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Our latest poll from Research 2000 in Colorado shows tight races in the early going for both the senate and governor seats, and a general "meh" towards all candidates in both races--no one breaks the 50 percent threshold.

That said, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's decision to run for governor seems to give the Dems the best chance at retaining the seat. He's tied with the Republican leader, former Congressman Scott McInnis at 43, whereas other potential candidates Ken Salazar (who decided not to run late last week), Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff, and Rep. Ed Perlmutter all trail McInnis, Salazar by 2, Romanoff by 5, and Perlmutter by 8.

Beyond our numbers, Hickenlooper is regarded as the strongest candidate within the state, and has Republicans worried.

From former Rep. Bob Beauprez in The Colorado Statesman last February:

I'm guessing John Hickenlooper has name ID that rivals the governor's, maybe exceeds the governor's. I'm guessing that John Hickenlooper has 4:1 favorable/unfavorables statewide. There isn't enough money in the world to peel that down to 1:1 - to where you could maybe beat him.

John Hickenlooper could claim - he won't do it because he's got enough humility to not do it - but he could claim that the DNC was successful in large part because of his efforts to raise the money. He not only has a Rolodex with names in it, they are successful names.

John could raise more money and be more easily elected. His appointment would have taken that seat almost completely off the table. I don't know what John could have done to make it truly competitive. [Pols emphasis]

Here's what Wadhams had to say about Hickenlooper in December 2008, when Hick was being considered as a replacement in the U.S. Senate for Ken Salazar:

Dick Wadhams, the state GOP chairman, conceded that Hickenlooper "is immensely popular as the mayor of Denver" but said "he'll look a lot different after two years of votes in the U.S. Senate."

On the Senate side, Romanoff is running a primary challenge to Sen. Mike Bennet that has yet to gain much steam. There's been speculation that he'd switch races, and run for Governor, but Hickenlooper's entrance in the race makes that unlikely. Bennet is in a statistical dead heat with likely Republican challenger (and tea party courter) Jane Norton, former lieutenant governor. He has just a one point advantage, with Romanoff trailing Norton by two.

With none of the frontrunners in either position running above 43 (and Obama at 46 favorable), Colorado is definitely in swing state territory again this round. Note that the polling was completed before Hickenlooper's announced decision to enter the race, which might have given him another point or two.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm all for primaries (9+ / 0-)

    but I'm not feeling the Romanoff thing. At this point, with so little distinguishing the two, I'm behind Bennet. I was in a fairly protracted snit after Ritter named him to the Senate, but he's earned my respect, and he's made good use of his time in office to forge alliances. He's not the effete F. Scott Fitzgerald character in a smoking jacket that I thought he was at first. Romanoff's a DLCer and doesn't offer much of anything to argue for his booting Bennet out.

    But I'll keep listening.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:09:00 AM PST

    •  hey bumblebums... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, Unitary Moonbat, nzanne

      Thanks everyone!
      68 shelter boxes and 780 toward the next box!!
      Amaaaaazing Daily Kos!

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

    •  Banks, banks, banks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Hanson

      grassroot anger at 'the banks' and 'wall street' is an issue that appeals to democrats, republicans, and independents.

      Even Obama is using a tax on the wealthiest banks which has become a campaign issue, and has already drawn lines in the sand in the MA Senate Race.

      That will loom large for Senator Bennet, in light of his alliance with Republicans to block Chris Dodd's legislation for Wall Street Reform.

      "In view of the enormity of the issues at stake, it is my hope we can ultimately craft a bill that both Democrats and Republicans can be proud to support," Bennet told his colleagues on the committee.

      The issue is likely to prove politically sticky for Bennet.

      The White House is pressing Congress to send a strong reform bill to the president's desk by early next year, in part to show that Democrats have fixed a system that nearly led to a global economic meltdown.

      But Dodd is facing not only Bennet's relatively mild reservations but a complete abandonment of the bill in its current form by Republicans.

      Democrats say the bill will likely go through significant revision before Dodd can gain the support to pass it out of committee.

      Bennet's approach to the bill is informed by his own experience — he earned millions restructuring bankrupt companies for billionaire Phil An schutz — but critics also point to the fact that Wall street firms are among his most significant political donors.

      This move by Bennet is an attack ad that writes itself. Norton can attack as a populist from the right against a democrat.

      Romanoff has a clear opening and he has shown he knows this.

      "What did somebody once say? 'You dance with them that brung ya,' " said Andrew Romanoff, the former Colorado House speaker who is challenging Bennet in the 2010 Democratic primary.

      "That's the way that Washington works. When members of Congress spend too much time trolling for dollars on Wall Street, they inevitably lose touch with people on Main Street," said Romanoff, who said he supports the key provisions of Dodd's bill.

      When all is said and done, it will come down to the democratic primary voters, who are looking for their own populist/progressive and this issue will be one closely examined.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:27:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bennet... (5+ / 0-)

    Has proven himself to be a decent Senator.  His fortunes lie with the national mood, unfortunately.  Hickenlooper is immensely popular, he should win this going away.  And that may boost Bennet.

    The Republican Party in CO is in tremendous disarray.  And Wadhams is incompetent - he must have some compromising photos of Dobson or something.

    To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

    by RichM on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:15:19 AM PST

    •  I hope so... (4+ / 0-)

      I mean your line about the Republican party being in disaray- because in my little neck of the Front Range they're succeeding beyond my worst fears.  Our progressive seats in the city council got blown away and filled by peole like an ex Tom Delay staffer.  

      Progressives worked for YEARS to get Marilyn Musgrave's seat to go Democratic and the person in there now (Betsy Marky) just joined the Blue Dogs.

      I went to hear Bennet speak at the local coffee shop a few days ago, and the crowd of Democrats was highly unhappy with the lack of spine, framing, and proactive efforts (not just retrenching from the latest assault).  I have to say that our GOTV efforts in this section of CO were huge and everyone donated so much time and effort to make this a blue state with a blue Rep, and the community's sense of futility is pervasive.

  •  This Poll is highly suspicious (3+ / 0-)

    I seriously doubt Bennet leads Norton or is even tied.

    Even Bennet's own Internal Polling has him down 3.

    •  I agree with you Daniel (0+ / 0-)

      Brown's strategy was to sit on polling numbers that showed he had a chance at winning is MA and it was a good strategy. Right now it looks like he'll win.

      In Colorado we have the same ignorance going on in the Senate race. Democrats think Bennet can pull it off but he can't. It won't even be a close race if he is anointed once again in the primary.  

      But boy those Democrats on Bennet Polls Colorado Polls sure are missing the headwinds. They don't even feel a draft.

      •  Thank you the obligatory hyper-partisan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ravenwind, Sharon Hanson

        I'm a big Romanoff fan and though I've told polls I was uncommitted, I kind of leaned toward him early in the race.  His campaign has done nothing to impress me though, and Bennet has done good job of polishing his previously non-existent image and his campaign style.

        Frankly, I don't mind a primary, but I'm under no illusions - from the results of this poll to the reality I've seen on the ground - that Bennet is a complete losing choice or that Romanoff is doing what it takes to prove he's the one to win the race.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:48:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  11/10 (3+ / 0-)

    By next election Day, we own the economy--rightly or not.  I cannot foresee anything good coming before then--especially unemployment rates.  Unless Obama goes after the true villains--the previous administration--in court--1994 redux.  We're all swing states now.

  •  Let's just win here in Colorado, shall we? (6+ / 0-)

    Let's figure out who is more electable between Bennett and Romanoff and back them to the hilt.

    Sorry, but right now I'm thinking "hold the seat" more than I'm thinking "improve the person in the seat". Bennett is so much better than Norton it is amazing.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:29:33 AM PST

  •  They want Romanoff to run for Leutenat Governor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nzanne, Only Needs a Beat

    instead of running against Bennett.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:40:11 AM PST

    •  that would be great - I'd love to see him still (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Only Needs a Beat

      involved, and with a future in this state.

    •  I just Don's See this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ravenwind

      While I think the world of Romanoff (donated money to him when he announced for the Senate) I just don't see this happening.  Hickenlooper is a smart guy.  He knows that Romanoff is no help to him politically.  I see Hickenlooper picking someone from outside the Denver area as his running mate.  How about a Wes McKinley who represents rural south-eastern Colorado or Gail Schwartz who represents the mountains and San Luis Valley.  How about a Hispanic legislator from Pueblo.  There are all sorts of wonderful choices here.  What about Bob Bacon from the northern Front Range?

      •  Agreed - highly doubtful Romanoff get Lt. Gov. (0+ / 0-)

        And I like your choices, provided they're "ripe".  Wes McKinley would be great, and I think he's coming up on term limits soon.  Schwartz I think still has some time left in her seat, and it would be a hard one for the Dems to hold.

        Someone suggested Kathleen Curry for Lt. Gov.; she just dropped her Democratic Party affiliation and must run a very tough write-in campaign if she wants re-election.  She's from Gunnison, is good on water issues and other typical rural concerns, and is usually a good Democratic vote despite her leaving the official party rolls.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:38:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Norton? (3+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure yet how seriously to take the numbers for Norton; I don't really think many folks know a lot about her yet.  I'm unfortunately represented (maybe put that in quote marks) by Mike Coffman, who has published a series of articles on the unconstitutionality of health care reform.

  •  Were there any results (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Only Needs a Beat

    for a primary matchup between Bennet and Romanoff? Actual data on Romanoff's traction (if any) would have been very useful.

    © sardonyx; all rights reserved

    by sardonyx on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 08:50:09 AM PST

  •  Bennet can not win against Norton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Byron from Denver

    I say this for the following reasons:

    He was anointed by Ritter a hugely unpopular Democrat.

    He has never run for public office or been elected to anything.

    He voted no on the cram-down legislation.

    He made a public statement saying he would stand with Republicans against banking reform.

    He has not been a strong enough supporter of Healthcare Reform and progressives in the state know this while conservatives are against him because he supports the watered down version of HCR. They have their knives ready to go but are keeping a low profile right now because it would be more difficult to run against Andrew Romanoff.  

    His unfavorable polling numbers are getting worse.

    If something earth shattering doesn’t change in the next nine months the Democrats can kiss that seat goodbye.  And if Scott Brown wins in MA it is more reason for the Democrats to worry.  Obama and the Democrats need to change their strategy and changes it fast or we will lose more seats than even the worst estimate out there.  

    •  This Is a Gross Misrepresentation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CO Democrat, Only Needs a Beat

      It's simply in correct.  Even Rasmussen shows him within striking distance.  Norton has gotten some very bad press here lately that may stick with her.  As for comparing this to Massachusettes, just ridiculous.  You need to pay attention to what is going on around here.

      I'm not saying either one will win come November and I agree with the comments that "It's the economy stupid" but, frankly, our economy compared to nationally, one of the first to go in the tank and one of the first to come out.  All the signs are that we are on the way out, and we never suffered as the rest of the country did.  I think our highest unemployment rate was three percent below the country's.

      •  It's not the economy stupid (0+ / 0-)

        It's the way the Democrats including Obama have conducted themselves.  They haven't delivered on anything as far as I'm concerned and it is only getting worse for Middle Class Americans. Not one person has been prosecuted for the failure of our financial systems and there are plenty of responsible people to blame. Instead Obama appoints people like Bernanke and Geithner who were responsible for this meltdown.  What is he thinking and why is he thinking like that?

        •  So, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ravenwind

          You're going to vote for Scott McInnis?  Is that right?  If you were a moderate, I might be worried about you like the Republicans were worried about moderates like me.  But the reality is that first of all there are damn few liberals like you in this state to begin with and you really have no where to go.  Unlike us moderates that the Republicans lost.  I don't just not vote (Republicans lose one vote) I vote for Democrats now (Republicans lose two votes).  Sorry, rage all you want, you are completely out of touch, at least with Democratic politics in Colorado.

        •  PS (0+ / 0-)

          Go back and commiserate with your other Mike Murphy buddies.  We all know how that turned out.

          •  Who? (3+ / 0-)

            You mean Mike Miles?  If that's who you mean, then as a former Miles supporter, I resent that.

            There are a lot of former Miles supporters who went on to help Colorado turn blue in other elections, and without his organization, the Colorado Democratic Party would not look like it does today.  CO Dem Party chair Pat Waak's candidacy for chair began at a Be The Change event and was nurtured by (read: successful because of) a rural party desire for a Dean-style all-county strategy.  Some of the DNC-supplied regional co-ordinators were Miles supporters.  And a number of county party leadership posts were filled by Be The Change participants who re-energized their local parties.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:57:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Well the Palin crowd isn't going "meh"--they are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Only Needs a Beat

    working their asses off to take this nation away from us. Let me tell you there are a lot of things they can have but once you give away your freedom you never get it back. The powers in charge when you live in any kind of dictatorship make sure the first thing they do is get a big military to keep you in line. Then they go city by city and get police who will watch everything done. If you don't report the gay guy next door you may go to jail too. So keep up the "meh" and let them have it. Guess what the first thing George W. Bush did.. he made sure the military became fundamentalist Christian, he had the PENTAGON in UNIFORM recruiting. You think that was an accident?

  •  10 months out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Hanson

    histoy is more reliable than polls.  2010 will be a tough one in CO far any Dem.  In 92 we lost 6 of 6 where dems retired from senate and in swing states of the 90s that Clinton carried twice - Saaser was trounced in TN and Woffard, after being stabbed in the back by Bob Casey was beaten by (ugh) Santorum in PA. In 95, Campbell defected and 96 gave us (ugh) Allard. Demographics have changed a bit since then, but not enough to overcome what will probably be double digit margins against any generic Dem in CO. Hickenloopers popularity in Denver will work against him elswhere - Denver is veiwed as another planet outside city limits. The party needs to deliver the promised "change" in a hurry if there is to be any hope in swing states like CO and (ugh) MA!?!

    "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends to justice."

    by eieio nyc on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:16:48 AM PST

    •  You are Full of It (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ravenwind

      Just not the way I see it.  These are Republican talking points.  You underestimate the change in demographics since the 90's.  Just look at my bio, former Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman, now registered independent, Jefferson County a swing county,  Jefferson county represented by 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans in the state legislature (when I was county party chair in the 90's there were no Democrats in the delegation to the legislature), similar things going on in Arapahoe County, three Democrats elected from El Paso, that's right, El Paso County, the Congressional balance at 7 to 2 for the Democrats.  You just aren't paying attention to what has happened here.  As for the Denver thing, I just think you are wrong.  Hickenlooper is very popular in the suburbs, and he might as well be mayor there too.  You ignore the demographics of the rest of the state, Larimer (where CSU) is has been trending Democratic for 15 years.  The growth areas of the mountains, mainly the ski counties are probably even more liberal that Denver and Boulder.  Asfor the prairie counties and the West slope, they just don't have the clout anymore.  The represent less than 1/7th of the state's population and they just don't have the votes to make a difference any more.

      As for "another planet" Boulder might be considered that, but Denver certainly isn't.  And remember, that crap just didn't work last year for Mark Udall who was the most unabashedly liberal candidate for US Senate since Tim Wirth in the 70's.  And yet he won, big, easily.

      By no means do I think either race will be an easy Democratic win.  Wins for either party in Colorado are hard fought and I like that just fine.

      In conclusion, you have regurgitated the Republican talking points and don't belong on this site.  Go back to Red State

    •  I think Hick is popular in the State (0+ / 0-)

      Everything else I agree with you on.  

  •  This poll is mixed news for Bennet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Hanson

    It is good news because he still leads Jane Norton.  Except he is only ahead by two points.  There are also a lot of Undecided voters.  It is bad news because he is polling well below the safe 50% line.

    For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 09:19:39 AM PST

    •  Please (0+ / 0-)

      He's an unknown.  Hasn't run a single commercial.  Both of these candidates are unknowns.  This might as well be a generic ballot poll, because I think with low recognition for both candidates, it is a generic ballot poll.

      Being below the 50% line for someone who has never run for political office before means nothing at this stage of the game.

  •  Comment on Poll Demographics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Rising, ravenwind

    It seems that the poll numbers are skewed significantly in favor of the Republicans in three areas.

    First, Hispanics are under-represented.  They represent 17% of our population, not 11%.  This might be an area where Kos has decreased their numbers because of turn-out type issues.

    Second, the Metro area is underrepresented by 6%.  The Denver Metro and Arapahoe/Jefferson (which are the two suburban swing counties and are the bell weather counties in Colorado) make up 55% of the state's population.  Again could be a turnout thing.  But with both candidates having statistically significant leads in Jeffco/Arapahoe, this is a very positive sign.  If they both win Jeffco/Arapahoe or just stay even there, they both win state-wide.

    Third, Democrats are underrepresented.  The current voter registration is one-third each for Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliates (independents).  Again, Democrats underrepresented by 5% and Republicans over-represented by 5%.   Again maybe a turnout thing by Kos.

    Over all, these are excellent poll numbers for Democrats.  If anything, they are a bit conservative in three voting groups that are heavily Democratic.

    •  Looks like some pretty heavy weighting (0+ / 0-)

      I'm assuming the percentage numbers in the demographics section are the weightings, and the results of poll sample are adjusted to match the weighting numbers.  Otherwise the poll sample breakouts don't reflect their respective percentages in the demographics table.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:49:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Will be the Issue in November? (3+ / 0-)

    Polls in January are primarily provided for the sustenance of the pollsters, who need to be able to send out bills year 'round.

    IF we were betting on "THE issue" when voting rolls around 10 months from now, I'd put my chips on "banking reform." Not just "the economy," but on whether Democrats have (a) assigned responsibility for the Great Recession to the Republicans and (b) specifically managed to assign responsibility to deregulation of financial institutions as having enabled the unsustainable real estate bubble.

    This is NOT an area where Bennet is going to be able to sing a persuasive song, regardless of what newfound lyrics he may adopt. Too many old tunes about "unforeseable consequences," about needing "bipartisan support" of financial regulation (yeah, like bipartisan support of health care or anything else! Ain't gonna happen!).

    The Democrats' most serious threat in CO in '10 is disillusion by the Obamites who turned out in force in '08. IF they don't perceive a meaningful difference, they may turn to alternative activities to make changes, whereas Republicans will be revived with the smelling salts of "possible to regain the seat."

    Regardless of how many $$$ bankers pump into Bennet's coffers, their story ain't gonna go down with voters in an economy where jobs remain scarce, personal fortunes have sunk, and malaise has replaced the optimism that propelled Obama in '08.

    •  I Disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I think the banking issue is just overblown.  People hate banks, but they hate not having a pay check or having to cut their personal spending a whole lot more.  And, oh by the way, you think Jane Norton is going to be any better on banking issues.  Frankly, if there were a real Democratic primary this might be an issue in that, but there isn't a real Democratic Primary.  Romanoff (in spite of the fact that I support him and was one of his first contributors) has blown it and is looking for a way out.

    •  yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Hanson

      as the Denver post noted earlier this year
      http://www.denverpost.com/...

      "In view of the enormity of the issues at stake, it is my hope we can ultimately craft a bill that both Democrats and Republicans can be proud to support," Bennet told his colleagues on the committee.

      The issue is likely to prove politically sticky for Bennet.

      The White House is pressing Congress to send a strong reform bill to the president's desk by early next year, in part to show that Democrats have fixed a system that nearly led to a global economic meltdown.

      But Dodd is facing not only Bennet's relatively mild reservations but a complete abandonment of the bill in its current form by Republicans.

      Democrats say the bill will likely go through significant revision before Dodd can gain the support to pass it out of committee.

      Bennet's approach to the bill is informed by his own experience — he earned millions restructuring bankrupt companies for billionaire Phil An schutz — but critics also point to the fact that Wall Street firms are among his most significant political donors.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:33:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  HISTORY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Hanson

    not just first mid-term of new admin. in DC, but first midterm after new party in WH. Bennet has missed the boat to get out in front of his voting record, like Schumer and Franken, so he will run as an appologist. Never works when tide is against you. Hickenlooper will have to run on his record too, and as succesful as it may be, he will still be portrayed as a big city Dem at a time when state revenues are spread as thinly as ever.  These are realities that must be faced, not something I am celebrating. Ten months is not long but as soon as the party faces the fact that every election this year will be a referendum on the national picture, the sooner they can come up with a strategy to stem the tide. I haven't heard anything that resembles an offense so far, only backpeddling.

    "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends to justice."

    by eieio nyc on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 10:09:47 AM PST

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