tags: Targeted Races

Allard (Open-CO-Sen)

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RESULT: Mark Udall 52% – Bob Schaffer 43%

The Race:

Wayne Allard, Colorado’s Republican Senator since 1997, announced in January 2007 that he would not seek re-election. When first elected, he promised not to serve more than two terms in the Senate. [Almanac of American Politics 2008, accessed 9/22/08] The Republican candidate for Allard’s seat, Bob Schaffer, represented Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1997 to 2003. [Bob Schaffer for Congress, accessed 9/18/08] The Democratic challenger, Mark Udall, served in the Colorado State House in 1997. Since 1998, Udall has represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House. [Mark Udall for Congress, accessed 9/18/08] Both Schaffer and Udall ran unopposed in their primaries. [National Journal, accessed 9/17/08]

Former Congressman Schaffer hopes to beat popular current Congressman Udall. Although polls have varied throughout the race, Udall has consistently been in the lead. [National Journal, accessed 10/2/08] According to Roll Call, the race lies in the hands of independent voters. [Roll Call, 8/26/08] Latino voters are also playing an important role in the race. The Denver Post reported that Udall’s edge in the race was due in large part to Latino voters. The paper called Latino voters an “Achilles’ heel for the [Republican] party in 2008.” [The Denver Post, 9/29/08]

The Udall Position:

COMPREHENSIVE REFORMER. Immigration has been a hot-button issue in the campaign. When an undocumented person with a criminal history was accused of killing three people, including a 3-year-old boy, in an automobile accident, Schaffer used the incident to accuse Udall of “doing little on immigration reform.” [AP, 9/10/08] In response, Udall wrote a letter to the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) calling for an investigation into why ICE had not deported the man accused of the crime. [Udall Press Release, 9/12/08]

In a debate, Udall said his immigration position was focused on fixing America’s broken immigration system. He said, “We secure our borders; we put in place a tamper-proof ID card; we ask employers to be a part of the enforcement process…We also have to acknowledge that the workers who are here who are undocumented are adding value to our economy (and that) the large majority of them are here because they want a better life.” [The Denver Post, 8/17/08] In an interview in 2008 Udall stated, “We need to reinforce our security on the borders and then provide a temporary legal path for people who are here, bring them out of the shadows. I think it’s a common-sense approach.” When asked if he thought deporting illegal immigrants would hurt the economy of Colorado, Udall said, “It would really hurt our economies. And that’s why that’s unrealistic. It’s why the Tom Tancredo faction of the Republican Party is out of touch.” He went on to say that moderate Republicans and Democrats favored common-sense reform. [Federal News Service, MSNBC, 8/26/08]

On his campaign website, Udall’s immigration position focuses on solutions to secure the border and creating legal ways for businesses to expand immigrant labor. “Controlling our borders and reforming our immigration policies is one of the nation’s most pressing problems…The solution starts with securing our borders. However, we also must hold employers who hire illegal immigrants accountable, and find a way to deal with the estimated 12-15 million undocumented immigrants already in this country…we need to expand legal channels for immigrant workers to meet the demand for labor in those areas.” [Mark Udall for Congress, accessed 9/18/08]

In 2006, Udall penned an op-ed about immigration, stating, “The 2006 elections also have shown that polarization and extremism make for good headlines but they are not effective tactics for solving problems. With few exceptions, the vast majority of voters in 2006 called for immigration reform that includes a rational guest worker program.” [Editorial; The Denver Post, 11/19/06]

The Schaffer Position:

ENFORCEMENT MOSTLY. In a 2008 debate, Schaffer said, “I want to open our doors to those who want to come (legally)…I’m in favor of securing the borders… Our immigration quotas need to match and mirror the needs of our labor market for regions of the country and for specific industries. If we can focus on legal solutions and discourage illegal cheating … we can get an immigration system we can be proud of again.” [The Denver Post, 8/17/08] Schaffer comes from an immigrant family. He said, “The fact that my mom’s family fled the living hell of Stalinism and sought refuge in the United States of America is somewhat of a metaphor for my understanding of the strength of the American economy.” [The Denver Post, 9/22/08]

On his campaign website, he also states that he opposes “sanctuary cities,” “taxpayer-subsidized benefits for which U.S. citizens are ineligible” and “issuing food stamps to visitors from foreign countries.” His website states, “the only reason the current politicians haven’t addressed illegal immigration is because they lack the will and lack the courage.” Schaffer’s recommendation is to “enforce the laws on the books,” make unlawful presence in the United States a crime, and limit “chain migration.” [Bob Schaffer for Congress, accessed 9/18/08, 10/31/08]

In 2004, Schaffer summed up his position on immigration in an op-ed, writing, “I oppose blanket amnesty and support border security.” [Editorial; Rocky Mountain News, 8/7/04] On his website, Schaffer outlined the immigration positions he took in Congress. Those positions include his vote to secure the border, his vote to allow “the military to prevent terrorists and drug traffickers from entering the U.S.,” and his “vote for fraud-proof and tamper-resistant biometric identifiers such as fingerprints or retina scans on visas, passports and other travel documents.” [Bob Schaffer for Congress, accessed 9/18/08]

Colorado Senate