U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet hit the internet Wednesday with the first digital ad of the Colorado Democrat's 2022 re-election campaign — a 30-second spot plugging a policy he's pushed that some analysts say could cut child poverty nearly in half.
The ad features a one-year plan included in the most recent round of pandemic aid to expand the child tax credit, a measure Bennet has been promoting since 2015. Recent estimates have found the expanded benefit will be available to 1.1 million children in Colorado and could lift 57,000 of them above the poverty line.
In addition, studies suggest the measure could cut the poverty rate nationwide for Hispanic children by 45%, for Black children by 52% and for Native American children by 61%.
Bennet and Democratic Senate allies have been pushing to make the expanded tax credit permanent.
"Lately, we’ve faced so many tough questions that we’ve stopped asking hopeful ones," the ad's narrator says. Like what our country would look like if every family could make ends meet. But Michael Bennet never stopped asking those questions, and now he’s getting answers."
The ad goes on to tout the Bennet-backed expanded child tax credit before concluding: "Imagine what other questions that kind of leadership can answer."
Bennet, who was appointed to the Senate in 2009 and in January became the longest-serving Colorado senator in nearly 50 years, is seeking a third full term in next year's election.
Former Republican congressional nominee Peter Yu, who lost a lopsided 2018 race to U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse in the 2nd Congressional District, is so far the only GOP candidate to poke up their head for Bennet's seat.
A spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party shrugged off Bennet's inaugural ad in a statement pointing to what he characterized as the long-serving senator's lackluster legislative record.
“One ad won’t make Coloradans forget that Sen. Bennet has spent nearly 13 years in Washington and has nothing to show for it," Joe Jackson said in a text message.
"Come November 2022, Coloradans will replace this do-nothing senator with someone who can actually deliver for our state."