WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate campaigns by Democratic cousins Mark and Tom Udall could show whether the party is truly gaining ground in the U.S. West, analysts say.
Both Udalls are members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Tom, 60, is from New Mexico while Mark, 57, is from Colorado. They are running for open U.S. Senate seats in their states and their strongly pro-environment records could be bumping up against the reality of high gas prices, The New York Times reported Monday.
Tom Udall is the son of iconic environmentalist and former U.S. Interior Secretary Stewart Udall. The family name is equated with conservation but that may put a damper on Democratic Party hopes to wring election gains from the largely conservative West this year, some say.
"People are angry the Udalls have worked in tandem to drive the (gas) prices up as far as they are," said Bob Schaffer, running against Mark Udall. "They want to see us move faster on production of American resources."
Even so, the Udalls are favored in their campaigns.
"In both cases, it is their election to lose," Colorado College professor Tom Cronin told the Times.