Bill Clinton is heading to Denver to help Senator Mark Udall, a favorite of Democratic environmentalists and anti-war activists.
Clinton will headline a Sept. 27 fundraiser for Udall in the Mile High City, just five weeks before voters choose between Udall and Republican Representative Cory Gardner, according to a person familiar with the planning for the event who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter.
With President Barack Obama hampered by an approval rating of about 40 percent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously wading back into the political fray in advance of a possible 2016 presidential bid, Bill Clinton remains the top draw for Democratic candidates seeking to pad their treasuries and boost their poll numbers.
It’s a role the former president has become accustomed to in recent years, as he’s criss-crossed the country to assist Democratic candidates ranging from Obama to U.S. House, Senate and state-level candidates. At times, he’s picked sides in Democratic primaries, backing those who supported Hillary Clinton in her 2008 campaign against candidates who endorsed Obama. Udall waited until the 2008 primary race was over to endorse Obama.
Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Bill Clinton, declined to comment.
The Clintons now are focused on doing favors for Democrats who would be in a position to help unify the party behind Hillary Clinton. Udall, perhaps more than any other Democratic candidate in a close Senate race this year, has credibility with party activists who worry that Clinton won’t be a steward of the environment and is too likely to deploy U.S. forces around the world.
The League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group in Washington, is the leading donor to Udall’s campaign, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, and he has the backing of billionaire Tom Steyer, an environmental activist who is close to Clinton.
Udall voted against the 2002 Iraq War resolution, and he has demanded greater transparency from the Obama administration on the collection of Americans’ personal information for national security purposes. When Obama announced his intention to expand the U.S. fight against Islamic State this week, Udall said Congress must approve that action.
“I will not give this president -- or any other president -- a blank check to begin another land war in Iraq,” he said.
Udall leads Gardner by 3.7 percentage points in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling in the state. In an NBC News/Marist poll earlier this month, Udall led Gardner, 48 percent to 42 percent, among 795 likely voters, just within the survey’s error margin of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.
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