Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Colorado Senate General

Michael Bennet will begin the general election as the favorite if he wins the Democratic nomination in Colorado today, while a victory by Andrew Romanoff will mean the race starts out as a tossup.

Bennet leads Jane Norton 46-40 and Ken Buck 46-43. Romanoff leads Buck 43-42, but trails Norton 43-42.

Only the Illinois Senate race can match the Colorado one for the unpopularity of all its combatants. Bennet's approval rating is a 32/48 approval spread. Usually you don't get reelected with those kinds of numbers but Norton's favorability split is a net -16 at 28/44 and Buck's is even worse at -20 (26/46). Romanoff has the best numbers at -2 (35/37) but that may not mean much if Bennet does indeed survive the primary as our poll yesterday suggested he probably would.

The primary has taken a toll on the popularity of every candidate in the race, although it's been worse for Buck than anyone else:


May Numbers

August Numbers


Ken Buck

19/24 (-5)

26/46 (-20)


Andrew Romanoff

31/26 (+5)

35/37 (-2)


Michael Bennet

34/44 (-10)

32/48 (-16)


Jane Norton

20/32 (-12)

28/44 (-16)


Bennet leads Buck and Norton because he's counteracting two major national trends confounding Democrats elsewhere. He's getting more crossover support than either of the Republicans, winning 11% of the GOP vote to Norton's 6% of Democrats, and 10% of the GOP vote to Buck's 6% of Democrats. He's also doing decently with independents, leading Norton 43-36 and trailing Buck only 40-39. We find most Democrats across the country trailing by double digits with indy voters.

Romanoff actually polls better than Bennet with independents, leading Norton by 9 and Buck by 7 with them. But he does worse than Bennet overall because Democratic voters are less unified around him. He gets 73% of the vote from his party against Norton, compared to 83% for Bennet, and 77% against Buck compared to 84% for Bennet.

Whatever the final match up ends up being this race will be close but Democratic prospects are looking better than they did around the start of the year and given Barack Obama's upside down standing at 44/50 in the state this isn't a bad place for their candidates to start the general election.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Hey, This isn't quite related... but had a question about your Delaware poll that was just done for DailyKOS.

When it comes to small states with At-Large US Reps., why don't you ask a Job Performance (Approve/disapprove) question instead of a Favorable/Unfavorable question for the US Rep. such as for Mike Castle in this instance?

Anonymous said...

If Romanoff's problem is that the Democrats aren't united around him, then doesn't it stand to reason that upon winning the primary they would rally around him afterwards? I mean, the only reason there's any discord right now is that the ENTIRE Democratic establishment has closed ranks around Bennet.

Anonymous said...

Your implication that Bennett is stronger than Romanoff in the general is incorrect. The general election numbers are catching name recognition - Romanoff has less of it. This is supported not just by the general pattern of challengers having less name recognition and polling wekaer earlier on, but also by (a) your favorability numbers, which show Romanoff way stronger among those who know him, and (b) more importantly, the current gap in Democratic support in the general for Bennett vs Romanoff (83% vs 73%) - a gap which will certainly close if Romanoff becomes the nominee. I realize you didn't come out and say Bennett is the better candidate, but that is absolutely the tone of the post.

Anonymous said...

I saw that Daily Kos poll. I am stunned that you would work for that website.

Anonymous said...

At this moment, with the numbers now coming in on the Colorado primaries, it would appear that Bennet has won the Democratic primary, while buck is winning and most likely will win on the Republican side.

Rasmussen, on 7/27 had Buck leading Bennet by 6%, 538 had Bennet's chances of winning the general elections at 27%, while Intrade had the Republican (Buck) winning, with a projected likelihood of 62.25%

Rasmussen also had Buck's VERY favorable/unfavorable numbers at 14/19, with Bennet at 15/35.

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