Colorado’s senior senator hopes to stave off non-Trump supporting Republican in midterm election

Republican Joe O’Dea has been bashed by former President Donald Trump.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)(DC Bureau)
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With just weeks to spare until Election Day, the race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat is heating up. Control of the Senate is on the line, and Colorado will be part of the equation of which party ultimately gets to lead. Each candidate is trying to paint themselves as the bipartisan and moderate choice.

Democrat Michael Bennet, Colorado’s senior U.S. senator, has served two full terms since being appointed in 2009. He says he is proud of his bipartisan efforts to address issues in his state.

“I think people here know that I’m not part of the chaos back there. And I think we have to move beyond this chaos if we’re going to deliver for the next generation of Americans,” said Bennet.

Bennet has helped President Biden expand the Child Tax Credit and secure billions for rural broadband and conservation efforts. Bennett says he is running again to grow an American economy that works for everyone.

“I am really worried that our democracy is fragile as a result of the levels of income inequality that we have and the lack of economic mobility. And I think we can do that,” Bennet said.

Bennet will have to fend off Republican Joe O’Dea, a political outsider and business owner, who says he is going to use his previous experience of working with state government to help make the federal government better for Coloradans.

“We need bipartisan leadership in Washington that really embraces getting things done that would benefit Colorado,” said O’Dea.

O’Dea says his focus is on reducing inflation and crime and cutting government red tape. He also says he does not support former President Donald Trump and Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election being stolen.

“I’m going to support one of these other candidates and make sure that I do my job in the primary of getting their message out. The country ready to move forward, not backwards,” O’Dea said.

Trump recently bashed O’Dea, calling him a ‘RINO (Republican In Name Only)’ while adding, “MAGA doesn’t Vote for stupid people with big mouths. Good luck Joe!” Political science professor Kyle Saunders says Trump’s words help O’Dea prove he’s not a Trump supporter but Saunders is skeptical it will change the outcome.

“Even if O’Dea does make some gains with independents or unaffiliated voters here in Colorado, that has to counteract any Trump voters who don’t show up to the polls,” said Colorado State University’s Kyle Saunders.

FiveThirtyEight has Bennet up by an average of more than eight points. And while O’Dea says he does not buy it, Bennet has out-raised him by more than $13 million.