Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Colorado Governor

Bill Ritter's taken a bit of a hit with Hispanic voters since choosing Michael Bennet to replace Ken Salazar rather than appointing another Hispanic to take his place.

Our newest poll finds Ritter's approval rating at 47/40. That +7 net approval rating is a drop from when it was +13 at 49/36 in mid-December shortly after it was announced Salazar would become Interior Secretary. Almost all the downward movement for Ritter since that time has come with Hispanics. Where before the Bennet appointment his approval with that group was 54/30, it's now slightly negative at 44/48. He may have some fence mending to do there.

A PPP survey in December had shown that 50% of Hispanics in the state wanted either Federico Pena or John Salazar to be appointed as Ken Salazar's replacement.

Overall Ritter's approval rating with voters who hold an unfavorable opinion of Bennet is just 8%.

In a hypothetical rematch with 2006 opponent Bob Beauprez, Ritter leads 46-40, an outcome much closer than Ritter's 57-40 victory the first time around. That's in spite of the fact that Beauprez is not viewed at all positively by most voters in the state, with 45% holding an unfavorable opinion of him compared to only 31% who have a favorable opinion of him. Beauprez leads Ritter 50-36 with the usually reliably Democratic Hispanic demographic in that contest.

Ritter has a much more comfortable lead, 52-38, in a possible contest against former Congressman Tom Tancredo. He has a 53-35 lead with Hispanics in that match up, no great surprise given Tancredo's choice of issues to beat the drum on during his time in Washington.

Overall Ritter is fine. He leads Beauprez, who sounds like he's more likely be a Senate candidate anyway, 48-38 among white voters and he has a 52-38 edge over Tancredo with that demographic. Any Democrat in Colorado who wins the white vote is going to win a statewide contest in a walk. The displeasure some Hispanic voters are having with Ritter is what's driving down his numbers a little bit this month but that trend seems likely to revert to normal with time. He's still a strong favorite for reelection.

Full results here.

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