Politico agrees and disagrees with Wadhams about Bennet campaign

Politico on Tuesday
named incumbent Michael Bennet’s campaign for the U.S. Senate one of its top ten campaigns of the year. Writer David Catanese agreed and disagreed with Colorado GOP Chair Dick Wadhams on what happened here last Tuesday. He agreed that Bennet won by shifting the campaign narrative. He disagreed that campaign ground game efforts had little to do with the “razor-thin victory.”

Every campaign victory is different in its own way, with some resulting from weak or undisciplined opposition and others stemming from near-flawless execution of a smart plan.

Yet, in an election year like the one that just ended, even the best-executed campaigns can be overwhelmed by political forces that are beyond their control.

So in an attempt to determine the top statewide campaigns of 2010, POLITICO examined not just the winners but also the losers, and came up with a list of 10 great ones, based on degree of difficulty, beating the odds or overcoming fierce opposition or prevailing winds.

Michael Bennet
The appointed senator’s campaign strategy of shifting the terms of debate away from the economy and onto GOP nominee Ken Buck’s stance against abortion and his controversial comments about a rape case, smelled like desperation to Republicans. But it proved to be brilliant. Bennet peeled away Colorado independents, particularly women, from the tea party-backed Republican in the waning weeks, and his well-oiled ground game reached more than 300,000 doors on Election Day alone. A 16-point advantage among women made all the difference in the senator’s improbable razor-thin victory.

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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