Bob Schaffer's opponents have spent the past two months tarring him as "Big Oil Bob," an advocate of oil drilling and an energy-industry insider. Maybe he should thank them.ProgressNow of course has reason to feel silly, having spent so much time and money on a full-fledged Internet campaign to tar the candidate they hate as "Big Oil Bob." The absurdity of their facile ad campaign had been pointed out as early as April.
Two polls show Mr. Schaffer, the Colorado Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has erased a double-digit deficit and pulled within a nose of Democratic foe Mark Udall.
The reason, according to one poll, lies in fuel prices. Since gas hit $4 a gallon here, a majority of Colorado voters have come out in favor of offshore oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, said a Quinnipiac Poll released last week.
At the same time, Mr. Schaffer went from trailing Mr. Udall by 10 percentage points in June - 49 percent to 39 percent - to a 44 percent to 44 percent tie in July. The June survey of 1,351 likely Colorado voters had an error margin of 2.7 percentage points; the July poll of 1,425 likely voters had a 2.6-point margin.
And why might Mark Udall be angry? Besides the plummeting poll numbers? Perhaps his wife Maggie Fox's intimate connection with the 527 group League of Conservation Voters so singularly obsessed with tarring Bob Schaffer?
Politics is a fickle game. At some point, enough of the public comes to see through the deception - though the ill winds may yet again work against common sense and decency for a time. But for now, it's sure funny to see the tar blow back on the Big Blue Lie Machine.