a repudiation of the Tea Party. As the cable shows signed off last night, it was dawning even on the most conventional pundits that the Republicans had not elected an escadrille of Republican archangels to descend upon Capitol Hill. It was more like a murder of angry crows. Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner -- who spiced up his victory by calling himself "the tip of the spear" -- is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate. Several of these people -- most notably, Sasse and Ernst -- won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party's ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.


    Yep (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 08:20:43 AM EST
    the tea party sees this as a huge win for them. David Perdue's speech was pure 100% tea party.

    Man (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 05:03:25 AM EST
    these Republicans really elected some psychopaths. These people are clones of Ted Cruz.

    I just don't get it. I don't - and will never - (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:32:22 AM EST
    get why the ideas and vision of some of these new members of Congress would make people do anything but run screaming into the night.

    Joni Ernst?  Tom Cotton?  How do they appeal to anyone?

    I really do despair.


    Well (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:34:35 AM EST
    look at it this way: they are going to damage the GOP even more. With an approval rating of 16% the GOP brand is in the gutter and these crazies are probably going to drive it into single digits.

    But they're getting elected. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:50:32 AM EST
    People actually think these nutcases are the better alternative to the Dems running against them.  


    This makes no sense to me.  

    Honestly, some days I feel like a stranger in a strange land.


    I tend to view it much more as... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 08:46:09 AM EST
    ...a complete indictment of the essentially equal corporate corruption of the Democratic Party. It says something very powerfully depressing about the Dems that they lack ENTIRELY anything even approaching the minimal political imagination and actual concern for working people that it would take to bury these clowns in EVERY election.

    And the Dems habit of telling voters how much better off those voters are because of Dem policy and power, when people obviously know when they aren't really better off, come on, that's just a pitiful loser's non-strategy. It is the sound of an imagination vacuum.

    Depressing results, but they don't surprise me. Hell, Obama doesn't even want the Prez job anymore, seems like he's just going through the motions and counting the days until we'll have to endure his memoir which will, no doubt, blame everyone else for his problems. Oy. Time for some blood of Mary in a large tumbler.

    Peace out.


    Yep (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 09:29:51 AM EST
    The election was about public exasperation with "Democratic" policy.  It was an "anything is better than this" election.  

    People are fed up.  And variations of the explanation that people are "stoopid" are not helpful.  The Republicans didn't win.  The Democrats LOST because of their policies.  That's why we're seeing Republicans taking huge Democratic strongholds.


    Yep (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 09:33:31 AM EST
    Because if you look at all the ballot initiatives out there, it was a good night for liberals.

    It really was (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CST on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 09:46:48 AM EST
    And I think if I could get past all the Republican governors, the Republicans having the senate might almost be a good thing - it could force them to be held responsible for their positions.

    Governors are more dangerous though - they actually manage to "accomplish" things.


    And governors (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 09:49:17 AM EST
    Make better presidential candidates.

    And let's be honest (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 09:50:07 AM EST
    It was a good night for Chris Christie as head of the Republican Governors Association.

    The governors (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:03:29 AM EST
    was really where the disappointment is. The senate is going to be led by freaks and everybody is going to be able to see that.

    The GOP is already claiming they don't have a mandate. Boy, that was quick.


    I think (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:00:51 AM EST
    a lot of it is Obama's inability to lead on anything and his inability to articulate any policy or even advocate for any policy.

    The only thing Obama seems to be able to advocate for is himself.


    Voting for crackpot GOP policy (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:10:59 AM EST
    to send a message that one is unhappy with the inability of the Democrats to put forth more of the good policies one supports is a special kind of crazy.

    If what you're saying is that Dems lost because their policies weren't Republican enough, I'd have to say that being more Republican to win elections is not how we get the good policy we want.

    But what do people expect after years of lowering the quality of the choices we have through use of the "better than the other guy" metric?


    I think those people... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 03:57:35 PM EST
    ..., the ones who let their disappointment in the Democrats keep them from voting for them, "voted" for the GOP by not bothering to go to the polls.

    It seems (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:18:30 AM EST
    that the post mortem is that people were mad at Obama, tired of Obama or whatever. I guess we'll see whether that pans out over the next few days or whatever. Apparently the GOP is even admitting that they don't have a mandate which they really don't because they just ran against Obama. They didn't actually run on doing anything. They made it all about race which worked for them this time.

    Handy to have Obama to run against, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:31:44 AM EST
    because if they had run on actual issues and policies they wanted to legislate, people would have run for the hills.

    Perhaps that will be the result after 2 years of GOP majority and whatever insanity happens in the state governments.

    I just wish I had some confidence that Democrats will use the next two years to beef up their vision - hell, to have a vision at all - instead of doing what I fear they will: make an effort to "cooperate" to "get things done for the people."  I fully expect Obama to be "leading" that charge, so it could be every bit as bad as we fear.

    I'm rooting for gridlock.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:39:49 AM EST
    apparently even they realize that no one likes their issues hence the making it all about Obama.

    Well, considering the fact that the GOP campaigned on the fact that Obama is basically the anti Christ I would imagine that gridlock is essentially what is going to happen. The minute Obama says he is for something the GOP is going to be against it even if it is some horrible far right policy that they would normally support.


    please stop the name calling (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:34:31 PM EST
    GA6thDem, please stop the name-calling. You can make your point without it. Referring to someone as a "psychopath" and the "anti-christ" is name-calling and a personal attack and not allowed here.

    The American people are (none / 0) (#28)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 11:15:11 AM EST
    results based.

    They give each party a turn at the wheel.

    If you do a good job you get reelected.

    See Reagan, See Clinton, See Bush and Obama at first.

    When you start screwing up, breaking promises and just being generally incompetent you get rebuked by the electorate.

    See First Bush, See second term Bush and Obama.

    The nation as a whole when you mix us all together is socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    Neither party can directly represent those because each is dragged down by it's kooks.  

    The dem party can be too progressive when it comes to government size and scope and republicans are constantly tripped up by social issues that the country is slowly moving away from them on.

    That is why the Tea Party is so successful.  It's not about abortion, religion but less and competent government.

    The democrats had their shot with bigger and smarter government and the results simply aren't there to justify giving this president more power.

    Too many scandals, too much incompetence and too much arrogance has led to the American people rejecting this president.    

    Give the republicans another shot at governing and then lets see if they and this president can work together for the last two years to do the things everyone wants.    See Clinton after 1994.

    Tax reform, immigration reform and smarter/better foreign policy.

    That's what this election was about.   Let's see if this president and the republicans can deliver.

    If they don't then it's game on in 2016.  


    What tea party (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    are you talking about? All the tea party candidates are proposing personhood amendments to the constitution and far right social policy. They just didn't talk about it this time.

    Immigration reform is not going to happen with the GOP in control of the senate and congress because remember what happened when Bush tried to do it? It became a major shooting match and a lot of Republicans are going to sit home in 2016 if the GOP does anything with immigration reform other than threaten to deport all the Hispanics in the country.


    You have a cartoonish view (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 11:50:09 AM EST
    of the Tea Party.

    Here's a few links on the "Platform"....

    Tea Party.Net

    Tea Party Platform

    The thing that's so interesting about the Tea Party is its a real life grass roots movement.  It is a direct reaction to the muddled mixed messages that many Americans feel we get from the two party system.   The other thing is it's not consistent.  It's a local movement in Evey branch and some are quite conservative (socially etc...) and some are quite libertarian.   The only thing that binds them together is their objection to the size and scope of government.   After you get past that it's a crap shoot.

    Are their kooks in the Tea Party?  Of course.   You can't get people together without attracting kooks.

    But who is kookier?  People that blindly vote for their respective parties no matter how bad the candidates are, how bad the party has failed them or people who want something different?

    I'm not going to convince you but I'll remind you that you were predicting the possibility of a Senate Hold yesterday and you couldn't have been more off.

    Yesterday's election was about the Obama presidency and agenda and Americans have rejected it.   Let's see what he does now with a true opposition congress.   Does he step up and lead or throw a fit?


    But I thought (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:02:12 PM EST
    there was no organized tea party? That's what you hear from them. Are you now saying there is?

    The tea party largely has been taken over by social conservatives because they already had the organization set up and just took the reigns from the tea party.

    No, I was not predicting a senate hold. What I said was that the races were close and I wasn't going to make a prediction based on those numbers. The only thing i predicted was that the polls were showing a runoff here in GA.

    I live in an area which is one of the biggest tea party places in the country. I see their wackiness daily. These are people like Jennie Beth Martin and Carolyn Crosby who preach fiscal responsibility but declared bankruptcy themselves. There are a bunch of crackpots and the tea party candidates from yesterday represent the far far right despite your denials to the contrary. Joni Ernst thinks we actually found WMDs in Iraq. These people are downright insane. Maybe you can tell me what is wrong with them? Oh, and they love the Bush agenda and the Bush doctrine too. So spending money really is not a problem with them.


    I expect (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:04:50 PM EST
    the fit to be thrown by the GOP which they have been acting like children for two years now. Are they going to blow up the country if they don't get what they want? They tried that before. Are they going to try it again?

    Question: If the Tea Party is (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:09:31 PM EST
    a "real life" "grass roots" movement, why would that movement eschew people power in terms of electing their own representatives? More specifically, why would such a Party want to repeal the 17th Amendment that allows for the direct election of US Senators?  Did someone or some brothers whisper in their ear that Senators should be appointed or some such?

    But you're (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 11:28:09 AM EST
    proving my point that the tea party is going to see this as a big "win" for them and think that going further right in 2016 is going to give them a shot at the presidency.

    Well (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:51:27 AM EST
    it's also a midterm election and strange things often happen during them. I do understand where you're coming from though.

    Udall's problem (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:09:43 AM EST
    was what CNN dubbed, "Vajajay politics"  Women were tired of his constant talk of lady parts and wanted to discuss other issues - like jobs, and the environment, schools, etc.

    There's a reason he was referred to as "Mark Uterus" in some circles.

    Personhood (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:16:18 AM EST
    I expect an amendment to the Constitution to be voted on regarding that considering the makeup of the house and senate now. Hopefully that crackpot piece of legislation won't pass out of the senate.

    How so? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:23:26 AM EST
    I don't know much about him, but I know he (says) he supports access to OTC birth control and was one of about 30 Republicans to vote for some version of the Violence Against Women Act.

    (I also know some of his positions have "evolved")

    He's a typical RW hack (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sj on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:25:12 PM EST
    with a used car salesman grin. And this is why Udall correctly (if obnoxiously) zeroed in on this issue.

    Udall didn't change his tactics until the end -- when he was successfully being sunk by the Obama anchor. At that point he finally (and unfortunately only obliquely) highlighted his opposition to the domestic surveillance.

    Unfortunately, his opposition to the surveillance has also been oblique. He is no Mike Gravel.

    He had his chance. And he no longer has a seat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    The Obama anchor and the "too extreme for Colorado" mantra hurt Udall badly. Especially because the used car salesman actually came across as likeable. I say this knowing full well the guy is a tool.


    He's (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:26:22 AM EST
    far right. All the people that got elected by pandering to the far right. So I'm guessing the GOP is going to see this as a win for the tea party.

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    for calling Gardner a derogatory and potentially libelous name.

    Some interesting (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 08:53:28 AM EST
    small stuff that happened yesterday. First of all the local tea party crackpot went down 75 to 25 for the county commission here yesterday. Thanks be to God for small miracles is all I have to say. Having a tea party governor and a tea party senator is enough already.

    The dems kept the KY legislature which apparently Rand Paul was hoping to flip so they could change the law about running for president. Now since it didn't flip the law isn't going to change and if he runs he is going to have to resign his senate seat? Another chance for Grimes to run or does Paul pass on running for President?

    Colorado news (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 10:47:03 AM EST
    Call race for Hickenlooper as of this morning.

    In Oregon (none / 0) (#27)
    by ZtoA on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 11:09:25 AM EST
    we kept our D governor Kitzhaber, our D senator Merkley. Recreational pot is now legal. GMO labeling is still too close to call, tho at this time it is losing - so many ads about that. State senate and house, still solidly blue.

    Charlie Pierce, again, on (none / 0) (#32)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    The House of Cranks...it's why some of us despair:

    Here is the aforementioned Jody Hice of Georgia, a Baptist membership, talking about how it's OK for the ladies with their ladyparts to run for election as long as they ask Pater-may-I? to their hubbies.

    ''If the woman's within the authority of her husband, I don't see a problem,'' Dr. Jody Hice of the Bethlehem First Baptist church in Barrow County said of women in positions of political power.

    Here's Congressman Jody on imperiled American Christians, who are going to be sent to Gay Jail very, very soon.

    "Evidently there are many who believe a 'Gestapo-like' presence is needed by the government in order to corral and keep under control, all these 'dangerous' Christians."

    Jody got 67 percent of the vote.

    Or there's Ken Buck, who was too loopy to beat Michael Bennet for the Senate in Colorado, but who's just what the doctors -- and everybody else -- ordered in the Fourth Congressional District of Colorado. Congressman Ken thinks being gay is like being an alcoholic, but with better accessories.

    Ken got 67 percent of the vote.

    Or there's Glenn Grothman in Wisconsin, who will bring with him to Washington several valises of accumulated krayzee.

    A December 2012 press release issued by Grothman's state senate office asked, "Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa?" In it, Grothman claimed that Kwanzaa is a phony holiday promoted by "white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people's throats in an effort to divide Americans." He urged "mainstream Americans" to be "more outspoken on this issue. It's time it's slapped down once and for all."

    Glenn got 57 percent of the vote.

    Or there's Mark Walker in North Carolna, yet another Baptist minister, who was dreadfully concerned about his African American neighbors.

    Walker, a Baptist pastor who wrote on Facebook that he "had the privilege of spending an hour with an African-American male who grew up in the inner city," but that "most of these Americans have no concept of the pride and joy when we, as parents, invest in our children."

    Mark got 58 percent of the vote.

    Or there's Ryan Zinke in Montana, who thinks Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist.

    Ryan got 55 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

    Or there's Gary Palmer in Alabama, a longtime Wingnut Welfare sublet who was endorsed by Rick Santorum, a remarkable array of the weasel class,  and every one of the 9,788 members of the extended Duggar family.

    Gary got 64 percent of the vote. Against another Republican.

    Ready to govern!

    Really, America?  Really?

    These people (none / 0) (#35)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:05:59 PM EST
    are absolute crackpots. There's no other way to put it.  

    please don't reprint so much of an article (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:40:24 PM EST
    published elsewhere. Just quote a paragraph or two and summarize the rest. It's a copyright violation.

    The general Democratic (none / 0) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:30:32 PM EST
    strategy was bizarre and the grotesque election results were an unsurprising sequelae.  To paraphrase Rummy, you go to the election with the President and record you have, not the ones you wish you had.  

    And, there was a Democratic argument to be made, even if necessarily categorized into (a) good and popular, (b) good and unpopular, and (c) bad and unpopular.  Categories (a) and (b) needed, in large measure, to be promulgated and marketed.
    Category (c), into which issues such as wars, overreaching  surveillance, might be found, are catnip to Republicans and could have been obfuscated.

    An objective of moving the polls rather than following them might not have been  such a bad idea.  And, trying to distance themselves from President Obama, the leader of their party, was an exercise in futility.  Ms. Lundgren Grimes and Ms. Michelle Nunn, pretending not to have any relationships with that man, was more fodder for late-night comedians than a winning idea.

    The Republicans were more than eager to tie the electoral can of Obama to the tails of their opponents; the Democrats tied the bows.  And, then the Republicans, aided and abetted by the media,  worked to make sure that it looked like the country was going to hell in a hand-basket--Ebola everywhere, ISIS on the Mexican borders, and, of course, Benghazi.  Just elect the Republican obstructionists and we can get our country back--as we are known to be able to do (if you have a short memory).

    So now, what is a country to do?  If the Republicans were smart they would make an attempt, over the next two years, to seem conciliatory and reasonable.  Ready to pass vanilla legislation. Show that they are asylum wardens not inmates--showing that they are not all that insane so to be trusted with the presidency.

    This will be difficult for them to do,  The Joni Ernsts will not be able to contain their squealing.  And, McConnell and Boehner will not be able to either--being more on the lookout for knives, not so much in their backs as in other sensitive areas, given Senator-elect Ernst's experience in neutering pigs.  Symbolic votes will need to be taken: repeal the Affordable Care Act for starters in keeping with the House's repeated, but ineffective efforts without the Senate.  

    The President, if he is smart, will propose strong bills on immigration, strengthen social safety nets--and let Congress reject them.  The Republican Congress, alas, is likely to believe that a good negotiation is one that gives them everything they ask.  Our hope is  that the president is for smart politics and governance, not dumb kumbayan fellowship.  The goal should be to limit the damage: a lot of hope and little change for the next two years will be just fine.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:36:53 PM EST
    if McConnell even has the votes to become majority leader but if he does I would say that he's going to be the in the same position that Boehner is: either let the crackpot stuff die or just don't vote on anything. I'm guessing the senate isn't going to vote on anything other than repealing Obamacare 50 times.

    McConnel has the votes (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:48:03 PM EST
    But (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:50:05 PM EST
    If McConnell (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 12:51:15 PM EST
    actually follow through with that he had better watch his back. He is going to be knifed by the tea party. Apparently though he realizes that the GOP and their ideas are not popular with voters if he wants bipartisan cover for them.