The poll we told you over the weekend was in the field from automated polling firm Public Policy Polling is out, and to whatever extent these early numbers say anything, it’s good for Democrats–especially if Republicans keep nominating “Tea Party” candidates. Is this evidence of the ‘crazy fatigue’ Dick Wadhams mentioned when announcing he was done with the Colorado GOP?
President Obama looks strong enough to win Colorado regardless of the name or ideology of the GOP’s headliner next year, but new results from PPP show that a candidate with a less conservative image would certainly have a better shot than one who embraces the Tea Party. [Pols emphasis] A generic Tea-Party Republican would fall to Obama in Colorado by a 53-41 margin, a bigger win for the president than the overall 51-44 he posts against any old generic Republican-but still closer than his leads over the two most conservative named candidates, Sarah Palin (19 points) and Newt Gingrich (14).
A moderate Republican, however, would pull the president under 50%, lagging only 48- 42, very similar to the generic ballot test and to moderate Mitt Romney’s six-point deficit. This matchup would send 14% of independents who were in Obama’s column against a Tea Partier to the undecided category, giving him only a 43-33 lead over the GOP’s more moderate nominee. But a centrist Republican would also cause slightly more Democrats to cross the aisle, and a few more Republicans to stay true to their party.
When asked if the GOP should nominate a moderate or conservative, independents favor the former by a 48-33 margin, but two-thirds of Republicans want a conservative, to only a quarter who prefer someone toward the center. [Pols emphasis]
“Colorado is one of the states Republicans have to flip if they want to take the White House next year,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But right now, President Obama looks just as strong in the states he won last time as he did then, and Colorado continues to show that it’s trending toward Democrats.”
Voters generally, and pivotal independent voters particularly, want a moderate: but Colorado Republicans want a hardcore conservative by a two-thirds margin. It’s deja vu: you’ve seen this exact same situation before, haven’t you? Before every election in this state since 2004, actually–and if that’s where we’re headed, you already know how the story ends.