Fred Barnes, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
When Cory Gardner was persuaded by national Republican leaders to run for the Senate in Colorado against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall, he was a latecomer to the race. Mr. Gardner was a one-term House member and the 2014 midterm election was eight months away. And it was soon discovered from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll that Mr. Gardner had a problem: Colorado’s population is 22% Hispanic and the poll found that Mr. Gardner was supported by only 11% of Hispanic voters, a dismal showing. Mr. Gardner says he was “unknown to the Hispanic community” yet determined to increase his visibility. He appeared at Hispanic events. He was respectful of Hispanic values and sympathetic with difficulties facing Hispanic families. He advertised on Spanish-language radio and TV. Jeb Bush cut a TV spot for him in Spanish, Marco Rubio one in English. Mr. Gardner advocated immigration reform that included beefed-up border security and a guest-worker program. There were important things Mr. Gardner didn’t do. He didn’t call for a special path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Nor did he identify himself with liberal positions, such as broader spending and welfare policies, that Hispanics supposedly favor. His support soared among Hispanics. Exit poll data for Hispanics on election day is not available, but in an Oct. 26 NBC/Marist Poll, he was favored by 44% of Hispanics to Mr. Udall’s 48%. In an Oct. 30 Denver Post/SurveyUSA poll, Mr. Gardner trailed Mr. Udall among Hispanics by only three points, 43% to 46%. And he did well in two of Colorado’s most heavily Hispanic counties, with 45% of the overall vote in Pueblo and 44% in Adams. By any reckoning, this was a remarkable achievement by Mr. Gardner and a shock to Democrats.
Whole thing here.