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March 15, 2010 06:45 PM UTC

PPP: Bennet leads Romanoff, 40-34

  • by: roguestaffer

(As we’ve said before, folks, hypothetical general election matchups don’t mean squat until we get through a primary. It doesn’t matter how Bennet or Romanoff would do against Norton, Wiens or Buck, because only two of these candidates can make it to November. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

From Public Policy:

-In the Democratic Senate contest Michael Bennet leads Andrew Romanoff 40-34. Support in this race may end up having to do more with personalities than ideology, as there’s no real divide in support along liberal/moderate lines for now. Bennet’s up 42-33 with liberals and 40-36 with moderates. Both candidates are pretty well liked by the party electorate. Bennet’s approval is a 57/21 spread with primary voters and Romanoff’s favorability comes down at 45/15. The one place where there is a clear division is along racial lines. Bennet’s up 42-34 with whites while Romanoff has the 42-31 advantage with Hispanics.

For now this is a real race, but it remains to be seen whether Romanoff can compete with Bennet financially and his ability to do so will have a lot to do with whether he can win over the quarter of voters who are undecided. (emphasis added).

Much as I thought. The full memo is here (PDF).

Other notes:

  • Bennet has a huge advantage with primary voters, 57%-21%. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, that’s the gap that Romanoff needs to close, and without resources, it becomes a nearly impossible task.

  • Notice the demographic split: Bennet leads with white voters, 42-34, while Romanoff leads with Latinos, 42-31. Expect Bennet’s campaign to play up his support for comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, in particular, as the primary keeps going.

  • Last note: Bennet has a lead among both liberals and moderates.

My bottom line: given that the primary seems to be oriented around personalities rather than ideological differences, expect this primary fight to get nasty if Romanoff manages to raise significant funds to get on the air.  


82 thoughts on “PPP: Bennet leads Romanoff, 40-34

  1. The 57%-21% split is an favorable/unfavorable margin. Romanoff needs to erase that, and the easiest way to do that is by carpet bombing Bennet in order to raise his unfavorable ratings.

    The problem? Doing so will probably raise Romanoff’s own negatives, doesn’t guarantee that Romanoff wins, and likely sets the stage for the Republican candidate to deliver a coup de grace in the fall.

    Essentially, Romanoff is in a no-win situation here.

    1. if team Bennet pointed out Romanoff’s role in the 2006 special session.

      Hell, nobody regardless of ethnic background appreciated the stories of 95 year old grannies unable to get a state ID because the building that housed their birth certificate burned down during the Hoover administration.

      1. but it bears repeating: primary voters aren’t necessarily paying attention to the kinds of issues that seem to motivate many Romanoff supporters.

        To a large degree, Bennet is basically a stand-in for Obama, and Democrats have a favorable opinion towards the President.

        But you knew this, already, I’m guessing.

            1. There are a ton of them out there, they don’t blog much and they aren’t friends with party hacks. Their numbers are going to surprise you tomorrow.

              1. They’re the ones who have been working countless hours to put on the very caucus you’ll attend and will receive little to no recognition for it.  A very few are visible enough to receive any attention, but the lion’s share of the work is done by hundreds of volunteers simply because they know it needs to be done.  They’re at the very least entitled to their views and truly deserve our respect.

                1. Sure.

                  The insiders and organizers that put on caucus and make the party work are worthy of respect.  I didnt’ get that peacemonger was saying otherwise. Rather that those D’s who engaged at caucus for the first time on 08 for Obama aren’t all that connected to those party insiders.

                  1. is all.  And probably the juxtaposition against  the raw number of hours these folks are currently working.  But yes, the great part about caucus is that it brings party members from all backgrounds together.

                    1. And then there’s State Assembly. It’s not really over in one night, not at all.  

                    2. You mean it’s even dumber than I already thought?

                      Well, at least he Assemblies are catered with decent chairs and wifi. And short enough that they don’t suck up a whole afternoon or anything.

                      I like brunch. Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch and at the end- cantaloupe.

      2. that charges 731 in expenses to close itself with an online report. in January 2010.

        The Spekaer has been going on FOX news , and can’t shake his association with Pat Caddell.

        He’s a DLC man of the year on 2009.

        It’s not surprising.

        Surprising is his lead among Hispanics, as his immigration position has been far worse than Bennet’s for years.  

  2. The Romanoff people love to brag about what great grass roots organizers they are as opposed to the slouches in the Bennet camp.   I’m pretty sure this supposed Bennet campaign failing is wishful thinking on their part.

    Efforts by the Bennet campaign to reach out to potential caucus goers and primary voters seem pretty highly organized and intense.  Also, Bennet’s name has been all over the media, in connection with promoting public option, reconciliation,  and efforts to overcome DC dysfunction, such as filibuster reform.  He’s been well received by progressive media faves such as Rachel Maddow.

    It will be very interesting to see how much of the supposedly huge caucus advantage will materialize for Romanoff Tuesday night.  With Bennet being the caucus underdog and the Romanoff campaign bragging about their advantage, a less than great big impressive win for AR would be pretty bubble bursting while the slimmest lead, neck and neck finish or even closer than expected loss for Bennet would be an enormous boost for his campaign.

    It seems more and more that AR suffers too much from having so long been a big fish in a small pond with no real opposition to be able to translate that small pond, safe district success to the statewide big leagues.  

    1. Well, I think the campaigns, so far, have made both better candidates.  Bennet has gotten better at actual campaigning. Romanoff seems to have gotten a bigger perspective, or at least focuses on an apparently bigger perspective.

      I agree, if AR doesn’t put a great big win this week, I would think that changes something.  


    2. I have had 5 phone calls, including 2 this past weekend, asking if I was going to attend the caucus. I’ve answered yes to each – and they still keep checking in.

      I also got a robocall from Udall supporting Bennet. Does Udall always sound that bored? I’m not sure with that tone of voice that the robocall helps much.

      1. I didn’t particularly notice him sounding bored.  I think he isn’t the sparkliest speaker in general.  Thoughtful and serious, yes, but not high energy and enthusiastic.

    3. I’m sure this is because (1) I told the first person who called  I would caucus for him, and (2) I am guaranteed to be there because I am running mine.

      So I am sure everyone isn’t getting that much attention.  I have gotten several reminder calls, and probably eight mailers.

      Romanoff sent at least one mailer, maybe two.  I got a call from him yesterday.  It said that the bigwwigs have made their choice but that’s not how we do things in Colorado, so show them who’s in charge (loose paraphrase).

  3. The people I talk to on the phones and in person are turned off by Romanoff’s negative you-tube videos and baseless attacks on Bennet. Bennet sticking to his record and his great reputation on health reform and fighting big banks is just what people wanted and needed. Seems Andrew’s mud-slinging campaign put him in a corner — newer Obama Dems like Bennet, and the personal attacks just mobilize them.  

    What I don’t get is why Latinos would favor Andrew, since Michael co-sponsored the Dream Act and Andrew played a significant role in defeating tuition equity. I personally think both men are committed to justice for immigrants and their families, but their records are very, very different.  

    1. Just guessing- they know him and don’t know Bennet, or don’t know him as well. They don’t remember 2006, or associate it with Romanoff.  Probably some would have preferred a Latino to replace Secretary Salazar , or if not at least a D insider.

    2. I don’t think the tuition equity vote was a reliable indicator for who supports the Latino community and who doesn’t, necessarily. I happen to know Morgan Carroll has done a lot for CIRC this past year, and her diverse constituency loves her, despite unfounded personal attacks on her by Mario Solis-Marich for a year now.

      Here is what one prominent Latina sent me about Morgan in December, for example:

      *She is the only State Senator to formally sign on to the National Reform Immigration for America Campaign

      *She pledged (signed her name) to not sponsor or support any anti-immigrant bills this session

      *She spoke at our press conference in October in support of CIR (we had about 8 media outlets at the event)

      *She attended and blogged about our America United Community Forum with Senator Bennet

      *She has been willing to speak to the National Elected Officials about supporting CIR  

      *She has consistently met with us to talk about legislation and other immigration related issues

      *She promised to let us weigh in on any bills that might be affecting immigrants

      What I don’t get though, is why is Mario sooo nasty to Morgan, yet has given Andrew a free ride when he was even more responsible for how that bill turned out?

      1. I fully support her (except her endorsement for US Senate). She’s wicked smart. I think that she’s making up for a vote she didn’t want to make last year.

        She’s a real civil rights lawyer. She knows that immigration reform is the biggest civil rights issue in Anerica today.

  4. My phone calls over the past 4-6 weeks pleasantly surprised me that Michael Bennet has very strong, but silent support.  Also, undecideds are easily convinced to support Bennet.

    1. My neighbors don’t care much about the caucus but will vote in the primary, and they were mostly Obama supporters and still are. They want somone who supports the President’s agenda.  

      The one neighbor who seems to be really paying attention said she didn’t want some idealist who apparently doesn’t understand Washington and would have voted to kill the healthcare bill in Dec.

      Makes sense to me.

    1. He doesn’t “have to” do anything.

      The campaign’s message would need to change; it makes no sense to be Mr-inside-Denver-been-there-done-that-all-the-county-chairs-and-D-insiders-love-me guy if you can’t carry the caucus.

    2. I think if he doesn’t win, he ought to, but as long as he gets on the ballot he still has a puncher’s chance.

      In the event of a caucus loss (which I think is unlikely), a prudent decision process, at least in my mind, must take into account who he’s going to piss off and how that relates to any future he might want to have in politics.

    3. That said, as I pointed out earlier, the easiest path to victory for Romanoff would be to destroy Bennet’s favorable ratings. Doing so doesn’t guarantee him a victory; it just makes it (slightly) more likely.

      He hasn’t been able to do that, mostly because he doesn’t have the funds. A defeat in the caucuses tomorrow makes it harder for Romanoff to raise those funds.  

    4. Obviously he doesn’t have to quit.  But his path to the nomination becomes untenable.  His plan now is to use a caucus win to fundraise enough to become competitive.  If he doesn’t win the caucus, how does he do this?

          1. Money is bad.

            Money is unecessary.

            The only support he needs or wants is individual, small donors, from Colorado.  Of which I’m sure some are R voters int he general who are trying to keep him viable longer.  

    5. But that contradicts the “people’s choice” narrative that is his entire message.

      Let’s be honest, caucus participation is such a small community of people, most of whom personally know Andrew, that if he can’t destroy Bennet at the caucus, what can he win?  

    6. He does, however, have to explain to contributors why they should continue to donate their time and dime, if he doesn’t pull overwhelming numbers at caucus tomorrow. Less than a month ago, his campaign was predicting Bennet would have to petition just to get on the ballot. My, how the goalposts have moved in four weeks.

    7. If Bennet does not get at least 55% he will have to withdraw from the race. Anything less than that and it will be clear he cannot win in the general because the party base is not behind him. Bennet has 10 times the money, 5 times the staff size and the full power of the White House & DSCC behind him and hundreds of thousands of calls made by OFA and LCV’s out of state machine to contact voters. With that money and national operation led by the Chicago political machine, he has been able to contact voters 20 times as much as Romanoff. If that doesn’t result in a 10-15% win over Romanoff, he should just get out now.

      I kid, I kid – it’s a joke – read on before you get all worked up 😉

      But seriously… both Romanoff & Bennet’s teams will be spinning like tops playing the expectations game and saying they are pleased with the results and focused on the primary. I do think Romanoff has the most at stake at caucus but more from the fundraising perspective than anything else. If he gets less than 40-45% it will be very difficult for him to be able to raise any money to get up on t.v. or radio this summer. No matter how Bennet performs, he’ll continue raising money faster than a pre-IPO dot-com in 1996. If Bennet loses his team will dismiss it as a success because he was “up against a political machine with a grassroots operation built over 10 years.” If Romanoff loses, his team will dismiss it as still a success because he was “up against a national machine and millions of dollars.”

      My prediction: Baseline at 60-40 for Romanoff at 10,000 caucus goers (about what showed up in ’04 & ’06). For every 1,000 additional that turn out, Romanoff loses 1%. My theory is that those who never showed up to caucus until ’08 are likely to follow Obama’s directions and go for Bennet.

      1. the evening of the 29th at sundown.  Jewish days begin, not at midnight but the previous sundown, so first Seder is the evening of the 29th.  And might I add… yeah, why does Tad want to know?

          1. Way back in the summer when Andrew jumped into the race, I had thought Bennet would have him out by Passover.  I assumed the crushing cash advantage or an Obama payoff job in DC would get Andrew out by this time.

            I hadn’t counted on the inside opposition against Bennet held by many Democrats nor Andrews staying power.

            The more I see this race develop the more I think Bennet could walk away with topline … or maybe thats too much digestion of retoric.

  5. Dear Jennifer,

    I’m sure you’ve heard the caucuses are tomorrow, and we’ve been working overtime — but with the exciting news we keep getting, like last week’s endorsement from Congressman Ed Perlmutter, the energy is continuing to grow.

    That’s especially true because we just heard that AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Council 76 Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse Michael!

    1. Here’s more from the Bennet email announcing the endorsement from AFSCME:

      “AFSCME is with Michael because, as AFSCME Council 76 President Sharon Bonner said when she announced the endorsement: “Senator Bennet has continuously stood up for us in Washington by championing the public option in health care reform and fighting for critical health care funding, while pushing to create and save jobs across Colorado. Since he was called to serve last year, Senator Bennet has continued to put the priorities of Coloradans first and fight for real reform in DC.” ‘

      1. The pressure will be enormous on him to withdrawal.  How can Mr. Grass Roots not win the caucuses? You will see a number of his prominent supporters switch horses should he come in second tomorrow.

        On the GOP side if Ken Buck comes in first you might see panic set in the Norton camp. To spend as much money on TV as she has you expect a first place finish.

        If the guy running against McInnis gets enough to qualify for the ballot it will force him to spend over a million dollars to make sure he wins the primary. Exactly what the Penry withdrawal was to have avoided.  That would be great news for the Mayor. If Maes gets top line look for some of the far right GOP legislators to endorse him.  

    1. Pols didn’t assail PPP when it disliked their numbeers.  Pols hailed it because it liked their numbers!   You’re thinking (if you actually are thinking, which would be a first;-) )about Rasmussen.  That’s the outfit Pols thinks is biased toward the GOP./

      1. It’s been statiscaly shown that hey tilt right. They were way off in 2008. They co venture with Fox news.

        I could undrstand a Fox news appearance during the general. For a Democratic caucus it makes no sense whatsoever.

    2. But they are problematic. The average of their polls nationwide in 2008 was quite good actually, but they were consistently an outlier in the Colorado races.

      Which I think is consistent with ColoradoPols’s comment about how rather dumb general election matchups are when there are 10 candidates running.

    1. So that’s one way it differs!

      In the general election match ups, Rasmussen found the Republicans leading by reasonable margins, while PPP found Democrats either tied, leading a little bit or leading by a lot (Hickenlooper).

  6. “Bennet’s approval is a 57/21 spread with primary voters and Romanoff’s favorability comes down at 45/15.”

    That’s a big difference between Bennet’s 57% approval vs. only 45% approval for Romanoff.  Maybe it’s a statement by Dems who are unhappy with Romanoff’s primary challenge of a candidate who doesn’t differ with Romanoff on the issues.  This might be the tea leaf of what will happen tomorrow.  But, to tell the truth, I don’t want to put any money on this one.

    1. Bennet calls a night now from real people,  from recordings, from the Bennet camapign, from other groups. Also several mailings last week. It’s pretty relentless.  Just think.  We’ll be about to get started just 24 hours from now and a few hours later we won’t have to argue about who is right or what polls are more reliable.  Can’t wait.

      1. “…we won’t have to argue about who is right or what polls are more reliable.”

        If polls cease to enthrall and inspire arguement, I’ll buy your dinner.  But if they do, you buy me a drink

        1. and don’t see where I made a bet or said polls in general would no longer be interesting.  Just commented that how Bennet and AR will do at caucus will be something we won’t have to argue about any more.  But thanks for the offer and I’m not averse to a drink.

    1. we’ll never find out how he’d wriggle out of that one, as he certainly would have to in order to run statewide in the general, because he won’t be in that position.

  7. Roguestaffer wrote:

    “Notice the demographic split: Bennet leads with white voters, 42-34, while Romanoff leads with Latinos, 42-31. Expect Bennet’s campaign to play up his support for comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, in particular, as the primary keeps going.”

    Maybe Latino voters are not supporting Bennet because they prefer Romanoff’s positions on mass immigration and illegal immigration to that of Bennett’s.  There is a massive disconnect between what Latino “leaders” say about immigration versus what Latino voters say about immigration.

    According to a recent Zogby poll, 52 percent of Hispanic voters support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; only 34 percent support conditional legalization.

    In addition, 56 percent of Hispanic voters said immigration levels are too high; 7 percent said too low; 14 percent just right.

    Also, Just 20 percent said illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 61 percent said inadequate enforcement.

    And finally, 15 percent said legal immigration should be increased to fill unskilled jobs; 65 percent said there are plenty of Americans available to do unskilled jobs, employers just need to pay more.

    See… for details.

    As I’ve stated in the past, perhaps it is Democrat politicians that are out of touch with American voters of all races on the issue of immigration.

    1. Hahahahaha! Those are worthless. Everybody knows that. It’s a self-selected sample. Plus the questions are ridiculously biased.

      Here, all rational people on the blog can read this takedown of this nonsense.

      What’s really going on: the questions in the CIS-sponsored Zogby poll are engineered to produce anti-immigration responses and rely solely on input from online respondents, rather than a random sample of the general population (i.e. a true random digit dial telephone poll).  The findings are a dramatic departure from the results of numerous other (credible) polls of Latino voters (see below).

      Onto the real research. A May 2009 poll of Latinos nationwide conducted by Latino Decisions found that:

      “…over 80% of Latino voters said they supported Obama’s plan that included increased border security, fines for undocumented immigrants, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants meeting certain requirements – just 14% of Latinos opposed the president’s plan.”

      A separate May 2009 poll of Latino voters conducted by Bendixen & Associates for America’s Voice found that 87% of respondents would not consider voting for a candidate “who was in favor of forcing most illegal immigrants to leave the country” and 89% favored a “path to citizenship” vs. only 4% of respondents who supported a policy to force the undocumented to leave the country. Four percent.

      Here’s a clue: when you have to cite a bullshit poll to get a result that contradicts everything people know, you’re probably lying.

      How’s Stormfront doing, by the way?

      1. This was a statistically valid poll using the same technique as other polls by Zogby.

        What makes you think this is any more of a bullshit poll then the one this article is discussing or any other.  Zogby is a reputable polling firm.

        Massive immigration hurts the working poor the most and these are often minorities and recent legal immigrants that are competing for the same jobs.

        It is elitist to think that legal Hispanics approve of illegal immigration or wish to have the US population explode (from 308 million today to 460 million in 2050 if current immigration levels of 1.5 million per year continue).  They want jobs that pay a living wage, a healthy environment, and everything else all of us want.

        It really is the cheap labor interests and the so called “leaders” of ethnic identity groups that want amnesty and higher levels of legal immigration, not the regular citizen.

          1. this was not an “online poll” as commonly used, where a newspaper or organization puts a poll out and lets anyone answer.  

            Below is the description of the poll methodology used:

            Survey Methodology

            Zogby International was commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies to conduct an online survey. A sampling of Zogby International’s online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the United States, was invited to participate. Zogby maintains the panel and has used it for other surveys. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the U.S. population. The survey included roughly 700 Hispanic, 400 African-American, and 400 Asian-American likely voters.

            The survey was conducted by Zogby from November 13 to 30, 2009. The margin of error for likely voters is +/- 0.5 percent. The margin of error for Hispanic likely voters is 3.7 percent; for African-Americans it is 4.7 percent; and for Asian-Americans voters it is 5.1 percent

            Below is a link to the full discussion and actual questions asked.



              Zogby, however, also conducts Internet-based polls. These polls are conducted among users who volunteer to participate in them, first by signing up at the Zogby website (you can do so yourself here) and then by responding to an e-mail solicitation. These Internet polls, to the extent they rely on voluntary participation, violate the most basic precept of survey research, which is that of the random sample. And as you might infer, they obtain absolutely terrible results.

              All told, between 48 contests that he’s surveyed over the past two election cycles, Zogby’s Internet polls have been off by an average of 7.6 points. This is an extreme outlier with respect to absolutely anyone else in the polling community.

              These Internet polls, simply put, are not scientific and should not be published by any legitimate news organization, at least not without an asterisk the size of an Alex Rodriguez steroidal syringe.

              1. I’m part of their online universe.  Who the hell would poll ME?

                At least I was part of their online universe.  I haven’t gotten an email to participate in one of their polls since I called bullshit on one that was clearly a push poll.

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