The Senate race in Colorado continues to look like it will be one of the closest in the country on Tuesday night. PPP's final poll there finds Ken Buck ahead of Michael Bennet by the slimmest of margins, 49-48.
Each candidate has his party base pretty much sewn up. Bennet is winning 87% of Democrats and Buck is winning 86% of Republicans. Giving Buck his slim lead is a 50-46 advantage among independents.
One thing interesting to note within the results is that with respondents who say they've already voted- accounting for 66% of the sample- Bennet is actually ahead by a 52-46 margin. Buck leads 55-41 with those who say they have not yet cast their ballots. Bennet should probably be rooting for ugly weather on election day, any little thing could help in such a close race if he already has a lead in the bank.
Bennet continues to sport poor approval numbers- 39% of voters give him good marks while 47% say they aren't happy with his job performance. Those numbers, not coincidentally, correlate closely with Barack Obama's poor 41/53 breakdown in the state. Bennet's stayed in this race because Buck has proven to be a weak candidate as well with a 44/48 favorability. Republicans might have had an easier time with a different nominee- we looked at a hypothetical contest between Bennet and GOP primary loser Jane Norton on this poll and found Norton would lead by a wider 47-43 margin.
In 2004 Ken Salazar's victory in the Colorado Senate race provided a rare bright spot for Democrats on a night when they lost pretty much every other close contest- can Bennet do the same? We'll know soon enough.
In the Governor's race John Hickenlooper is looking a little bit more solid than he did a week ago and now leads by 5 points, getting 48% to 43% for Tom Tancredo and 8% for Dan Maes. Hickenlooper will probably win but there's a very good chance he will do so without cracking 50% of the vote.
The Republican split has proven critical to his chances for victory. Hickenlooper is taking 87% of the Democratic vote while Tancredo is getting just 71% of Republicans with 15% still planning to cast their votes for Maes. Tancredo's beating Hickenlooper with independents 49-45, but unless he can push up closer to 85% of the Republican vote he's not going to be able to pull it out.
Full results here