Reminder: Beauprez Cannot Possibly Beat Bennet

Yes, we know there is a new Public Policy Polling automated telephone poll out today that makes various representations about the 2010 Senate race, part of a series of poll results PPP is releasing this week purporting to gauge Colorado opinion. Being an off year there aren’t as many public polls floating around to ruminate about–so anything that comes along gets the full pontificatory treatment, even if it is more or less, as we feel fairly comfortable opining in the case of PPP’s “robopolls,” a methodological load of hooey (more on this in a moment).

According to PPP, as they claimed in April, failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez is the only potential challenger who leads Sen. Michael Bennet in a head-to-head matchup, 42-39%. The poll obviously didn’t include the possible candidacy of former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, but she wasn’t a factor until yesterday and we question how much better she would really have done. Either way, that’s their conclusion: only Beauprez can beat Bennet.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a result that could only be considered plausible by someone with no knowledge of Colorado politics–even setting aside the fact this poll appears to have wildly oversampled Republicans (almost 40%, compared to Colorado’s 33% GOP reality). You know it and we know it–it’s a ridiculous idea. Beauprez can’t even find competent locals willing to work for his still-undeclared campaign from what we hear. His last campaign has gone down in truly persistent infamy as one of the “worst campaigns in Colorado history.” Of all the numbers PPP will release this week, this is definitely the one Democrats hope Republicans take as gospel and run like hell with it.

So if we’re to assume that Beauprez isn’t paying for this some way, and we suppose we do, what are we to make of Beauprez doing so outlier well here? We’d say it speaks to the flimsy methodology of the poll more than anything–automated polls with push-button answers just don’t have the same quality of response as real human interaction. They have a higher hang-up rate, and are more likely to be skewed by, if you will, less-than-serious responses.

And sure–in that environment it wouldn’t surprise us if PPP’s way oversampled self-identified Republicans were more likely to mash “2” for Beauprez than other Republican candidates.

Back here in reality, we invite Republicans to buy into this conclusion at their peril–and we know a lot of Democrats who would probably prefer we not tell you so.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. twas brillig says:

    is that these guys are always blogging before they run their polls about how they expect they will turn out, based on their thin political analysis. Maybe it’s to help generate interest and press, but that seems to me an extremely suspect way to run a “credible” polling outfit.

    Also, let’s not forget my pissing match with Tom Jensen where he defended their methodology by agreeing that they really have no relationship to anything.

    All this stuff screams “amateur hour,” but they always get press.  

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      I’ve got the same qualms about PPP’s accuracy or relevance, but I haven’t seen them guessing at results before they poll — just teasing the results and then rolling them out for a couple days to extend the attention.  

    • gertie97 says:

      Of course they get press. Meanwhile, Joe Sixpack is going fishing.

      • MADCO says:

        that the COlorado Joe sixpack  fishes.  That’s the image – but I think it’s changed or perhaps was always mythical

        I think the average CO voter:

        – was born in another state and moved here

        – skis once in awhile and knows people who ski a lot

        – mountain climbs almost never and knows someone who knows someone who does

        – is just as likely to vacation in another state as CO

        – doesn’t understand the CO River compact

        – lives and works in the metroplex between C-Springs and Ft Collin, including the Boulder/Longmont triangle

        – is not a farmer, does not own an oil or gas well, and does not not own cows

        • gertie97 says:

          Your average Colorado voter is spot on, and he/she isn’t spending August breathlessly following political non-developments, i.e. questionable polls that mean nothing more than a year before the election.

          He/she may be hiking, on vacation or going to work hoping like hell today isn’t the day for layoffs.

          Your point about oil and gas wells is solid, too. Penry thinks it’s a huge issue statewide, and it isn’t.

          Still, most people aren’t following arcane state political “polls.”

          • MADCO says:

            Well- it is a statewide issue in that almost all of us are consumers of O&G products.

            Local Oil production doesn’t affect that price much – though there are Cololoradans with the distorted notion that our production is hugely important in the world price.

            CO gas production is a little more relevant to the CO consumer. But not that much.

            If anything it’s seen as a jobs issue. And here CO might as well get used to having fewer oil jobs anyway.

  2. Ralphie says:

    But at this point in a campaign, anyone can beat anyone else.

    If Bennet wants to be elected Senator, he’ll need to do it the old-fashioned way.  He’ll need to earn it.

    It’s way too early to say that someone, anyone, can’t beat someone, anyone, else.

    No matter how bullshit PPP polls tend to be.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      We like the idea that “anybody can beat anybody” as much as the next pseudonymous blogger, but Bob Beauprez has his own special column on the spreadsheet where you put people who lose by the kind of margin he lost by.

      Seriously, we’re doing Republicans a favor by pointing it out. It can’t be this bleak for them.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        You have a lot of good points about the train wreck of his last campaign. But…

        At work I have always learned a lot more from mistakes than successes. And I’ve always made a significantly larger improvements after failures than successes.

        If Bob Beauprez is good at learning from his mistakes, he could potentially be one of the best campaigners in the state.

        It’s a big if because most people try to learn as little as possible from mistakes (honest introspection hurts!).

        But if he does…

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          is that he didn’t run as a strong enough conservative.  He will assume that he lost because he didn’t excite his base enough so he will double down with even more conservative rhetoric.  Nothing like losing to learn how much more radical you need to become.

      • Ralphie says:

        But I still maintain it’s too early to pronounce anyone dead.

        Shit, even Nixon rose from his own ashes.

        • Sure, but Nixon (glaring personality defects aside) had a keen intellect and incredibly good instincts about electoral politics. Bob Beauprez…. not so much.

          While a lot of things could happen, and I can see it easily within the realm of possibility that Norton or Frazier or maybe even Buck could win, I have to agree with Pols that Beauprez probably has about as much a shot as Cleve Tidwell at picking off Bennet. That is to say, so slim that it’s not even worth discussing.

        • MADCO says:

          was a special case.

          He got creamed in 1960- but for what he was later able to claim were the worst of reasons: he didn’t look good on tv, he was older and more experienced, and so on

          And then he ran to the middle in 68- in all the chaos of that year.  When the D’s nominated Humphrey, the end game was in sight.  Nixon didn’t have to run on eliminating Medicare or  some sort of weird “southern strategy – he had George Wallace do that for him. Political wisdom.

          If BWB could run to the middle and look less right wing nut-jobby, he would run strong.  But I think he, and far too many other Rs, believe their own press releases and think  he and the Rs lost last time around only because of Bush fatigue and they were not far enough right.   Wrong analysis and if he runs that way, which appears he is, he’s going to lose by almost the same margin.

          • redstateblues says:

            cannot win the GOP primary by shifting to the middle. The Rs are all riled up right now, and they’re not going to look kindly on someone changing up their political views.

            Besides, he’s spent the last 3 years going further to the right in his book, his radio appearances, etc. Why would he stop now?

            • BlueCat says:

              No way he can change course toward the middle, even if he’s smart enough to realize he didn’t lose last time because he wasn’t far right enough.  Besides, it’s too late.  Far right is his brand.

              If he tried to tack to the center, he’d just tick off his wacko base and nobody outside his base would buy it.  The center already will have a pretty centrist candidate in Bennet.  If BWB couldn’t get centrist voters to buy the whole be scared of Boulder Liberal Udall thing, how much less scary is Bennet to folks in the middle?

          • One Queer Dude says:

            the story of Scott McInnis’ life these days

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            Nixon didn’t get creamed in 1960, it was the closest presidential election until Bush-Gore, and there’s some reason to believe it was equally stolen (back when Democrats were the ones who played hardball — ah, the good old days). It was in his 1962 California gubernatorial loss to Jerry Brown’s dad that he got creamed. The rest of what you say is right on.

  3. johne says:

    If you ran your own polling firm, what would be acceptable party ID weighting?

    I mean, doesn’t it say worse things about the other R candidates, that Beauprez does better than Buck and Frazier?

    • redstateblues says:

      Let’s just say for argument’s sake it’s not a total piece of shit.

      All this poll tells us is that Bob Beauprez has better name ID than Ryan Frazier, Ken Buck and Michael Bennet, and Michael Bennet has better name ID than the other two. Who needed a poll to tell them that?

      With around 1/5 being undecided, it’s impossible to tell anything about the race electorally.

      So even if PPP didn’t have questionable polling practices, this poll would still be a turd. QED.

      • Genius says:

        Remember, for “name ID” they give current or former titles, so it was “former Congressman and gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez” and “Weld County DA Ken Buck.”

        This means people are weighing in on the title in addition to the name.

        They could have said “2006 gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez who lost by 17% to Bill Ritter” and it would have had the same credibility.  

    • twas brillig says:

      Head-to-heads this far out are strategically and politically meaningless. What I would be interested in knowing is party ID, right track/wrong track, name recognition, and job performance. Curiously enough, this is stuff that could be done by a robodialer, and PPP & Co. could still keep pretending that what they are doing amounts to a damn. Instead, all they do is inspire shitty reporting and insider hand-wringing.

      Oh, as to weighting, the answer was obvious:

      …the fact this poll appears to have wildly oversampled Republicans (almost 40%, compared to Colorado’s 33% GOP reality).

      • johne says:

        Of course it’s meaningless to voters.  The vote isn’t for over a year.  It is important to those campaigns however for their fundraising.  Of course name ID is about all this poll tells us about.  But that’s what campaigns gauge at this point to see how they’re doing.

        I actually talked to PPP and asked about their performance and how they decide how to poll.  Will be posting that shortly.

    • MADCO says:

      is that R’s have already heard of BWB.

      Buck Frazier who?  Was not a response, but would have gotten a lot of hits.

  4. ClubTwitty says:

    Don’t listen to the naysayers.  You are the one, and should be there, on Colfax in DC, where you belong.  If only outside forces didn’t intervene last time.

    As demonstrated below, you are just the guy to run statewide in an increasingly purple swing state.  I might very well throw some money your way.  Just don’t tell me that you are going to give it to charity or pass it off to family.

    Beauprez’s record as a Congressman, condensed and reordered from

    * Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)

    * Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)

    * Voted YES on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)

    * Voted YES on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)

    * Voted YES on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries. (Jun 2006)

    # Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006)

    # Voted YES on deauthorizing “critical habitat” for endangered species. (Sep 2005)

    * Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)

    * Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006)

    * Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on “God” in Pledge of Allegiance. (Jul 2006)

    * Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)

    * Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)

    Run Bob Run

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