( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Today’s PPP poll on the Colorado Senate race shows the same trend found in recent Rasmussen polling: Andrew Romanoff does better than Michael Bennet against the leading Republican, Jane Norton. According to a poll pitting the Democrats against the top three Republicans, Romanoff would beat Norton 44-39, while Bennet and Norton would be tied at 43-43. Both Democrats do well against Ken Buck and Tom Wiens.
After noting that Romanoff does better against Norton, Tom Jenson of PPP adds this analysis:
I would be cautious about declaring Romanoff to be the more electable candidate based on these early numbers though. Bennet has had all the negatives of incumbency- being associated with an unpopular majority party during a recession- without the positives- defining himself positively to the voters on the airwaves in the context of a statewide campaign. If Romanoff is still doing better than Bennet four or five months from now once the voters have started really paying attention the electability argument might carry more heft. [emphasis added]
In other words, there’s a built-in bias against incumbents that could vanish once the real campaigning starts. Just as Democrats have been aiming all their fire at Norton (and probably driving up her negatives), so have the Republicans been attacking Bennet (and ignoring Romanoff).
So this poll does show Romanoff has residual goodwill and has left a favorable impression from his years as top Democrat in the House, but it doesn’t show how he performs statewide when there’s a real campaign against him. And that’s coming, whoever the nominees are.
PPP also adds:
All three times we’ve looked at this race over the last year it’s come out very close, and I think the Colorado Senate race will prove to be one of the most competitive in the country this year.
Like it or not, having the money to wage one of the most competitive races in the country is going to be a deciding factor. Has Romanoff started to make up the enormous gap in fundraising? We’ll know in a couple weeks as the 3rd Quarter wraps.
PPP plans to release results of its Senate primary election polls for both Democrats and Republicans on Monday. Stay tuned!