Schaffer continues to trail Udall in most recent poll

After a million bucks spent on happy ads over the past three months, Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer has taken a dive, with the latest Rasmussen poll showing Democrat Mark Udall with a nine-point lead. Says Republican strategist Sean Duffy, to the Denver Post, "No one is reaching for the panic button yet." Do you really think they’ll say, if or when that happens?

As reporter Michael Riley notes, Schaffer’s campaign “has suffered several weeks of bad publicity over links between Schaffer and jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and a negative TV spot by the League of Conservation Voters has been criticizing links between Schaffer and the oil industry.”

Schaffer, a former congressman, oil company executive and current member of the State Board of Education, is running against Udall, who is currently in the U.S. House. In 2004 Shaffer, who has long espoused his conservative viewpoints, lost the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat against beer baron Pete Coors, but is running this year unchallenged in the GOP field.

The campaign between Udall and Schaffer is expected to be one of the most expensive in Colorado history.

As the Post noted, the Rasmussen survey also shows that Udall, who has a strong history backing environmental protections, maintains a large lead among women. In addition he has built on his lead among unaffiliated voters to 21 points – “a substantial advantage among the voting bloc analysts believe will ultimately decide the race.”

Worth a highlight: The Post story does not include a comment from Schaffer, or from his spokesman Dick Wadhams – who is also the chairman of the state Republican Party.

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