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October 10, 2006 06:46 PM UTC

O'Donnell Closes on Perlmutter

  • by: Colorado Pols

Democrat Ed Perlmutter led Republican Rick O’Donnell by 17 points a few weeks ago, but it looks as though ROD has closed the gap. From The Denver Post:

Ed Perlmutter: 45
Rick O’Donnell: 39

Undecided: 11%


11 thoughts on “O’Donnell Closes on Perlmutter

  1. He had the exact same percentage, 45%, last week, and O’Donnell had 34%.  This is going to be an election based on local issues, no matter how hard Ed tries to make it about Bush.  This should get exciting!

    1. This one is the one to watch.  Rick (Howdy Doody) O’Donnell vs Ed (Focus on the Family)Perlmutter. Not exactly a blood sport (like Angie and Musgrave), but still interesting.

      1. Surely you don’t mean Dobson’s Focus On The Family?

        Ed is pro-choice, supports the CO domestic partnerships act, and is a strong advocate of expanded stem cell research.

        I guess this whole “Foley Fallout” thing is just a bunch of hype if Ed and Angie have lost some ground.

        Still, I doubt this is anything to worry about.  O’Donnell isn’t going to take a lead in this thing even if he did shore up a little support this week.  One poll the election does not make.

        1. They’ve either been with his kids or that one where he talks about how being a father has impacted his political decisions.  He also says “my faith teaches”, for what it’s worth. 

          The Foley Fallout’s gonna hurt Republicans who were in leadership position, like Tom Reynolds, who’s getting hit hard.  Musgrave hasn’t been much of a leader and CD7 is an open race.

          If I was Ed, I would be worried.  His lead is shrinking, by 11 points in two weeks, while the DCCC has been hammering O’Donnell, and O’Donnell’s still gaining.  This is going to come down to the wire. 

          1. I see what you mean. Still, I don’t like the idea of Ed even being latently associated with Dobson. Ed has religous beliefs, but I hope nobody is lumping him in with the religous-right – he’s as far away from that mode of thinking as it gets.

            I agree about Foley.  I’ve heard some pundits crowing about how this is going to swing elections all over the country, but I think you’re correct in your assesment that only the leadership will take big hits.  I feel that Musgrave should be  slipping from the scandal, as she has been a fervent anti-gay crusader all these years but has been pretty much mute on the scandal (so far as I know). 

            Iid want to see more polls in the 7th before I’m ready to say this was a truly competative race. Two days ago anybody you would have asked would have said that Ed is going to walk away with it.  One poll later everybody is telegraphing that it’s going to be neck and neck.  I don’t but it yet.  Ed’s been too strong so far, what has O’Donnell done differently to close the gap?

            1. Well, he raised his name ID.  It was pretty low in that first poll that showed Ed up 17 which is what everyone was basing their “Ed is running away with this” talk on.  I actually think that it’s possible O’Donnell benefited from the early DCCC Social Security ads.  His name ID was low, then the DCCC starts blasting his name, and unafiliateds are just starting to pay attention when O’Donnell goes on TV and issues that apology ad.  Now, it’s been mocked here, but it was aimed at older voters who put that issue up top.  O’Donnell’s ad was pretty starightforward, and that probably helped O’Donnell as well. 

              The reason that I think O’Donnell has really closed the gap is that Ed comes off as a generic candidate.  His family ads are generic and his “protect our kids from predators and violent video games” ad isn’t really that issue oriented.  Ed has also been getting hammered by O’Donnell on illegal immigration, which is a big issue, and I haven’t seen a single response piece on TV or his website.  That’s got to be keeping him from attracting unafiliated votets.  I don’t think Ed has run that strong a race.

              In the end, I think Ed’s early big lead came from ROD’s low name ID and general dissatisfaction with the GOP.  Look at that generic Dem/GOP ballot in USA Today.  The Dems are trouncing the GOP nationally.  What this means is that Ed has been unable to make this race about Bush.  Two days ago people said Ed had it in the bag based on the 17 point poll.  But if you look at the trend, 17 to 11 to 6, that’s a serious problem for Ed.  Two days ago, the Coventional Wisdom, as it often is, was wrong.  The race is won or lost with the unafiliated voters, and Ed hasn’t given them a reason to vote for him other than he’s the Democratic candidate.  That’s what Ed has done wrong.  And if he doesn’t find a real message other than his generic “change”, he’s in big trouble.

              1. I’m very much with you Dan, but with absentee ballots dropping this week, does Rick have time to really close the gap and overtake Ed?

                This Rocky article has some interesting details about absentee ballots:


                So it looks like each of the counties in the 7th think they will have over half the votes cast by absentee… Unless we catch Ed with a live boy or dead girl this month so that darn near every voter on election day votes for Rick, I’m just not sure how Rick can actually catch up.

                1. I think only like 14% of U’s vote absentee.  Most absentee voters are hard R’s or D’s who knew who they were voting for when they asked for an absentee ballott.  Ed’s not winning U’s overwhelmingly.  So the next four weeks are still where the election will be won, at least in CD-7.

              2. Ed has been a somewhat generic candidate, and ROD has had some help from the opposition getting his name out there, but this is still one of the most evenly divided districts in the state, and maybe the country. Anyone thinking a few days or even a week ago that this thing was in the bag for ed had a myopic view of this race. How much did BWB win the district by when he ran? 121 the first go round and then by roughly 2000 votes the second time is a clear indication that no matter what the polls show the winner in any given year will win by no more than a percentage point or two.

                Ed may not have given the undecideds a reason to vote for him, but in my view neither has ROD. Ed’s campaign has been generic, but ROD has his old writings to live down. I havent seen his apology ad, but his first ad was so plain vanilla that I was laughing out loud at his attempts to come across as the average guy.

                I think Ed is going to pull it out in the end, and the margin of victory will be small, if for no other reason than he is part of the “change.” In my opinion one or two new ads that showcase what change he will affect for his constituents will be enough. The big numbers he had early will dwindle some more, but that just means more people are taking an active interest in the vote. I’m still calling it for Ed.

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