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February 10, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Ritter Leads in Latest Public Gubernatorial Poll

  • 25 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Denver Post:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter likely would defeat Republican opponent Bob Beauprez if the election were held today, according to a poll conducted for The Denver Post.

In the battle between the two best-known candidates, Ritter leads by 6 percentage points, with 43 percent to Beauprez’s 37 percent. However, with more than eight months left until the general election, 20 percent of the 625 respondents are undecided on that matchup. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“This race is far from settled,” said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., which conducted the poll this week. “It appears neither one has really established themselves with voters.”

The poll shows that Ritter, who has been criticized by some in the Democratic Party for his stance against abortion rights, is ahead with female voters. Forty- six percent of women chose Ritter, a former Denver district attorney, compared with 31 percent for Arvada Congressman Beauprez. Among men, 43 percent backed Beauprez, while 40 percent supported Ritter.

Ritter also has siphoned away some Republicans, getting 13 percent of his support from GOP voters. In contrast, Beauprez has garnered only 5 percent of his backing from Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, Ritter is ahead by 7 percentage points.

This is obviously good news for Ritter, but among the three top candidates (including Bob Beauprez and Marc Holtzman), Ritter is the only one who has yet to really be attacked publicly. More importantly is that Beauprez’s negatives continue to be high, as they have been in previous polls; high negatives are a very hard thing to get rid of and should worry Beauprez’s campaign:

…Beauprez’s favorability ratings in the poll are one point higher than Ritter’s, but his unfavorable ratings are nearly seven times those of Ritter. Coker and others noticed a recent pattern of Republicans getting high negatives from Democrats in polls, mostly due to anger directed toward the Bush administration…

…The poll was commissioned before Hickenlooper announced he would not join the race. As a candidate, he would do slightly better against the Republicans than Ritter. Hickenlooper led the pack in the poll, beating Beauprez 48 percent to 32 percent and Holtzman by 24 percentage points.

Once Beauprez can characterize himself, political watchers say, he should define Ritter before the Democrat can do it himself.

“Beauprez absolutely must define Bill Ritter, but he also must be careful because his negatives are so low,” said GOP consultant Katy Atkinson. “They don’t want Ritter to appeal to the soft Republicans, the ones who voted for Bush and (Democratic U.S. Sen.) Ken Salazar and who supported Referendum C.”

It’s also interesting to note that reports that Hickenlooper was leading by a wide margin — including his own admission of seeing polls that had him far ahead — were probably pretty accurate.

Comments

25 thoughts on “Ritter Leads in Latest Public Gubernatorial Poll

  1. “It’s also interesting to note that reports that Hickenlooper was leading by a wide margin — including his own admission of seeing polls that had him far ahead — were probably pretty accurate.”

    ********************

    ROFL

    Well, I’ve gotta hand it to you, COPols, you sure are persistent.

  2. How do you use “shill”, Denver Post”, and “Ritter” all in the same sentence?  Easy…I just did.  Amazing to see how high the “journalists” at the Post jump when Singleton gets behind a candidate.

  3. Would somebody call over to the Beauprez headquarters and wake them up?  Fact after fact continues to point to problems.  And the campaign staff keeps signing that old country song, “Who are you gonna believe–me or your lyin’ eyes.”

  4. Come on guys – sounds like the repub’s are a little worried about this 😉

    The funny thing about politics and media is how everyone spins it their way.  I listen to 850 KOA for traffic updates in the morning and they talked about this poll.  April Zesbaugh totally tried to downplay the poll saying, “It’ll be interesting to see where the Post commissioned this poll, because you’d expect a democrat to be ahead in Denver”.  Hmmm….fair and balanced?  I think not! 

    I am definitely pro-choice, but Ritter’s a winner and he’s got my vote!

  5. Wow. Stick a fork in Holtzman. The Post poll even has Lindstrom beating him. Whats next? Maybe a poll will show him losing to “Un-named Democrat”. It’s incredibly clear that the race is shaping up as BB Vs. Ritter.

  6. This poll is consistent with every other poll I have seen over the last few months (privately commissioned polls, not commissioned by any candidate).

    The consistency is in the fact that both ways bob hovers between 35% and a high of 42% in the general depending on who the opposing Democrat is.  Humble Holtzman doesn’t even do that well.

    What is interesting about that 35-43% is that reflects the basic Republican registration.  The case could be made that BWB’s support in a general election is primarily from the Republican base.  He is not attracting any meaningful support beyond the base.  Certainly not all Republicans polled would support him and he undoubtedly gathers some support from some D’s and U’s but the 35-43% clearly means he is not attracting enough unaffiliate support to win.  You just can’t win without reaching out to swing voters, and right now that is not happening.

    This will be compounded as the primary rolls on, by BWB’s need to fend off Humble by turning even farther right.

    If this were the only poll to indicate these kinds of numbers, it could be written off.  Polls are, after all only a snapshot of a particular point in time.  But as I say, I have seen other polls spread over the last 6 months that are consistent with these numbers.

  7. “…The poll was commissioned before Hickenlooper announced he would not join the race. “

    *******************

    Gotta give credit to the DPost as well on this – they print the results of a poll they paid for, with Hickenlooper in the mix.

    Which invalidates everything – and anyone that’s taken Statistics 101 can understand how a poll can be rendered invalid by using either bad variables (in this case, Hick’s name in the poll) or unknown variables.

    It takes only an ounce of common sense and 1/2 ounce of intellectual honesty to see that this poll is invalid. 

    By publishing this poll, the DPost lets everyone know where they stand with regard to common sense and honesty.

  8. Message to Alice Madden from this poll:  We Colorado Dems don’t need “saving” from Bill Ritter’s candidacy…..we’re doing just fine.  Stay in the State House where you can do the most good.

  9. Message to Alice Madden from this poll:  We Colorado Dems don’t need “saving” from Bill Ritter’s candidacy…..we’re doing just fine.  Stay in the State House where you can do the most good.

  10. Message to Alice Madden from this poll:  We Colorado Dems don’t need “saving” from Bill Ritter’s candidacy…..we’re doing just fine.  Stay in the State House where you can do the most good.

  11. I think you read it just right, Coloradem.  Look at all the polls and you can see that Holtzman’s spoiler role, while not making him competitive, is dragging down Beauprez for the November matchup.  If Madden similarly starts trashing Ritter, then Beauprez would have a chance against Ritter — and, of course, would crush Madden in the unlikely event she won the nomination.  If Madden stays out, Ritter starts measuring the mansion for new curtains, Beauprez goes back to his dairy farm … or a new life on K street …
    and Holtzman moves to California to run for governor there if they recall Ahnold.

  12. Message to Alice Madden from this poll:  We Colorado Dems don’t need “saving” from Bill Ritter’s candidacy…..we’re doing just fine.  Stay in the State House where you can do the most good.

  13. They polled registered voters.  Shouldn’t they poll likely voters (those who will vote in non-presidential years).  These voters tend to be further to the left/right within their respective party.  The effect would be interesting to see, especially with Ritter’s stance on abortion.  Also, if you add Madden, she may poll better than people think, if you were to poll likely voters who also vote in primaries.  This is the real base, and will they vote for Ritter if someone further to the left is out there?

  14. “and Holtzman moves to California to run for governor there if they recall Ahnold.”

    ………..
    LOL

    Whoa !  Where’d THAT come from?

    (watch, by Tuesday COPols will have an article about it based on your post) “sources say…”

      ;^)

  15. Good points, EZMak.

    Registered voters were polled?  Big deal.  What was the voter turnout in 2004 (a POTUS election year) – 62%?
    And the turnout in 2002?  Less than 50%, or close to it?

  16. Colorado voter turnout in recent years(per Colorado Sec’y of State):

    2004:  88.37%  (Colorado’s highest ever)
    2002:  49.45%  (off-year election)
    2000:  66.8%
    1998:  59.52%  (off year)
    1996:  67.9%
    1994:  57.7%  (off year)
    1992:  79.7%

  17. And what I’m saying is that the drop off from 2004 to 2002 are moderates of both parties.  People on the far right/left are more likely to vote in off year elections.  Another great reason why Madden should get in and give it a go.

  18. I agree, EZ.  The people that vote consistently (in primaries and in off-year generals) are going to give the most accurate results. Registered voters include plenty of people that haven’t voted in years.

    Example:  the 2002 voter turnout – more than 50% of registered voters didn’t bother to vote – in spite of the new 7th District that was created, which (you’d think) would have created some buzz about the election.

  19. How many people were actually polled in these “latest polls”?
    My opinion is if you ask 100 people what they think and take that as gospel, you are wasting your time as I’m pretty sure there are more than 100 people in this state.
    Who are they asking and where are they living? Makes a big difference if you are going to use “polls” as a science.
    And the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News aren’t exactly dead center on issues. From everything I’ve heard if anything, they lean left.
    Can you say bias?

  20. Becky, I love your wit and perspective.  I know you aren’t hitting Post twice, but still keep getting two copies.  Two thoughts: Do you tink you might be double clicking on your mouse?–possibly just because it’s loose?  Or have you tried hitting post once and then clicking off as soon as the indicator at the bottom shows it is starting to post?  That[‘s what I do to reduce the double posts, just log off and log right back on.  In any event, hang in there, you’re a breath of fresh air with your grace and wit.

  21. Thanks Voyageur! 

    As for the double posts, they started after I got a lap top for Xmas.  I surmise it has something to do with the fact that it is networked to another computer, so there may be something with that. There is no mouse, but as soon as I click I have to get out of the page immediately to avoid triple and quadruple posts.  Apparently, I can’t get out fast enough to avoid the double.  Sigh. I know it’s annoying, but from the looks of it, I’m not the only one with this problem.

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