Politics & Policy

Bennet, Buck Wind Up Grueling Campaign Slog

For the most expensive U.S. Senate battle in the country waged to eke out every last unaffiliated voter, the final days spent in traditional Democratic or Republican strongholds should come as no surprise.

Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign feels optimistic:

Between the stops on the lipstick-red “Bennet for Colorado” charter bus, Bennet’s daughters danced to Lady Gaga and wore Halloween costumes while playing with staffers. Bennet’s advisers, laptops open, kept a close watch on early-voter returns, which skewed Republican by nearly 53,000 ballots returned over those from Democrats this weekend.

But Bennet’s campaign said the numbers weren’t as alarming as they looked, because glances back at mid-term and presidential years show similar patterns — even when there were Democratic wins.

“Momentum and history are on our side,” said Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid.

Ken Buck’s campaign felt just as upbeat looking at the same numbers:

Buck campaign manager John Swartout followed behind in his own car for much of the weekend, convinced the GOP’s vote-finding machine is running well in the big cities. He said he sees none of the usual Democratic enthusiasm in political gold mines like Pueblo, and notes the lead of nearly 53,000 more ballots from Republicans in early voting. […]

An Eagle County voter asked Buck how he would avoid turning “politically correct” in Washington.

“I haven’t done much tiptoeing lately,” Buck laughed. “I am who I am. I’ve got my boots on. I’m just going to stomp.”

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