Gardner defeats Udall, key pickup for GOP

'Huge' pickup for GOP in Colorado
'Huge' pickup for GOP in Colorado

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    'Huge' pickup for GOP in Colorado

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'Huge' pickup for GOP in Colorado 01:29

Story highlights

  • Rep. Cory Gardner unseated incumbent Sen. Mark Udall
  • Udall was widely panned for running a one-issue race by focusing on women's issues
Republican Rep. Cory Gardner has won the race for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat, defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, according to a CNN projection.
The state, which voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, is a significant pickup for Republicans.
This election cycle saw more than $100 million spent on TV ads for both candidates. Polling from recent weeks showed Gardner holding a slight lead against the incumbent senator, even though most fell within the margin of error.
Udall spent much of the race trying to define Gardner as too conservative for Colorado. The one-term senator slammed Gardner repeatedly for co-sponsoring a "personhood" bill.
Yet his effort to get women to turnout quickly backfired after Gardner softened his opposition to birth control restrictions.
Udall's "war on women" strategy was one reason the Denver Post chose to endorse Gardner, just six years after they backed Udall. The newspaper's editorial board justified their endorsement noting that Udall "devoted a shocking amount of energy and money" on a campaign meant "to frighten voters rather than inspire them."