New Polling Shows Bennet, Norton Ahead, GOP Gov. Tossup

New polling out this morning from Public Policy Polling has some interesting numbers across the board in the three top-ticket Primaries in Colorado:

U.S. Senate (Democrats)

Michael Bennet: 49%

Andrew Romanoff: 43%

Undecided: 9%

U.S. Senate (Republicans)

Jane Norton: 45%

Ken Buck: 43%

Undecided: 12%

Governor (Republicans)

Scott McInnis: 41%

Dan Maes: 40%

Undecided: 19%

It looks like all of these races are going to come down to the turnout numbers, with higher turnout favoring Bennet, Norton and McInnis (because these three have the highest name ID in their respective races). The Secretary of State’s office will release the latest turnout figures after 3:00 p.m. today, so check back here for that update.

110 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. StrykerK2 says:

    And seniors at a 3rd.  Interesting.

  2. TCU2011 says:

    I expect the people in the lead now will win but it may be well into the night before we know for sure who is winning.

    I do think that Romanoff is a bit closer than that but the late push by Bennet may have gotten him up to that number.

    Scott still wins and Norton will win because Buck has destroyed himself this last 2 weeks by talking.  If he had just been quiet he would have won.

  3. Aggie says:

    This late in the race it makes most sense to look at which way polls are trending, especially in races that are within the MOE/undecided span.

    AKA, bad news for Bennet.  

    • Ralphie says:

      Bennet’s favorables are well over 50 percent.  As an incumbent, that’s where you want to be.

    • TCU2011 says:

      With only one day left, if Bennet is indeed up 6 trends won’t make that up.  Its going to be that 9% undecided.  As Ralphie said its about how much they break.  Bennet is pretty happy with this position a day before the election.  

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Last week a Survey USA poll had Romanoff up four, while a Bennet internal poll released to the media had Bennet ahead by 4. This poll has Bennet ahead by 6. By your logic, Aggie, this would be good news for Bennet. In fact, Bennet is the only one of the three leaders in this poll that is outside the margin of error (+/- 4.6%).

      But as we said above, these races are all going to come down to turnout.  

      • Libertad says:

        The final turnout can’t influence the fact that Senator Bennet will win his first election.

        It looks like Romanoff’s Bennet voter education effort couldn’t engage the majority to vote for against the Senator.

      • SouthDem says:

        If the margin of error is 4.6, and the margin between Bennet and Romanoff is 6, that is WITHIN the margin of error.  (In other words, if you adjust Romo up 4.6, and Bennet down 4.6, Romo is ahead — that’s what a MOE means.)

        • jpsandscl says:

          I always thought it was the other way too! thanks for the little tutorial and motivation to Google it.


        • Voyageur says:

          it’s just as likely that Bennet is 15.2 percent ahead.   You can play that adjustment both ways.  Also, as Ralphie noted, these numbers are at the 95 five percent confidence level.  Thus, there is only one chance in 20 that AR is 4.6 percent higher — and another 1 in 20 that Bennet is 4.6 lower.  For both AR to be up 4.6 and Bennet down 4.6, the chance is just one in 400  — the same 1 in 400 chance that Bennet has to be up 15.2 pct.


      • Voyageur says:

        As I predicted, I think Bennet’s counterattack, based on the Denver Post editorial slamming Romanoff for politics at its most cynical, triggered a backlash of anti AR votes.  Assuming all three polls were accurate, you see Romanoff gaining 20 points in five weeks based on a strident negative campaign, then dropping about 10 points as Bennet counterattacks.

          Trend is to Bennet.  Turnout is high, which helps Bennet.  Bennet seems to have a much more effective GOTV (my wife was contacted 6 times by Bennet , zippo by AR.)

          We’ll know soon enough, but right now, the Romanoff campaign seems headed straight down Mike Miles Boulevard.  

      • Aggie says:

        can you honestly say that the polls aren’t trending in Romanoff’s direction?  While this survey shows a little push-back from the previous Survey USA poll, the trend is clearly in Romanoff’s favor.  

        And FWIW, this comment really isnt some sort of spin, just some commentary.  

    • Craig says:

      That might have been true if everyone was voting tomorrow, but the reality is that 2/3′ of voters have already voted.  These late polls mean nothing and the undecided’s are people who aren’t going to vote for the most part.

      • Libertad says:

        The next questions are:

        Will the DSCC deliver Bennet the chips he needs to compete or has AR done LT damage?

        What AR going to do follow Middleton to a mystery job in Cali?

  4. ProgressiveVoter says:

    1. How does the mail-in vote factor here? How many people haven’t voted? Of those who have voted already, who is in the lead (MB or AR)?

    2. On undecided voters … given that people have had ballots for a couple of weeks, it seems to me that undecided voters are probably just not going to vote at all, so I don’t see them breaking one way or the other. But I am obviously just guessing.

    3. Name recognition right at the end. This also seems like a toss-up in that I don’t think either candidate can claim name recognition as a strength.

    This poll doesn’t seem to really hurt either candidate, so I am kind of glad that it looks like it’s up to GOTV to decide the primary.

  5. State Line says:

    primary – 1 in 5 GOP primary voters still undecided?

    ‘Wow’ if true! Esp this late in the mail-in voting….

    Sounds like a high level of (understandable) GOP in-house disgust. Suppose those folks will mostly not vote.  

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      It is possible that mainstream Democrats are holding for Bennet and still support the Obama administration.  The end of combat operations in Iraq August 1st went without notice but it is another indication that we’re making progress and need to stay the course.

      The Republican rank and file know that their votes don’t count so why bother.  McInnis has probably already printed up the lottery tickets for his spot.  Nothing like making a profit turning over the bridge of the Titanic.

      • State Line says:

        ‘end of combat operations’ in Iraq. But your point still stands: things in-country are better now than they were a year ago, better than 2 years ago too.

        We’ll likely still take some casualties between now and December 2011 when all US forces are slated to be out of Iraq – a date that may also slip, but maybe not.

        Bottom line is: Obama’s extricating us from W’s Excellent Adventure in a methodical manner.

        No easy task, given a still-high level of internal violence, and Iraq’s ever-lurching politics (which makes Colorado politics look utterly paradisical in contrast).

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I read where they were shipping tanks and equipment back as early as last fall.

          The Iraqi politics are not good with Maliki stonewalling Allawi over a transition in governments but we can only hope at this point that they can peacefully resolve their differences.  You look at the arc of this countries fortunes and it took a big nose dive after the invasion.  Clearing away the rubble of Republican misrule has been a difficult task with enormous risks.  It is kind of like the Gulf spill where the best you can do is try to contain the damage and work on restoration.  What an unnecessary waste.

          • State Line says:

            As for Iraq’s post-election jockeying for power, it’s not unlike what typically happens in a number of western European multiparty parliamentary polities, such as Belgium and Italy. (Or Israel, for that matter.)

            In which it can take many months after an election before a new gov’t is formed via a protracted coalition building process.

            In Iraq’s case of course, the instability consequences of such dithering are far more severe.

            That said, warts and all, it’s still the most nearly democratic of any Arab country.

  6. ohwilleke says:

    I seriously doubt that Bennet does.  This is a man that wasn’t in Colorado politics in a visible way two years ago, and his service in the Senate has not been particularly flashy.

    Norton probably does have a name recognition edge over Buck (with voters having real trouble recalling which Norton in Colorado politics is which).

    But, the large number of undecided voters in the Republican U.S. Senate primary really shows how lukewarm support is for both candidates, and the McInnis-Maes numbers likewise indicate intense mutual disgust with both candidates.

    It is already clear that turnout will be high this year (probably as much due to the predominance of mail-in ballots as the heat of the primary races themselves).  But, it isn’t obvious to me that the increased turnout does much to favor one candidate or the other.

    The real challenge now for the candidates is identifying supporters and getting them to vote.  This GOTV ground game matters more than absolute turnout levels.

    • Splitting Hairs says:

      Dude, have you been following the numbers? There ain’t much vote left to get out…

      Here is the votes returned as reported here last Friday:

      *Party/ Ballots Returned Thus Far/ Total Active Voters/ Percent Returned

      Republicans: 269,646/ 855,667/ 32%

      Compare to historic levels:


      2008: 239,212 votes case (Bob Schaffer, Senate)

      2006: 193,804 votes cast (Bob Beauprez, Governor)

      2004: 335,431 votes cast (Pete Coors/Bob Schaffer, U.S. Senate)

      Most of the votes are already in ohwilleke. GOTV won’t mean a thing in influencing tomorrow’s vote. Why don’t you go out and do a honk-n-wave for Scotty. It will make you feel better.

      • SouthDem says:

        While the vast majority of the state is all-mail ballot, there are still significant pockets where this is a traditional election.  Specifically, according to the SOS, this is NOT a mail ballot in Weld (Vote Center) and El Paso (Polling Place), as well as several smaller and mid-size counties (Summit, Pitkin, etc.).

        Check out the map here:…  

        • Ralphie says:

          Changes every year.  Each year, an increasing number of people request to be put on the “permanent mail ballot” list.  Even vote-center and polling-place counties have early voting.

          There are people left to vote, to be sure, but people have enough options so the number is likely to be fairly small.

      • LakewoodTodd says:

        Yes, 32% have voted. But I think it will be fascinating to look for the possible undervote at the TOP of the Republican ticket.

  7. Half Glass Full says:

    I’ve kept hearing how Norton has been five to nine points behind Buck for weeks now. And this poll has her a little bit ahead? Seems odd.

    Then again, PPP is light years more reliable than Rasmussen.

    • StrykerK2 says:

      or maybe it shows some oddities in the poll on a larger level?  This shows Bennet/Norton better than expected — both the DC choice for candidate.

      Well I suppose we can continue navel gazing — but we will know tomorrow night regardless.

    • BlueCat says:

      Norton neck and neck with Buck. Which pretty much reflects my preference as a Dem.    

      • Voyageur says:

        I’m rooting for Norton, predicting Buck.

          • Voyageur says:

            and also regard her as more moderate.  But the reality is that the Congressional Rs are so in thrall to the drown gummint in a bathtub types that she’d vote with McConnell on everything important, just like Buck.  So, maybe its best to have the R who is on record stating that the birthers are dumbasses.

            • State Line says:

              Republican anymore.

              The Dems run the gamut from Ben Nelson to Anthony Weiner.  While the Rs run from Jim DeMint to Sarah Palin (to Basil Marceaux, lest we forget).

              It’s too bad, actually.

              • Voyageur says:

                and Richard Lugar.  On Kagan, we also had Lindsay Graham.  But the shame is that on key stuff, even Snow and Collins followed Tea Party orders.  They have now become, to update the 20s leftist jibe,

                   “A pacifist between wars and a vegetarian between meals.”


                • State Line says:

                  first off, I’d say Lindsay G. hardly qualifies as a ‘moderate’, just a (slightly)less rabid conservative than the R Senate caucus as a whole.

                  As for Lugar, Snowe & Collins, on how many votes this Congress have they split from McConnell & Co?

                  Fewer than 1% maybe? That’s what it takes to qualify as a ‘moderate’ Republican these days?

                  You see FAR more Dem Senate divergence from Leader Reid’s preferences than on the R side. Ditto in the House.

                  Think my broader point stands: Dems span a FAR broader ideological spectrum than do Rs.  

                  Like the quote, it’s a good one.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    Hell, voting for Kagan was meaningless, once the Rs agreed not to filibuster.  I shame for Snowe/Collins is that they’ve upheld so many shameful filibusters including, iirc, not extending unemployment benefits, etc.

                      I’d rather have a flat out Jim DeMint type, who makes no bones about being a neanderthal.

  8. reubenesp says:

    AR’s campaign is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    • Voyageur says:

      The GOTV in question isn’t generic.  You canvass, by foot or phone, to identify those who support you or are at least neutral.  Those who lean to or definitely support your foe, you leave strictly alone.  Then, you make sure you get your leaners and suppoorters to cast their vote.   the notion is that a higher overall turnout helps Bennet…maybe it does.  But clearly getting Romo people out to vote helps Romo and Bennet people to vote helps Bennet.  

        That’s different from november efforts like Rockthe vote, etc., that just try to increase generic turnout.

        Again, I’m using a small sample — our own household.  But we’ve been buzzed six times by Bennet and not at all by AR, which therefore doesnt even have the list of me and my wife down as Bennet folks that they would have if they had made the initial contact.

  9. inkorrekt says:

    Jane  had not only disgraced herself  but also has  tarnished herself as a  dirty woman. She has lied about Ken Buck’s position on Illegal immigration. It is unfortunate that she has associated herself with the big RINO MAVERICK who had crafted a BIG AMNESTY BILL.

    She will betray Colorado even if she gets elected. She will carry the blood of the innocent for the rest of her life. Shame on Jane and the RINO MCCain

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