The U.S. Senate race in Colorado has gotten even closer over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state now finds Democrat Mark Udall with a modest 46% to 44% edge over Republican Bob Schaffer.
In August, Udall led the race by a 48% to 41% margin. The gap has steadily decreased since Udall’s biggest lead in mid-June. The two men are competing to replace retiring Republican Senator Wayne Allard....
Udall has been a congressman since 1998. His record from the Cato Institute (In the Cato figure each axis goes from 0% to 100%. The higher an "X" is along the vertical axis the greater the opposition to subsidies, the further an "X" is to the right the greater the opposition to trade barriers):
Schaffer has been a congressman since 1996. His trade and agricultural subsidies record:
A few things can be gleaned from Udall's issue statements on his web site:
- "I have supported numerous trade agreements that have benefited Colorado without disadvantaging American workers, but I have opposed those, like the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), that have not included provisions addressing the unfair advantage of countries with lower environmental and labor standards."
- NASA funding is important to help maintain America's technological edge in the global economy.
- We also need to get serious about competing with China and India, and expanding opportunities for Colorado workers in a global economy. We will slip behind unless we invest in math and science education for our kids, and support research and development at home.
- "I have co-sponsored and supported tax provisions to discourage corporations from moving headquarters and plants overseas in order to secure unfair tax advantages. I am also the author of bipartisan legislation (the American Manufacturing Works Act of 2003 (H.R. 2908)) to encourage research and investment in homegrown manufacturing, because white-collar jobs are not the only jobs supporting our economy."
- Like every other candidate, he is in favor of energy independence
- "We ought to move in the direction of limiting commodity subsidies, but not in a way that breaks family farms. At the federal level, we must provide aid to farmers in the wake of natural disasters, and we should promote our products with trade agreements that are fair and enforceable. I am also a strong supporter of "origin of food" labeling."
- "Our agricultural community would also benefit from the institution of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). COOL will enable Americans to make informed choices when they purchase agricultural products. American farmers produce the highest quality food in the world, based on the highest standards in the international agricultural community. A bill requiring the labeling of fruit, vegetables, and meat products passed Congress in 2002. Unfortunately, Congress failed to fully fund and implement the bill. However, the 2007 Farm Bill contained language requiring full implementation of COOL by 2008. I am hopeful that this important program will find continued support in the Congress and the necessary support from the administration so that our farmers and ranchers get the credit they deserve for delivering a superior product."
And from Schaffer's web site:
- "Supports America’s ability to secure fair trade agreements that increase exports, create new jobs and grow the economy. (H.R. 3009, Vote #370, 7/27/02)"
- "Supports a strong dollar and low inflation. (H. Con. Res. 284, RC Vote #205: June 4, 1998; H. Con. Res. 68, RC Vote #77: March 25, 1999; RC Vote #75, H. Con. Res. 290: March 23, 2000; H. Con Res. 83, RC Vote #70: March 28, 2001.)"
- "We must ensure every child has the chance to receive a quality education. We can do this by reforming the education system putting parents, teachers and local officials back in control of their schools. Strengthening math, science and technical skills is critical to maintain a globally competitive workforce. "
- "Bob will promote a monetary policy of a stable currency and low inflation. Ending high fiscal deficits, promoting trade and defending against tax hikes will restore confidence in the U.S. dollar."
- "Bob knows Colorado’s agriculture is the historic backbone of the state’s economy. As a former member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, Bob will continue fighting for open markets..."
- "Coloradans produce some of the best products and technology in the world. With exports now accounting for a larger percentage of America’s GDP than at any other time in history, trade is playing an important role in supporting Colorado’s economic growth. We must continue to expand export opportunities in agriculture, technology and other areas."
- "Bob knows American entrepreneurs will invest more of their capital, time and sweat toward leading the global technology revolution – if innovators are assured their ideas will be protected and that use of their ideas will result in fair compensation in the free market. Bob supports stronger laws, tougher enforcement, better inter-government cooperation and national recognition of the importance of patents."
- "Bob supports a serious national goal of eliminating America’s dependence on foreign energy sources, especially when it comes to reliance on countries that support terrorism and threaten America’s security."
- "Bob supports trade agreements that open additional export markets for Colorado products."
- "America’s century-old shipping restrictions place U.S. agricultural producers at a competitive disadvantage. Foreign producers are able to ship their products to American markets at competitive international rates whereas U.S. producers are not. Bob supports easing U.S. shipping restrictions that add more than a $1 to the cost of a bushel of export wheat. These shipping laws cost American agriculture billions in annual revenue."
I have a hard time telling, from the voting records or statements, which of these will be better for trade. However a comparison with the record of retiring incumbent Wayne Allard, suggests a net loss of support for trade from this seat in the next congress:
Edit Oct 5 to add comments about Wayne Allard.