- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2016

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s re-election once looked like a sure thing, but no longer.

Two polls released this week found Republican challenger Darryl Glenn pulling to within five percentage points of the Democratic incumbent, who had previously enjoyed a comfortable double-digit lead.

The re-energized Senate race comes with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on the upswing in Colorado as a University of Denver poll released Wednesday showed him in a dead heat with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The unexpectedly close Senate polling prompted a flurry of ad activity in the final days of the Nov. 8 election.

The Bennet campaign responded Wednesday its first negative ad of the campaign against Mr. Glenn, calling the El Paso County Commissioner a “fringe Republican candidate” and asking, “What do you really know about Darryl Glenn?”

Mr. Glenn issued a statement dismissing the ad as “nothing but a last-ditch effort to appeal to Coloradans as his campaign stalls and mine surges in this final week.”

Meanwhile, the conservative Restoration PAC responded with an expenditure on a previously aired ad called “Underdog” that emphasizes Mr. Glenn’s background as an Air Force officer.

“Whether it’s the recent polling that shows this race is a nail-biter, or the fact that Senator Bennet has been forced to go up with his first negative ad on Darryl Glenn, all the evidence points towards an unexpected victory for Republicans in Colorado,” said Restoration PAC founder Doug Truax in a Thursday statement.

Mr. Trump has made multiple campaign appearances in Colorado in the last two weeks in an effort to wrest the swing state from the Clinton column, while President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear Friday in Pueblo.

In a much-criticized move, the Clinton campaign pulled its ads out of Colorado in July after polls showed her in the lead lead, but she jumped in this week with a crunch-time media buy in Colorado’s major markets.

The University of Denver poll conducted by Ciruli & Associates showed the two candidates tied at 39 percent each in a four-way match-up with the Libertarian and Green Party nominees.

A CBS/YouGov survey released Monday showed Mr. Bennet leading by 46 to 41 percent, while an Emerson College poll found the incumbent ahead by 47 to 42 percent.

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