Senate race down to the wire

Filed under: Daily News |

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet was locked in a close contest with Republican Ken Buck on Tuesday, with supporters for both candidates hoping to eke out a narrow win.

With 71 percent of the projected vote counted, Buck led Bennet by less than one percentage point.

The tight race kept both candidates away from the cameras hours after the polls closed. Their campaign spokesmen both predicted narrow wins.

Bennet is seeking his first full term in the Senate after being appointed to the seat last year. Bennet filled the term of former Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar, who became Interior Secretary.

Buck is a northern Colorado prosecutor who courted tea party groups.

The Colorado race attracted more out-of-state campaign money than any other Senate contest this year – almost $33 million, according to the Washington-based watchdog group Sunlight Foundation.

Bennet and Buck used similar last-minute campaign strategies. Both worked phones with volunteers and stood on street corners waving to motorists. And both stayed in the Front Range, which includes Denver and has some 80 percent of the state’s voters.

Bennet seemed confident, if a little tired in the campaign’s closing hours. He told Democratic activists in suburban Denver that Colorado could buck the national GOP wave.

“We’re not giving in to the idea that we’re not going to get this done in Colorado,” Bennet said.

Buck predicted a win based on voter anger with ruling Democrats in Washington.

The Colorado race attracted more out-of-state campaign money than any other Senate contest this year – almost $33 million, according to the Washington-based watchdog group Sunlight Foundation.