Speed Reads

2014 midterms

Republican Cory Gardner pulls off huge win in Colorado Senate race

Republican Cory Gardner has defeated incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D) in Colorado's hard-fought Senate race, pushing the GOP one net seat away from a Senate majority.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Gardner led by about seven percentage points, leading The Associated Press to call the race.

Udall handily won his first term in 2008 amid a favorable political climate for Democrats. But with President Obama's approval rating hovering in the low 40s, and with midterm election demographics typically favoring the GOP, he had a much tougher challenge this time around.

Udall also came under fire for focusing heavily on Gardner's past support for a personhood bill that would have restricted access to abortion and some forms of birth control. In endorsing Gardner, The Denver Post wrote that Udall was "trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision," and that "his obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince."