Conservative Groups Launch Ad Attacks Against Michael Bennet

The GOP hopes that with accusations against Bennet voters won’t notice Ken Buck is anti-women.


LAKEWOOD, Colo.--Any question that the battle has been joined in Colorado ended this weekend when no fewer than five attack ads were launched against Sen. Michael Bennet. The buy totaled $1.5 million this week alone.

[See who supports Bennet.]

It was a veritable right-wing word generator of interchangeable ads. The Club For Growth/American Crossroads/Chamber of Commerce are throwing out every poll-tested economic buzzword they can, piled on by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Ken Buck himself.

Why? Because the Republicans are hoping if they throw enough accusations out there, suburban voters--especially suburban women--won’t notice Ken Buck’s retrograde, anti-women views. Buck thinks a 14-year-old girl who has been molested by her stepfather, or a woman who has been raped, should be forced to carry that pregnancy to term. He opposes abortion in almost all cases, including for victims of rape or incest.

This does not go over well with the Independent voters who will likely determine the election, as noted in the Denver Post article “Suburbs hold Key to Buck’s Chances.” The article points out that in the Republican primary Buck lost swing suburban counties in Denver to Jane Norton, and these voters “can be easily spooked by extreme social conservatism.”

"The suburbs are really the key, and suburban women are the most important subgroup of all," said Lori Weigel, a pollster for Public Opinion Strategies.

It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but being antichoice is a liability in Colorado, an historically prochoice state. Colorado was the first state to liberalize abortion laws post-Griswold (in 1967) and it has resisted efforts to substantially limit abortion rights ever since, under Republican and Democratic governors alike.

So Buck’s views put him at odds at with the majority of Colorado voters and the voters “easily spooked by extreme social conservatism.” How much of a liability that proves to be will be played out over the next six weeks.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.
  • Follow the money in Congress.
  • See a slide show of 11 hot races in November.