My final thoughts on Colorado this week:
-I am pretty sure Michael Bennet will get elected to a full term. His numbers aren't that great right now but he's done a good job of fundraising and when he gets to go on tv next year he should be able to convince the voters in the state, most of whom do not know a ton about him, that he deserves to stay. That's particularly helped by the very weak GOP candidate field. If a Bill Owens got into the race it would be a different story but it doesn't look like he's going to.
-That said, I'm not sure why folks were so shocked that Bennet's numbers this week weren't setting the world on fire. Just because Colorado went well for the Democrats the last few election cycles doesn't mean it's all the sudden a deep blue state. Last summer we showed Ken Salazar's approval rating around 38 or 39 percent. Why would Bennet's be better when he's never run for office before? It's not at all unreasonable to think that a political neophyte would not just coast to election in a state that five or six years ago we might have thought of as 'red.'
-I think Bill Ritter is probably more in trouble than Bennet. His numbers have not been very good for a while- last summer Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli wrote a column about how Rasmussen showed his approval at 45%. Voter opinions about him are likely to be more entrenched than those of Bennet because Governors have more visibility and because Ritter has been prominent on the Colorado political scene longer. That said, I remember seeing some pretty bad approval ratings in 2005 for Governors who ended up doing fine at the polls in 2006 so it's too early to make any real definite conclusions.
We'll poll Colorado again probably in July and see what the trends are.