Will Colorado Choose a ‘Republican Joe Manchin’?

Colorado Republican Senate candidate Joe O'Dea talks with supporters during a meet and greet event. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Republicans in blue-leaning Colorado have long understood that winning statewide office means running to the center. In a few hours they’ll know whether longshot Senate candidate Joe O’Dea took that strategy too far. 

O’Dea—who is trying to  unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet—has focused his campaign on crime, inflation, and President Joe Biden, who is unpopular in Colorado despite winning the state two years ago. But O’Dea has gone further than other GOP hopefuls in trying to broaden his appeal.

Broadening his appeal, by definition, includes distancing himself from the country’s most famous Republican. O’Dea has been outspoken about the legitimacy of Biden’s election. And he rails against the possibility of another presidential run by Donald Trump, who has denounced the candidate as “stupid” and a “RINO.” 

O’Dea also has adopted moderate views on some issues. The self-styled “Republican Joe Manchin” laments this summer’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and supports the legalization of abortion through five months of pregnancy with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. 

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