Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Depth on Colorado

Our Colorado poll last week was a perfect prism into the 2010's still a lot more about Democrats needing to find a way to get their voters motivated than it is about huge numbers of Obama voters bolting for the GOP.

In 2008 Barack Obama won Colorado by nine points and Mark Udall won the Senate race in the state by ten. Now Michael Bennet's ahead by only three points in the Senate race and John Hickenlooper's tied in the Gubernatorial race.

Here's the thing though: Bennet is actually winning over more McCain voters (11%) than Jane Norton is Obama voters (8%). And even though Scott McInnis is winning over more Obama voters (10%) than Hickenlooper is McCain voters (7%) it's not a huge difference.

So if people are generally voting for the same party they did in 2008 why is Colorado looking so much more competitive this time around? It's because Republicans continue to be comparatively much more motivated to vote this year. Even though Obama won the state by nine points, those planning to vote this fall at this point only supported Obama by two points. It's not that people's opinions have changed all that much....just that who's energized has changed.

That's something Democrats may or may not be able to find a way to fix between now and November, but two things are clear. There are not a whole lot of 2008 Obama voters going to the Republicans. And even if the GOP does pick up some big wins in the Mountain West this year it doesn't indicate a reverse of the trend toward the Democrats in that region- it just indicates that trend may be taking a nap in 2010 before continuing on in the next election cycle.


Unknown said...

In 2008 Colorado had 122,000 more Dems, 227,000 more independents, and 90,000 fewer Republicans than in 2004. Even if the Democrats can get their voters out they'll have to hope that Republicans will become so unmotivated that they don't show up again. I doubt that'll happen.

Christian Liberty said...

RCP avg: Norton leads Bennett by 1%, Bennett leads Buck by less than 1%.

RCP avg: McInnis leads by 2%.

Christian Liberty said...

Democrats are vulnerable in Colorado -- and throughout the mountain west

Independents who voted Democrat are "questioning their decision".

Anonymous said...

RCP averages are stupid. You can't accurately average poll data using different question wording, different screening and dialing techniques, and most importantly, poll data conducted weeks or even months apart. Polls are a snapshot in time--they capture opinion at a particular moment. I'd trust PPP's numbers over any other pollster's and particularly over any meaningless average.

Christian Liberty said...

Anonymous, I think you meant to say you should trust RASMUSSEN over other polls. Even Democrats like Mickey Kaus and Susan Estrich and Larry Sabato will tell you that RASMUSSEN is the poll to trust.

PPP is good for analysis and transparency of their internals and crosstabs (and lively discussion boards), but for topline numbers and realistic likely voter screens Rasmussen is the poll to trust.

Anonymous said...

Christian Liberty, you use Breitbart as an objective source? That's like me using Daily Kos as a source.

As far as PPP vs. Rasmussen, the latter consistently has been way overestimating support for Republicans compared to PPP and other pollsters, and PPP far outperformed Rasmussen in 2008 battleground states.

And I wouldn't anymore call Estrich a Democrat than I would Arlen Specter a Republican. And as far as I know Sabato's not a Democratic partisan.

Christian Liberty said...


The Breitbart link reposted an AP article. So actually I was citing a LEFTIST article.

Larry Sabato was a Democrat political staffer before becoming an independent handicapper. And Estrich is an incorrigible defender of the Democrats.

Rasmussen is the most trusted name in polls for good reason. You can PRETEND otherwise, but you're just kidding yourself.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you pasted a quote from some random dude on the street as if it were the objective statement of the reporter. Who are you fooling? Meanwhile, who is the reporter fooling? I hate when they quote some random citizens and extrapolate that out as if their thoughts represent public opinion. This guy is a Republican who voted for Obama and now is leaning back toward the GOP. Big surprise there.

"Estrich is an incorrigible defender of the Democrats."

She might as well be under Hannity's desk, if you know what I mean.

"Rasmussen is the most trusted name in polls..." Republicans.

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