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Gardner, Hickenlooper Senate campaigns could cost $100 million

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DENVER (KDVR) — The race for one of Colorado’s U.S. Senate seats this fall could cost more than $100 million, according to many political experts.

The incumbent Republican, Sen. Cory Gardner, is taking on former two-term Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

Nationally, the Senate is up for grabs. If Democrats net three seats, they’ll take control of it. Gardner is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Republican senators who’s up for reelection.

“Whichever way it goes, so goes the Senate,” said Dovetail Solutions CEO Andy Boian. “The conventional thinking in Washington right now, is if Hickenlooper wins the race, Democrats win the Senate.”

Candidate and Political Action Committee spending for the primary election was about $20 million. Between now and November, they’ll spend tens of millions more.

“It means you’re going to see all Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper all the time, whether you pick up your phone, or you get a mailer or you turn on TV,” said Colorado Rising Action Executive Director Michael Fields.

Those campaign commercials and ads are already starting and will increase as the race progresses.

Republicans are likely to attack Hickenlooper for ethics violations, statements he’s made about not wanting to be a Senator and more. Democrats will probably attack Gardner for his support of the president, among other things.

“A lot of the money will be wasted. They (the ads) will be canceling each other out,” said Seth Masket, professor of political science and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. “Any effort to attack one candidate will be countered by the other. But what the money can do is boost voter turnout. It can stimulate a lot of interest in the race.”

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