An interesting new polling method being tried out by the New York Times and Siena College is tracking results of a survey of Colorado’s CD-6 in real time–and the results they’re showing as of now are not good news for Rep. Mike Coffman:
Now before Democrats get too excited, here’s the deal:
Most experts consider this race a tossup. Neither side needs to win any particular tossup to win control, but the party that wins the most will probably take the House. Our poll is a good result for Democrats so far.
But remember: It’s just one poll, and we’ve talked to only 387 people. Each candidate’s total could easily be six points different if we polled everyone in the district. And having a small sample is only one possible source of error.
We’ll be watching this real-time publication of polls results very closely going forward to see if this number changes, but for a few reasons seeing Democratic candidate Jason Crow out ahead of Coffman by eleven points is less of a surprise than you might think: that figure is close to the margin of victory in 2016 for both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in this district. Trailing in a public poll is also new for Coffman; prior to this year, Coffman had never been behind in any publicly-available polling results.
As we’ve explored thoroughly in this space over a period of years, Coffman’s legendary ability to split tickets that otherwise go Democratic is what has kept him in office since almost losing the seat to an underfunded challenger in 2012. But if two years of co-branding with Trump have ruined Coffman’s ability to triangulate off his own party, it’s quite possible that he’s finished. In that event, this margin of victory would not only be reasonable, but in line with recent Democratic performance in CD-6.