DSCC: Udall doesn’t need ad help to defeat Schaffer

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), citing Democrat Mark Udall’s “commanding position to win this race,” plans to pull its spending in the Colorado Senate contest and focus on more competitive races that could secure a filibuster-proof majority, The Denver Post reported Wednesday afternoon.

By spending more than $4.5 million in a barrage of television advertising against Republican Bob Schaffer, the DSCC has been a counterbalance to the more than $15 million spent against Udall by outside groups, according to election records. The race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Wayne Allard is among the hardest-fought in the nation, at a time when Democrats are contending to expand their Senate majority from 51 to 60, which could block Republican-led filibusters.

Recent polls showed Udall maintaining a lead over Schaffer, in some cases by double digits. The most recent nonpartisan poll in the race, a Rasmussen survey released Friday, found Udall up by 7 points over Schaffer, leading 51-44.

Last week, rumors flew that the DSCC’s Republican counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), planned to pull its support from Schaffer for a different reason: his campaign was beyond help. Some Republican sources disputed those reports, while others said Schaffer was prepared to fight on without the group’s help.

The Udall campaign did not greet the DSCC’s move as a vote of confidence, citing massive, continued spending by outside groups against Udall. “It doesn’t help,” Udall spokesperson Tara Trujillo told The Denver Post. “We think that outside GOP groups will see this as an opportunity to launch more mean-spirited attack ads against Mark.”

The right-wing American Future Fund has spent millions attacking Udall, including a new ad on education that has drawn fire for playing loose with the facts.

The DSCC move comes only 13 days before the election, as national groups scramble to decide which candidates are headed for clear victories and which are facing defeat. Also on Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled its support from 4th District Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, an indication the group thinks its scarce resources could be better spent defending Republicans who have a better chances at re-election.