We wrote yesterday about a new recent poll in a week showing perennially embattled incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman trailing by double digits to his Democratic opponent Jason Crow. As we’ve noted on a few occasions now, three polls in 2018 showing Coffman losing by a widening margin are in fact the first public polls ever showing Coffman behind in the CD-6 race. After a poll conducted by the New York Times with interesting but by all estimates credibly methodology showed Coffman down by eleven points to Crow, yesterday’s corroboration of that result in a poll funded by Democrats has Crow’s supporters very excited–and Team Coffman deeply worried.
So much so, as the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reports:
One poll, released Monday by End Citizens United, a left-leaning PAC, shows Crow leading 49 to 38 percent — outside the 4.9 percent margin of error. The 11-point spread is the same gap found in an earlier New York Times poll.
But another new poll, released to The Denver Post by the Coffman campaign, puts Crow ahead by just 1 percentage point — 46 percent to 45 percent — making the race essentially a tossup with 9 percent of voters still undecided. That poll, which comes from the right-leaning Tarrance Group, also has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
You read that correctly! In order to combat the growing agreement among observers of this nationally prominent race that Mike Coffman is losing, Coffman’s campaign took the somewhat extraordinary step of releasing an internal campaign poll.
What’s really extraordinary is that Coffman released an internal poll that also shows him losing. We don’t know about the sample or the questions that were asked to produce this result, which reportedly shows a much closer race among independent voters than the two recent public polls showing Coffman losing by double digits. But it’s a safe assumption that both were set up to be as favorable to Coffman as possible.
And the result is still Coffman losing. Not by as much, certainly. But as a response to rapidly ebbing confidence and flagging national support, a poll showing an incumbent who has split tickets and won handily against the tide for years down at all fails the test. For Democrats, on the other hand, this is certainly not a moment to get complacent. These internal poll results should motivate them even more to close the deal this year. For Democrats there has never been a better opportunity to flip a seat that has frustrated them for years, and there may never be again.
By Mike Coffman’s own most generous reckoning, it’s October–and Coffman is losing.