"The Fix" calls Udall among the least vulnerable incumbents up for re election, notching him safetywise just below Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
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on the hunt for someone good to run against Sen. Mark Udall.
So far, there haven't been any takers, and a handful of the state's prominent Republicans including Attorney General John Suthers and Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman are either dragging their feet on a definitive answer or have outright declined.
That no one has yet announced a run against Udall puts pressure on state and national Republicans to find someone in the next couple of months to groom for a statewide fight and, perhaps most important, to start fundraising.
"I haven't made any decisions," he said.
Republicans searching for Colorado Sen
Jennifer Duffy is a Senate analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report and has dubbed the race "likely Democratic."
"Mark Udall is going to have a tough enough time running against Mark Udall's record," he said. House of Representatives and was noncommittal to The Denver Post in an interview about whether he'll run against Udall next year.
This puts Udall on the high end of fundraising in his Senate class, though not at the tippy top. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana who is considered vulnerable had $2.5 million at the end of 2012.
The first term senator is canvassing the country and amassing a campaign war chest for an aggressive fight next year. He had $1.3 million in cash on hand at the end of 2012 and is expecting a better showing at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
National political analysts, such as The Cook Political Report and The Washington Post's "The Fix," have already put Udall in a relatively safe zone.
Call is at the helm of the Colorado Republican Party during an interesting time. Crippled by two cycles of big losses now Sen. Michael Bennet beat out Republican Ken Buck in 2010, a Republican sweep year, and President Barack Obama won the state last year by 5 percentage points the party is amid strategic work to find good candidates and start turning the state red again.
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"What comes to mind when you think of Mark Udall? Nothing. There's no singular federal issue he's taken on; there's no major state project he's taken on," he said. "Mark Udall has been present, and that's it. No fight he's picked defines him. The guy is a blank slate.".
Whether his independent streak branding will resonate with the state's moderates is an open question. Brad Dayspring of the National Republican Senatorial Committee points out that Udall won in 2008 a sweeping Democratic year.
In Udall's corner, campaign staffers and outside groups are already garnering opposition research on potential foes, and a team in Denver is quietly plotting strategy to promote Udall's accomplishments in his first four years in the Senate.
Another likely candidate could be former Congressman Bob Beauprez, who seemingly wanted to get back in the ring because of his ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In the past two years, Udall has worked to tout an image of being a maverick Under Armour Shoes For Girls Price a fiscal conservative and social moderate who isn't afraid to challenge the White House.
Reached on vacation, Beauprez said he's "having a ball raising buffalo and seeing my grandkids."
He was one of the only Democrats who supported a version of the Balanced Budget Amendment, though it failed. He has pushed the Obama administration on its domestic spying and unmanned Predator drone operations overseas.
"I haven't shut any doors, and I haven't walked through any of them either," he said.
In addition to the two Senate seats, Democrats control the state legislature and the governor's mansion.
"I'm enthusiastically running for re election because I love Colorado and consider it an honor to represent Colorado's hardworking families," Udall said in a statement. "People of our state expect me to look at issues with an independent mind, and every day I go to work thinking about how to bridge partisan divides."
Former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams believes the right candidate preferably a fresh face and a new name could make Udall vulnerable.
Those accomplishments include the State of the Union bipartisan seating "date night," the extension of the wind energy production tax credit, the push for a Balanced Budget Amendment and promoting the congressional earmark ban.
"It's a little early to start writing off a race against somebody who is a freshman in a state where Republicans have, in the not too distant past, been competitive," Duffy said. "But certainly when I look at all the races . I don't put him near the top of the list of vulnerable members."
Romanoff, are announcing their intentions already.
"I do think it's fair to say there is a growing sense of urgency to make sure we recruit a strong, credible candidate," said state GOP chairman Ryan Call. "There is no question he's vulnerable."
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