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Allard re-elected in Colorado

Sen. Wayne Allard, shown here with President Bush earlier this year, won re-election on Tuesday.
Sen. Wayne Allard, shown here with President Bush earlier this year, won re-election on Tuesday.

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DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- In a rematch of their 1996 race, Republican Sen. Wayne Allard on Tuesday defeated Democrat Tom Strickland, CNN projects.

Strickland started his Senate bid last year with roughly the same name identification level as Allard. Strickland's surprisingly widespread recognition stemmed from his 1996 campaign against Allard and two years he spent as U.S. attorney following the 1997 shooting at Columbine High School.

But because he's so well-known, Strickland had trouble moving his poll numbers past the admittedly weak incumbent. A recent poll showed them locked in a dead heat.

On the other hand, Allard struggled for months to push his numbers past 45 percent, which kept the race in play. Allard won their 1996 match up 51 percent to 46 percent, and he did little since then to alienate voters. Conversely, he did little since then to connect with voters.

Consequently, he and Strickland faced the same basic challenge -- appeal to swing voters and, more important, introduce themselves to the state's new residents before their opponent did so.

Allard, a veterinarian, labeled Strickland a "millionaire-lawyer-lobbyist," while Strickland attacked Allard as voting outside the mainstream on issues like the environment and health care.

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