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August 01, 2010 05:53 PM UTC

Late-Inning Swings Tell a Story You Already Know

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Politico’s Dave Catanese Tweets that Bennet’s campaign will release an internal poll shortly showing them up four points over Romanoff.

The big story today, obviously, is the new SurveyUSA poll released by 9NEWS and the state’s newspaper of record showing big movement in our marquee primary races:

The pollster asked 536 likely and actual Democratic primary voters who they supported or would support in the August 10th election and 48 percent chose Romanoff, 45 percent selected Bennet and 8 percent were undecided. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.

In June, a similar poll conducted by Survey USA showed Bennet with a 53-36 lead. This poll was conducted from July 27-29 by phone.

The poll also shows the likely impact of a series of stories regarding plagiarism of water essays by Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis. Of 588 likely and actual Republican primary voters, 43 percent said they were supporting Dan Maes, 39 percent are in favor of McInnis and a whopping 18 percent remained undecided with a little over two weeks to go before the election…

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck had the support of 50 percent of the 588 voters surveyed while former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton had 41 percent…

It’s a credible poll–people have been waiting for SurveyUSA to weigh in on these races for over a month, and some tightening was fully expected. It’s worth noting that the enduring lead this poll shows for GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck is consistent with most other polls, and is more trustworthy than whatever somebody in DC showed the Washington Post on Friday. The poll also shows clearly, whichever way you combine it, that Tom Tancredo’s insurgent gubernatorial bid sinks whatever hope the GOP may have of beating John Hickenlooper.

As for the Democratic Senate primary between Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff, in which this poll shows a 20-point swing of support? Two things to keep in mind here. First of all, this swing is largely attributable to the stridently negative campaign waged against Bennet using every resource at Romanoff’s disposal. We’ve said repeatedly that we aren’t fazed by sharp elbows in a primary, we expect them: it’s why we always said that Romanoff’s promises not to do so were silly. We never once said that going negative had no chance of success, indeed in Romanoff’s case it was probably his only choice from the beginning.

But based on the growing backlash against the over-the-top nature of Romanoff’s most recent messaging, it’s an open question as to whether or not this intensely acrimonious endgame for Romanoff can hold together for ten more days. Scorched-earth negativity can work to propel an underdog past superior resources, but it’s a fine art; if you take it too far, it becomes a grave liability with undecided voters.

The other factor that needs to be included in the discussion is the less-predictable circumstances of this mail ballot election. The question of who is a “likely voter” is not as easy to answer this time, as the dynamics of mail voting have less of a history. But we will say this: in terms of simple logistics, the larger, better funded campaign is always going to be the one better equipped to chase down the mail ballots they need to emerge the winner. Lower turnout, in turn, would favor the Romanoff campaign’s more ardent cadre of supporters. That being the case, this election would come down to such a ballot chase, and Bennet’s resources to produce a higher turnout could be the decisive factor–regardless of what any group of 500 people might say.


147 thoughts on “Late-Inning Swings Tell a Story You Already Know

    1. when Romanoff wins the primary

      Colorado Pols’ assessment of that situation will be

      “Romanoff larger portion of ballots cast for him, though significant, does not change the fact that Bennet is better and Romanoff is worse”

      1. “Romanoff with a larger portion of ballots cast for him, though significant, does not change the fact that Bennet is selected Dem Nominee for Senate…”

        (A-La, Bush v Gore 2001)  

        Ballots? who needs ballots? this is a REPUBLIC after all.

        1. Bennet has a clear history of public service both before and after Anschutz. Yes he took a couple of years in the private sector to earn 11 million. But the rest of his time has been in government, both appointed, and if he wins this November, elected.

          If he loses the primary or general I think he will find another role in public service. And we will be better off for his service.

          1. 6 years in the private sector. I must say I’m curious about a couple things here:

            1.  How did he land his Clinton admin gig?  What did he do prior to this?

            2.  How does one go from being “Counsel to the Deputy DA” to managing a right wing billionaire’s company and being responsible for $500 million?  What financial experience did he have prior to this?

  1. The subject is from your link above.  This post sounds like it’s straight from the Bennet campaign, lowering expectations and putting the best spin on it as possible.

    As for me, Romanoff’s ads are enough to make me not vote for him in the primary.  

  2. chase down the mail ballots

    Does someone show up at my doorstep offering to deliver my ballot to the voting center?

    Does someone show up and offer me 2 stamps so I can mail it?

    What does chase down mean?

    They can’t call me as I have an answering machine intercept all my phones (doesn’t everyone do this?).

    1. If it says “unknown caller” or a 1-800 number I don’t pick up but if I know the ID I do.  So far I’ve taken two calls and assured one of my vote but frankly declined answering the other.  Chasing down ballots is calling likely supporters – all campaigns should be going at it right now.

  3. First of all, this swing is largely attributable to the stridently negative campaign waged against Bennet using every resource at Romanoff’s disposal.

    This race has always been closer than any poll and your “Big Line” have indicated.  A large percentage of Bennet’s support is built on sand, people who like Romanoff but lean Bennet because he was appointed.  Like the woman quote in the Big Denver Paper today.

    And the “growing backlash” is coming from people who were already lashing away at Romanoff.

    1. to realize that Romanoff could win and what his advantages in the General are over Buck or Norton.

      Clearly, I think Romanoff is the better debater than either Norton or Buck – but personally, I think Norton would do better than Buck in a debate with Romanoff.

      1. That would be epic.  Both are fairly good debaters and very intelligent.  That is one debate that I would love to watch because I think both would be very good at expressing the differences in policy beliefs.  

        1. will have a better ability to express how she has worked in government and understands budgets.

          However, since the Tea Party and Tabor wing of the Republicans are a significant portion, Norton could actually be attacked for being too moderate for working with Romanoff and democrats to pass Referendum C.

        2. But only one is very intelligent, from what I’ve seen this year.  And I haven’t seen either of them debate, so I’ll take your word for it.

      2. would make it hard to reunite the party in November, Wade.  Of course, Mr. Scary, Ken Buck, would be a powerful force for Democratic Unity.  

        1. Though I’d hate to meet SK2, the late and unlamented Firewalker, oldbenkenobi, et al. at the rallies.  My primary vote for Bennet was influenced by the company Romanoff has kept through the primary season.  However, I believe he will be a good Senator and if he gets the nod, I’m going all in for him.

          1. That one was constrained, after all, by who do you want to bash: the first serious black candidate or the first serious woman candidate?

            They both pulled their punches a bit on that.  Nothing I saw put out by the campaigns matched the “Wall Street Greed wins” viciousness of this campaign’s closing days.

  4. We already know, because you’ve never missed a chance to tell us, that Andrew doesn’t HAVE any resources. He can’t afford significant ad buys,so even if he did go negative most likely nobody got to see it. And has been mentioned time and again on BennetPols, Michael’s superior war chest would drown out any message Andrew could put up with massive ad buys.

    I think the reaction is to the ads more people did see from Bennet going negative. I think that turned people off because it soiled his squeaky clean alter boy image.

    I’ll be expecting a lot of back-pedaling when Andrew wins the primary. But I won’t be holding my breath.

              1. I guess you haven’t read any of my other diaries or comments on other issue threads. But that’s ok, it’s a big site. I certainly haven’t read everything you wrote either Aristotle.  

            1. Jeffco Blue can’t be a shill if he/she was around three years ago.  Bennett wasn’t running for office then, you know?

              But you did a “I know you are but what am I?” thing.

              Well, shills are here for one purpose, or perhaps 90% of their efforts are to promote a candidate.  And when the excitement is over, they disappear.

              JB is far less likely to be a shill than you.  Not saying you are, but there’s a strong whiff.  

              1. From Wikipedia:

                “A shill is a person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services. The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic customer. The person or group that hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members (who are unaware of the set-up) to purchase said goods or services. Shills are often employed by confidence artists. The term plant  is also used. The term is also used to describe a person who is paid to help a political party or other advocacy organization to gain adherents; as with the situation of selling goods or services, the shill gives the impression of being unrelated to the group in question, and gives the impression that he or she finds merit in the ideological claims of the political party.”

                So, length of time posting on a blog has zero to do with whether anyone is a shill. In fact, it might increase the likelihood of being a shill as they have more product to sell and more material for their resume to take to anyone willing to pay them.

                I on the other hand have nothing to offer except my passionate support for my candidate, free of charge and completely uncorrupted by any other influences than my own conscience.

  5. Ok, who would have predicted back in January that the front runners would be Romanoff, Buck, & Maes? This is an “interesting” year. Lots of reasons but the bottom line is the old rules don’t hold as much sway anymore. And I think this is a permanent change.

      1. I think what has changed is the influence of certain groups has declined. Ten years ago the Republicans would have Norton & McInnis and that would be it. I think power is moving out to the edges more. We saw it also in the previous election where both Obama and Polis could not have won ten years earlier.

  6. I was in favor of a primary from the start (when I supported Bennet) because I thought he needed practice before going into the general election. But to see a swing in about 20 points from what is really 3 weeks of Romanoff hammering him, this is a brutal drop.

    Put aside for a second should Romanoff have hit as hard as we’re all Democrats. You know Ken Buck will hit that hard. The question is can Bennet compete when hit that hard. If not, the large bank account won’t save him.

    Anyways, if Bennet & team can’t handle hits like these, better to find out in the primary.

    1. the conventional wisdom for the republicans was Norton – and despite best efforts of the establishment Republicans, the grassroots have put Buck ahead.

      Same story for Romanoff.

      But who do you think is a better opponent vs. Romanoff?

      Buck or Norton?

      1. I think Norton would be easier to beat – she’s so Washington D.C. and that’s toxic this election.

        But a Romanoff/Buck campaign will be a joy to watch. They’re both very smart, think fast on their feet, are willing to speak honestly, and will be a clear conservative vs liberal choice.

        So while my head says Norton, my heart says Buck.

      2. Buck’s Tea Party image will reunite the Ds despite Romanoff;’s slash and burn tactics.  Norton’s more moderate image and the appeal of a woman candidate is more attractive to moderate Ds who rallied behind Bennet and might be slow to forgive being called corrupt minions of Wall Street by Pumanoffs.

          Same holds if Bennet wins.  Norton is the tougher general election foe, but Buck looks like the favoirite in the primary.  

  7. So Romanoff is aheade 48% – 45%. But about 40% of the ballots have already been cast and lets say another 10% are like me – not cast but we’ve decided. So half the votes are in.

    That means Bennet does not need to move the dial 3%, but 6%. That’s doable, but not easy. (I assume the margin of error is less on people who have already voted.)

    1. the longer an active undecided voter holds on to her/his ballot they may be more likely to vote for the challenger. If you were leaning towards the incumbent, why hang on to your ballot this long? Maybe, some folks are waiting for the moment that gives them the excuse not to vote for the incumbent, who has done a good job, but, not extraordinarily great (cramdown). Or as the case may be, waiting for something extraordinary by the challenger (selling his house). I dig this! Shows real commitment. Or waiting to see if the other guy calls personally to explain how he is the best person for the job and what he is going to do specifically to help the families and people here in Colorado as many are struggling right now. AR called me months ago. He was as charming, thoughtful, and knowledgeable as almost always. The moment in the campaign that I was most likely to vote for MB was when AR treated JP a little harshly in the debate. Sharp elbows are fine for a tough primary, but, don’t bash my congressman for simply filling in (AR almost lost my vote right there, but, the selling of the house along with what he has done as Speaker and the whole underdog thing(dig this too) may have won my vote.

      My ballot is still not filled out, but, would take something super extraordinary from the incumbent at this point.

      This race may come down to the campaign that chases down the remaining ballots best.

      And, which candidate appears to be the most approachable and likeable.

      1. He will be repaid from contributions. So, win or lose, rather than a house he’ll have cash. I think it shows more desperation than committment. So, contributors are buying his house, in effect.

        That said, if he wins I’m certain he is better than either Buck or Norton and will have my vote.

  8. Ohhhh, Romanoff is just so mean! Why, next thing you know, he’ll be mentioning Bennet’s lack of children as a reason to vote for him!

    And everyone knows that taking big contributions from out-of-town lobbyists goes over well with voters, especially Democratic voters — doesn’t it?

    C’mon Dems, you’ve been bought & paid for! Start acting like it!

  9. Pols — you just can’t put up that headline can you?  Of course you also wouldn’t promote Wade Norris’ diary which said just the same.

    If Romanoff does win this, have you ever thought of what it does to your credibility (the little you have left)?

    1. That Romanoff has put all of his eggs in the Karl Rove character assassination basket, and I am not surprised to see it is working. I do think the Big Line needs to change now, but knowing the whole story of why, I would not be proud to see it if I were you.

    2. That makes you look awfully stupid now that your boy has a fair, though only fair, shot at winning.  I hope you’re practicing your “I didn’t really mean it when I called you Bennett people corporate swine, so vote for my boy even though I’d never vote for your’s” speech.

      1. Stryker will disappear completely if Bennet wins the primary. He may register a new account in order to have a clean slate, but StrykerK2 will be not seen on these pages again.

  10. This election may have been decided when Romanoff hired Bill Romjue and when Bennet decided not to replace Craig Hughes.

    Despite huge spending Bennet has no coherent message or theme. From the lame Washington vs. Washington to the last ad where he seems half asleep the big spending Bennet Team just keeps missing.

    1. based on the DC decisions that have restricted economic growth in lieu of increased government spending fed by higher fees, taxes and complex regulations that further restrict private capital allocation.

      AR sliced off one piece of this failure in America and spun it up with Bennet-Banks-Casino-You Lose.

      The fact is when your own likey primary voters are susceptible to the message that your Parties leadership has failed you have problems.

      They’re just voting for change.

    2. Romanoff at one point said he would not turn this into a disingenuous mudfest. Perhaps the Bennet campaign should not have believed him, or perhaps they were naive. But I think that Bennet’s supporters in general were not prepared for the onslaught of smear from Team Romanoff in the last three weeks.

      Bennet has to make people understand where this is coming from, and why it is so suddenly urgent. Romanoff’s campaign is manipulating the voters, just as surely as the Bush administration did with the Path to 9/11.

      1. They clearly had a response one done ready to run. So they even knew what the comparison would be on. I think the Bennet campaign has faced two big problems in their response.

        First, they aren’t doing a very good job. They’re not bad, but neither are they really good. So-so in execution hurts.

        Second, there’s truth in Romanoff’s attacks. Yes, like any political ad it is slanted, but fundamentally the points raised are valid. And that makes it hard to effectively refute them.

        1. Maybe the workers of the world should unite and throw off the yoke of capitalist oppression, Dave. But apparently there are more people working at Regal Cinemas now that before Gordon Gekko I mean Michael Bennet dismembered it, and no Romie has ever explained to me how that’s possible if Bennet is pure evil like Andrew Romanoff says on teevee. I’m all ears if you want to take a shot.

          1. I said there’s truth in Romanoff’s ads. To go to the looting comment, Regal would be stronger today if it didn’t have that debt. Doesn’t mean Bennet was wrong to force the dividend, but it also doesn’t mean the dividend was an alloyed good.

            My point is that because there are legit points in Romanoff’s attacks, that makes it harder for Bennet to refute them. When your answer starts with “it’s complicated” then you’re in trouble.

  11. Romanoff going in to the lead is not “what you already know,” it’s “OMG – Romanoff is in the lead.” Wade, Stryker, etc. have a very fair point that Pols writes from the Bennet point of view.

    It will come down to the wire. The points on voter reaction to the negative campaigning are good. Same on the mail ballot question.

    But still, the flavor of the diary is very pro-Bennet.

    1. He’s called out the failed leadership of the Democratic Party and the “Party Faithful” are believing him.

      It’s really too bad, because these same Democratic leadership principles were employed by Romanoff-Madden-FritzGerald.

  12. This has long been one of my main complaints about coloradopols: when you guys get an idea in your head, no amount of reality will change that idea. This is a perfect example of you buying your own crap. This is a fascinating story; Romanoff, despite his initial disorganization, lack of message, and lack of cash has not only pulled within striking distance, but has pulled ahead. But instead of taking a cool, calculating look at the race as you claim to do, you’ve opted to spin this story in a way that sounds like it could have come directly from the communications department at the Bennet camp.  

  13. to send AR some money. Glad I haven’t contributed anything to anyone – Andrew will need all I can spare in a couple of weeks. (If Bennet wins, my contributions will be split between he and Markey.)

    You Romanoff supporters are still a bunch of whiny punks, though, so don’t think this has anything to do with you.

  14. That what Bennet did at DPS.  I know what happened at DPS. I remember the PR campaign, that IMHO, reflected more thought and effort than planning for the kids who had been eliminated at Manual.  But kids are not disgruntled employees, or excess personnel.

    That is why I cannot vote for Bennet.

  15. Norton Crap poll on Friday was a clear attempt of Josh/Cinnamon shilling an internal push-poll.    

    Here’s the real question: Will the Norton (and McInnis) loss on August 10th be the proverbial nail-in-the-coffin for the Owen’s/Benson/Wadhams triumvirate? I could hope… but won’t bet on it.  

  16. But as Littwin wrote this morning, at what cost?

    I have made my decision in this primary before those ads went up, and I expect a lot of other folks did too. But everyone who is supporting Andrew now has a very serious decision to make.

    If you vote for this guy, you are voting to support the absolute worst sort of politics. You are endorsing blatantly false negative lies. You are endorsing and supporting and enabling  craven politics at it’s absolute worst. And you are selling your soul right along with Andrew.

    Some of you have been saying that candidates need to stop taking PAC money because doing the same thing or sending the same people won’t change anything.

    This is much worse. Waging this sort of politics is what turns people off of the process. Real voters and good candidates. And it corrupts the souls of those who wage it, who are willing to do anything to win. THAT is what won’t change a damn thing.

    Those of you who decide to vote for Andrew should spend some serious time thinking about what you’re really supporting.  

    1. What Romanoff is doing, making false distinctions between himself and his opponent, and making promises about the system in Washintgon that he either has no intention of keeping or is at least totally unable to keep, is exactly what disillusions base voters.

      It’s a very cynical game.

    2. Almost every day we’ve had something some campaign did where the opponents have jumped on it saying “that candidate clearly must drop out of the race.” We all play that game.

      Romanoff has run brutal comparison ads. That’s what challengers do in our democracy, at least ones that intend to win. Clearly calling out the differences is a good thing – it gets people to look at the issues where they differ.

      And yes, both of them frame the facts to their advantage. Romanoff does it, and Bennet does it (Bennet’s recent ad gives the impression Romanoff is still running a PAC). That’s called marketing.

      As to using the word looting, I also think that’s a lie. But there are voters, many voters, who if they were given the full picture, would consider it looting. With all the companies that have gone under from over-indebtedness, they would take a dim view of Anschutz pulling his profits out through creating debt.

      So yes have the press call him out for this. This is why fact-checking ads is now a big part of the media’s job now. Because even for an ad like this, there are still shades of grey for many.

      Clinton and Obama said horrible things about each other in the campaign. Things that the other considered a lie. Both of them. And now they are working together very productively.

      Yes as a Bennet supporter run with this as much as you can. But keep in mind it’s standard politics.

      1. I know a lot of Democrats who think that Romanoff has gone over the line of reasonable campaign hardball, and has started truly misrepresenting his opponent. At the very least he shouldn’t be complaining about “Karl Rove tactics,” that’s exactly what he is doing.

        I personally believe that lying to win votes should not be rewarded regardless of party affiliation.

        1. I personally believe that lying to win votes should not be rewarded regardless of party affiliation.

          They all lie to us at times. FDR campaigned in 1940 saying he would not take us in to a foreign war and at the same time had the U.S. Navy in a shooting war in the North Atlantic. And in retrospect it was the right thing to do.

  17. I’m with Dave T – the title and hed graf should be “Romanoff Takes Lead in Primary”, not what you guys actually wrote. Fair’s fair.

    As for the race…yes, this is an amazing development. Absolutely incredible, in fact, considering Romanoff’s utter lack of resources.

    But what I’m seeing here is a lot of premature celebration. There’s still 9 days to go. Keep that in mind.  

  18. Romanoff takes a pretty good pounding on page 2 of the State’s largest paper.

    Man there is going to be a lot of work to do to mend fences on August 11th no mater who wins.  I tell you I would vote for AR if he wins as the lesser of 2 evils but following this smear attack on a good person I do no think I would donate or volunteer for him. It really is unbelievable.  I hope it is not too late for people to realize this and react accordingly.

  19. There are certainly some aspects of Romanoff’s campaign that I have not liked. One of them was the brief involvement of Mr. Caddell. Another, generally speaking, is the use of negative advertising. But I don’t agree that Mr. Romanoff’s most recent ad is out of bounds.

    Some things pointed out in those ads are factual: less people worked for the movie company after the Bennet-driven deal than before and Bennet came out of it millions of dollars wealthier.

    Now, you can have a reasonable disagreement about whether the results of the deal in terms of employment were avoidable or not if the company was to be saved. But I’m not sure you can have the same disagreement about whether it was reasonable for Bennet to be paid that much money when so many other people actually lost their jobs.

    Moreover, even if the payment to Bennet was fair, in the climate of this country since the great economic meltdown it is not unreasonable to anticipate that someone would raise this. If Andrew didn’t do it now, are we to expect that Ms. Norton or Mr. Buck wouldn’t in the fall?

    Mr. Bennet needs to make a convincing case that his work for Anschutz was good for the community, good for the industry, and that his payment was reasonable in relation to what he achieved. And I think he also needs to talk more about why he made the decisions he did at DPS.

    Negative campaigning is unpleasant and I would prefer not to have to deal with it. But it is a reality of politics and I don’t think it’s out of bounds for Romanoff to do what the Republicans certainly will in the Senate race.

    That said, my criticism of Romanoff is that I’m not sure he has spun every aspect of the cinema deal as fairly as it should be spun. But, then again, “politics ain’t bean bag,” or something like that. Bennet has the money and, still, the time needed to make an effective response. Let’s see it.

  20. …..rather than the usual bias-laden hubris, dressed up as ‘analysis’.

    Bennet may yet win, we’ll know soon enough.

    But any longtime student of Colorado politics knows that Dem primaries for federal offices almost invariably go to the more liberal candidate (e.g. Jerry Brown over Bill Clinton in 1992, Obama over Hillary by a 2:1 margin).

    I used to be a good friend of Andrew’s, and have been pained by his Hamlet-like and somewhat bathetic search for a political home (read: gainful employment) over the past 12+ months.

    That said, and even though I think he’s too liberal to get elected to the U.S. Senate against a credible (emphasis) Republican candidate – which Ken Buck is not – I certainly won’t be disappointed if he wins the primary. He at least has paid his dues, whereas Bennet got where he is thanks to a Dem Governor so unpopular he chose not to run for his own re-election.

    Andrew’s greatest vulnerability in November if he gets there is of course, cash. If you’re a D, 11 August would be an appropriate time to pony up (‘donkey up’?).

    And yes, of course the DSCC should support his GE candidacy wholeheartedly, that shouldn’t even be a question – this is an eminently defendable D seat, given the tea-party tumult on the R side of the ballot.

    His 2nd greatest vulnerability is the existential question: Are Colorado voters prepared to be represented in the U.S. Senate by TWO liberal Dems simultaneously?

    If I recall correctly, when we had Gary Hart we also had bible-thumping Bill Armstrong. And when we had Tim Wirth we also had (relatively) moderate Hank Brown. Is Colorado really ready for Udall and Romanoff in the Senate? It’s not fundamentally a liberal state after all…..

    As for CPols’ attitude, I think it’s time to grow up a bit and stop buying your own b.s.

    You’ll be a FAR better political blog over time if you can offer informed, dispassionate, unbiased analysis – versus the schoolyard cheerleading and brickbat-throwing you can’t seem to restrain yourself from engaging in…..

    1. But any longtime student of Colorado politics knows that Dem primaries for federal offices almost invariably go to the more liberal candidate (e.g. Jerry Brown over Bill Clinton in 1992, Obama over Hillary by a 2:1 margin).

      1. Mike Miles, unelected and unknown  barely ekes out a 1% win at the state assembly over an elected and well known candidate, Ken Salazar.

        compared to Andrew Romanoff, a formally elected official who had campaigned statewide for BEST and REF C

        beating Bennet, an unelected, appointed Senator,  by 20 percentage points or a 2 to 1 margin – the greatest margin ever recorded.

        sound the same?

        1. by claiming the uberleft wins over moderates?

          How’d that Jared Polis thing work out in that primary — the most conservative of three candidates won.

           Salazar, the moderate’s moderate, whipped miles.  

            In fact, I have trouble remembering when a lefty beat a moderate in Colorado.  Stateline’s mention of Obama over Hillary has more to do with Clinton fatigue than anything and, critically, wasn’t a state race, only for delegates to a national convention, which was also true the year we embarrassed ourselves by voting for Jerry Brown in a race that no longer mattered because Clinton had locked up the nomination.

            Did I mention that John Salazar and Markey are moderate Ds — though in keeping with their districts.

            Left in Colorado translates into “loser.”

           If AR does win (and you boys would be wise not to break out the lattes just yet) he will rejoin the DLC on Aug. 11 and lunge for the middle.

          1. STATEWIDE Dem primaries for federal office – which neither Polis nor J. Salazar were. That should have been clear from the Brown vs. Clinton and Obama vs. Clinton examples….

            Voyaguer, YOU are basically agreeing with ME, not disagreeing: left Dems don’t tend to get elected to statewide federal office – assuming a credible R opponent.

            And I agree with YOU too: Andrew will have to race for the center DLC-style as of 11 Aug if he wins primary. Duh: PoliSci 101! And I also agree it’s way premature to assume a Romanoff victory.

            Will leave this to all you bright lights to sort out – I’m headed to the beach for the afternoon here in sunny Ft. Lauderdale. 🙂

            1. Obama?Hillary was NOT a statewide primary.  It was a caucus.  No one denies that caucus attendees are more liberal than dems in the primary, which is what the whole miles/salazar thing underscores.   Jerry Brown, it’s true, was a primary but if I recall correctly, there was a full moon out that night ;-).  Even more to the point, Gov. Moonbeam didn’t necessarily run to the left of Clinton.  He was an era of limits guy who came in the same year Dick Lamm and Mike Dukakis did, very hard to categorize ideologically, then as now.

                Anyway, have a nice romp on the beach.  I’ll stay here cuddling my dogs in front of the air conditioner!

                  1. of my long-winded comments over the past few weeks to know I’m not really into the typical blog swill.

                    more interested in considered comments than flaming, zinging and rah-rah.



    2. I’m not sure that the DSCC and other national powers would be interested in Romanoff. He has proven to not be very responsible on the stump, and the feelings he has stirred up in the party are not something the national leadership would want to subsidize. This isn’t turncoat Arlen Specter, it’s not even Blanche Lincoln. Bennet has proven to be a solid vote for the 2008 agenda. Romanoff’s attacks are about emotion, not substance, because on substance they know Romanoff is not that different from Bennet.

      I do think that some labor interests would back Romanoff with IEs, but Romanoff’s anti-everybody campaign will keep many other big wallets shut tight. He has not earned the right to presume anything.

      1. Romanoff’s anti-everybody campaign will keep many other big wallets shut tight.

        he had his best fundraising quarter ever – more people are donating than before-

        and Bennet’s going back on Cramdown against the administration left a lot of people without an option for their foreclosure.

        that’s just plain mean.

          1. There were many (remember the PUMA stories) who said the Clinton supporters would not work for Obama. Guess what – they did. Everyone is very emotional about the primary right now. When it’s over, after a day or two, most will turn to winning the general.

            And the same thing will happen on the Republican side.

            1. I think most people will vote but this will sap a lot of energy as far as donating and volunteering.  I think this will be the case regardless of who wins.

        1. That money comes from somewhere: incumbents. It is spent to protect….incumbents.

          Andrew hasn’t raised money into it, and vulnerable Dems around the country are not going to be excited about having the money they raised be spent on Andrew.

  21. Ok, let’s assume Bennet eeks out a win on the 10th. Does he have a prayer in November? If Romanoff with very little money can flip the race 20 points in 3 weeks, what will Ken Buck be able to do in 2 months with a ton of money?

    Serious question here. Yes Bennet has a ton of money, but that apparently isn’t enough. Outside of the money, what do we have? Is his campaign team up to the job? Is he a candidate that can be sold to 50% + 1 of the voters?

    If Bennet wins the primary by a couple of votes, what’s our chances in November?

    1. Sorry to shout, but this is about the 900th time I’ve seen this on ColoPols and it’s driving me nuts.  EEK is what someone shrieks when s/he sees a mouse.  EKE is the word that means “to get with great effort or strain.”  

    2. especially after he gets Romanoff to endorse him. Since there have been about a thousand Romanoff/Bennet Obama/Clinton comparisons why not mention that Clinton endorsed Obama and even campaigned on his behalf. She made sure as many of her supporters transferred their votes over as possible.

      Would Romanoff be as much of a team player for the good of the Party?

      1. Romanoff will endorse Bennet and work to get him elected as will 99.9% of the Romanoff supporters. My worry is a candidate who drops 20% in the polls in 3 – 5 weeks. Ken Buck will have 2 months to do the same to him.

        1. come out showing a 20% drop. I was only aware of the Survey USA.

          Admittedly I have been a little distracted. Was there another poll that came out recently?

        2. Buck also dropped rather precipitously between the last poll and this one — because Jane Norton has been hammering him hard on his high heels remark.

          If Buck is the nominee, you’ve got to realize he hasn’t had any negative advertising aimed at him about his very conservative positions, and either Democrat will come out swinging on those. He’s basically faced lots of “character flaw” negative advertising, but nothing on issues yet, and that will make a huge difference how things look closer to the general election.

          The same is true of Norton. All the negative advertising against her has been quibbling over whether she increased her budget, and slamming her for Ref C — both of which hurt her with Republicans but won’t even be mentioned once the general is underway.

          For weeks we’ve been hearing what a bad man Bennet is, and after all that, he’s still tied with Buck and ahead of Norton in the poll. (Romanoff is also tied with Buck but trails Norton.)

          You hang a lot of big conclusions on this poll but don’t acknowledge a number of things in it, including similar giant swings on the Republican side. The fair conclusion is: negative advertising works. Who’s better able to withstand it? We don’t really know as much about that as you claim.

            1. and it can accomplish huge swings in public opinion in very short times.

              Norton foes have been pounding her — among her current electorate — over Ref C and spending in her state departments since February, so the effects of that particular line of attack have probably soaked in by now and are reflected in her position in the two Survey USA polls five weeks apart.

              The heavy negative advertising against Buck for his high heels remark (which will, incidentally, linger against him among a broader general election pool of voters) had a quick and detrimental effect.

              The same way, three weeks of negative attacks on Bennet, basically saying the guy is a greedy sleazeball, have also swung public opinion.

              But all these things aren’t equal — Romanoff has had very little negative advertising directed at him (the Bennet push-backs are basically that, they’re defensive, designed to blunt the negative attacks on Bennet by calling into question Romanoff’s authority to mount them), so he hasn’t faced what the others have.

              Plus, neither Norton nor Buck have been hit with the negative attacks that will surely come aimed at their positions on all kinds of general election issues. When those start, expect them to take a dive too.

                  1. Then he’s not going to win the general election. And running a gentle ad may speak well of him as a human being, but I don’t think it makes him more honorable. The purpose of a campaign is to lay out the differences between you and your opponent.

                    1. you probably don’t know this, but Bennet has had quite forceful “comparison ads” on the air within hours of Romanoff’s attack ads going up. One bascially called Romanoff a hypocrite over PAC money, and the other called Romanoff a liar over the Regal ad. So your premise that Bennet “wont run” attack ads is not only wrong, it’s comically wrong. It’s really unclear what the hell you’re talking about here.

                      The thing is, Bennet hasn’t wavered when it comes to hitting back at Romanoff when Romanoff attacks. But as far as a dedicated attack ad, that isn’t in response to something from Romanoff, there’s just the Social Security privatization postcard so far. And there’s nothing “gentle” about it.

  22. This race is the tale of two campaign strategies.

    Andrew Romanoff‘s team has had an unbelievably strong field component, little money, few endorsements and layered negative messaging to scrape off supporters for Bennet. I think it is a mistake to not really tell the voters of the state about his background which has been impressive. What is a problem is that he’s tapped most of his donors already and will have a really hard time refilling the tanks from Bennet and other traditional Colorado donors.

    I do not see Obama, Ritter or others stepping into help Andrew after he beat up on their boy Bennet.  They may prove me wrong which would not be the first time but there are so many seats in play across the country the national interests may

    Michael Bennet has relied on a strong media outreach, mail and robo calls touting Obama with a really weak field effort.  I do not think even the Bennet supporters can say the campaign has been field focused like team Andrew’s campaign. They are relying on the majority of voters to just follow the old rule of thumb here in Colorado which is if you spend the most money on media you win.  

    It will be interesting to see who wins but   if Andrew does pull it off he will be hard pressed to bring the hardcore Bennet folks into the folks to help him with fundraising and other things due to his negative efforts.

    Come Aug the Dems will have a lot of rebuilding to do as well as the republicans. I think Bennet will win because he’s got the Obama trump card and he keeps sinking Obama will come do a tour and pick him back up.  I would also wait to see what other polls come out to see if the one poll was a fluke or if Andrew really caught hold of something.  

    1. 1. R’s strong field effort (read: volunteers) compensated for his relative lack of funds to buy ads. Turns out that vacuous television spots aren’t always the only/best route to victory.

      2. What makes anyone think that Colorado is just waiting to vote for whomever Barack Obama says to vote for? Times change; this ain’t 2008 any more. NYT headline today says BO may help some Dems by staying away!

  23. Romanoff will be hampered by his no PAC pledge but the Teachers, Unions, Enviros and other 527’s along with the DSCC will fill the vacuum.

    Bennet is a good and decent guy who would probably be a leader in the Senate if he gets to go back.  Unfortunately, his campaign never really got off the ground.  Neither Romnanoff nor Bennet has been an angel.  It’s a tough game get over it.

    1. not accept their help?

      Will he break his word? DSCC is funded in great portion by PACs. When asked if he would accept help specifically from DSCC he said he would not accept help “outside”. Now maybe that is typical political double talk so that he can go back and say he never actually said “no”. But since they are funded by PACs it still leaves him in an awkward position.

  24. 100 comments on this already? It’s probably not even going to matter; this is a Republican year. As an outsider though I’d say that Romanoff is probably going to win (unfortunately). I do hope Bennet can chase down the mail in ballots with his money and steal the election from Romanoff.

    1. I’ve already got a bet with Laughing Boy that the ‘pubs will still be the minority party in both houses. Granted, that will depend on whether the Dems have the stones to forthrightly portray the GOP as beholden to the fucknuts in the tea party. That will scare a lot of middle road voters straight.

        1. When was the opposition party so batshit crazy at a time like this?

          Now, even so you may be right – usually the party in power gets beat up pretty bad in times like this, and the Dems know how to fuck up a sure thing, so fucking up a not-so-sure one is easier than falling off a log. But the ‘pubs STILL have no ideas, and I don’t know how their “No taxes” mantra is going to play to people who aren’t paying any because they have no job. If the Dems just point that out, with a liberal (pun not intended) sprinkling of teabagger and birther footage, sensible people in the middle won’t vote GOP.

          Now, the ‘pubs are sneaky little shits, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve been working on a plan but keeping it under wraps until the general campaign is in full swing. That way, it’s an alternative plan (finally!) that enough people will fall for, and also if it’s too close to the election there won’t be enough time for Dems to show why it’s a loser. (And if it’s a Republican plan, it WILL be a loser.)

          If that comes to pass, then yeah, say hello to Speaker Boner and Majority Leader Doofus from Kentucky. Til then, I’m optimistic.

      1. It would have been if McInnis hadn’t had the plagiarism charges come out. I think a lot of Repubs are taking a second look at Maes after realizing that the charges against him were exaggerated and put on a par with McInnis’s when they really weren’t that bad. Nobody really wants to vote for McInnis; those that do just think he’ll be replaced and they trust the vacancy committee (I don’t).

          1. That was a smear job that uneducated or uninformed Dems like yourself love to repeat. As far as the oil and gas industry, you should be begging forgiveness too.

            1. and despicable pandering.

              He agreed to the largest fine ever in campaign finance fraud violations in the state, used the campaign account as a personal piggy bank, and cannot keep his accounts straight.

              And you, of all people, calling another ‘uninformed’ is rather humorous.  

        1. Because Republicans don’t really know McInnis, Maes or the vacancy committee, they don’t know how to vote.

          Those of us who’ve followed McInnis and Maes don’t trust them and won’t vote for them under any circumstances.

          Nobody knows who’s on the vacancy committee. But of the 24 members, a large number are on the state GOP’s central committee. These are the folks who have either let Dick Wadhams lead them into a train wreck or have told him that a train wreck is exactly what they want.

          The point is, I think, the Republican voters who still have to cast their ballots are trying to figure out how to stop McInnis and Maes. Few voters understand the vacancy committee’s role, which is why they think some dictator will pick their candidate if McInnis/Maes wins the primary and then quits. Maes never will quit. Chances are growing that McInnis will if he’s given the chance to.

          I’m still expecting Gov.-elect Hickenlooper to get 45% to 55% of the vote or more. Tancredo will get 30% to 40%. McInnis or Maes will get the crumbs. They’ve peaked before the Democrats have even gotten a chance to take a shot at them.

          1. If you thought I was harsh… well just be prepared. As far as the governor’s race, one candidate must be marginalized for the other to succeed (between Maes and Tancredo). I think there’s a good chance Tancredo loses support rather than Maes. Maes will, as he puts it, bring together the conservative revolution and the Republican institution. The establishment will vote for him because they can’t bring themselves to not vote Republican, and he already has Tea Party support. The only people who support Tancredo are the one issue (immigration), big government, faux conservatives.

            1. By any measure he should be getting maybe 12% in the primary and then be forgotten. Everyone discounted him, everyone. Yet here he is looking to win the primary.

              If Maes wins, I think Hick should take him very seriously. Because somehow he does so much better than expected.

              1. Check out Ross Kaminsky’s interview with him at He came across as someone who is in way over his head. As Dick Wadhams says, Maes is a “joke.”

                I’ve heard Maes talk and answer questions many times and I’ve interviewed him a couple of times. He’s much more articulate than Scott McInnis but just as humorless. He doesn’t understand how government works or much care.

                He needs a job and somehow decided that he could run for governor and get away with embellishing his resume. I think that he should have quit last January when he first showed that he couldn’t hire or keep a good accountant and that he wasn’t keeping good fundraising or spending records. I thought he was toast in January and again in June, but here he is, the cat with 9 lives. I still think he’s toast.

                Voters don’t tolerate incompetence and fudging the truth the way Maes has.  

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