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September 18, 2008

Gore, MoveOn.org raise money for Senate candidates

Al Gore may have presented Colorado's Mark Udall and North Carolina's Kay Hagan with an inconvenient truth, connecting the two Democratic Senate candidates with a group that they’d probably rather not embrace.

The former vice president teamed up with the liberal organization MoveOn.org to issue a fundraising appeal for the two Senate candidates, calling them “clean energy heroes.”

“This election offers us our best chance ever to elect leaders who will switch our economy to home-grown, renewable, zero-carbon energy—and restore our economic health, our national security, and stabilize our climate,” Gore writes in the fundraising e-mail.

But Hagan and Udall haven’t been totally in sync with Gore’s environmental message lately, embracing offshore oil drilling as part of a comprehensive energy plan – something the former vice president has long opposed.

And these aren’t solidly-Democratic states where MoveOn.org is widely embraced. North Carolina is still a  state that favors Republicans, where successful statewide Democrats have embraced a more-moderate message. And Colorado is a swing state in this election, but Gore only won 42 percent of the vote there in his 2000 presidential bid.

Gore’s e-mail appeal also touted Al Franken’s campaign in Minnesota, though there’s less political risk for him to be tied with the former vice president in a more Democratic-leaning state.

The fundraising e-mail certainly should raise the candidates a lot of money, but it could also muddle their message on the campaign trail.