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In GOP Stronghold Weld County, Udall Pushes To Get Out The Vote

Grace Hood
Udall speaks to supporters on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley on October 20, 2014.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall swung through the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to recruit volunteers and get voters fired up for Election Day. The county is well-known as a conservative stronghold expected to support Republican challenger Cory Gardner.

"We need you all to get out, get people into the neighborhoods, knocking on the doors, making the case," Udall told the small group, stressing that every vote counts.

Recent polls suggest that Udall is locked in a tight race, with the incumbent trailing behind Republican challenger Cory Gardner.

Udall For Colorado Press Secretary Kristin Lynch said the campaign is working an expansive ground game. It's taken a page from the 2010 playbook that helped U.S. Senator Michael Bennet win his campaign against Republican challenger Ken Buck.

In 2010 the Colorado Democratic Party had 15 field offices, 50 field organizers and 1,000 volunteers. This year, the party has 25 offices, 100 field organizers and 4,000 volunteers across the state, according to Lynch.

"We're doubling and tripling that effort on the ground," she said.

Pundits have pointed toward Republicans as having the turnout edge this midterm election. The Colorado Statesman reports that Colorado Republicans have their own get-out-the-vote effort that includes 14 field offices.

"We have been working nonstop since 2012, ensuring we have the best data available, the best ground game, the best technology," Colorado GOP Communications Director Owen Loftus told The Colorado Statesman.

While outreach into an opponent's territory can prove challenging, Carol Burkhart, a volunteer for Weld County Democrats, said one focus is on Weld County's unaffiliated voters.

"It's certainly more conservative [in Weld County], we find a lot of unaffiliated [voters] though who are this year willing to talk about looking at the individual candidates," said Burkhart.

Will talking about the issues translate into more Weld County votes for Udall? It's a story that only Election Day results will tell.

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