The Fox News Decision Desk projects that incumbent Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet will defeat Republican businessman Joe O’Dea.
The Colorado Senate race became an unexpected pickup opportunity for the Republicans, though the state has trended toward Democrats in recent years.
O’Dea, a moderate Republican businessman, gained attention as he rose in the polls in the summer while other GOP candidates appeared to be struggling in their campaigns.
Bennet, who has served in the Senate since 2009, maintained a lead in public opinion polls throughout the midterm election cycle.
O’Dea campaigned on a moderate Republican platform stressing economic issues and inflation, the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and fiscal responsibility. He fended off attacks that he wanted to ban abortion outright, stating that he opposed late term abortions except in certain cases and believed that early in a pregnancy the decision to abort should be “between her, her doctor, and her God.”
He also opposed the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent protecting abortion as a constitutional right and gave Democrats a boost in the polls nationally over the summer.
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Bennet received a boost from President Biden in October when the 46th president designated Camp Hale, the WWII-era training ground for the 10th Mountain Division, as a national monument. Biden made a stop in Colorado to announce the designation, which Bennet had pushed for in the environmental bill known as the CORE Act that has stalled in Congress.
“This guy, he made this finally happen, at least me signing this shortly,” Biden said of Bennet at a stop in Vail, Colorado, near the Camp Hale-Continental Divide national monument. “He came to the White House, and he said ‘I told you what I need.’ And I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ You know why? I was worried he’d never leave the damn White House.”
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While O’Dea received late backing from Senate GOP in the form of $1.25 million from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, he also took jabs from former President Donald Trump.
“MAGA doesn’t vote for stupid people with big mouths,” Trump said of O’Dea in an October post on TRUTH Social, calling O’Dea a “Republican in name only.”
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Colorado’s Senate delegation has been all-Democrat since former GOP Sen. Cory Gardner lost his re-election campaign in 2018.