PPP: Tipton’s Vulnerability Grows Post-Shutdown

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

From Public Policy Polling's Jim Williams’ memo today:

A new round of post-shutdown polling shows that Democrats not only have anopportunity to take back the House of Representatives next year, but that they could win a sizable majority if voter anger over the shutdown carries into 2014.

Public Policy Polling has just completed surveys in an additional 25 GOP-held House districts, which means we have now surveyed a total of 61 such districts since the beginning of the government shutdown. The surveys were commissioned and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action.

Republicans will likely find this third round of surveys to be the most alarming yet, given that the new results show substantial Republican vulnerability in many districts that were not even supposed to be close. Incumbent Republicans trail generic Democrats in 15 of the 25 districts we most recently surveyed. This means generic Democrats lead in 37 of 61 districts polled since the beginning of the government shutdown. Democrats only need to net 17 seats in order to retake the House.

In Colorado, this latest round of polling focused on Colorado's Third District, a perennially competitive battleground presently held by sophomore Rep. Scott Tipton. Here are the poll questions–Tipton enjoys a 28% approval rating, with 51% disapproving. A generic Democratic opponent leads Tipton 48-42%. 62% of CD-3 respondents say shutting down the federal government to stop health care reform was a bad idea. 53% of respondents say that Tipton's role in the recent shutdown controversy would make it less likely they would support him. And when respondents are asked again after the shutdown questions who they would support in CD-3, support for the generic Democrat rises to 50%.

Since the end (until January) of the government shutdown last week, pundit discussion has turned to the lasting political damage done to Republicans after their failure to achieve their goals. At this point, we don't know what the 2014 CD-3 race will look like, because there's no opponent. Prior to last week, Democrats were wholly preoccupied with the CD-6 race against Rep. Mike Coffman–and CD-3 had moved, at least for the present, to the back burner.

If this poll showing new opportunity after the GOP's shutdown fiasco is right, that's probably about to change.

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    I'm ready to believe but who's the candidate? When I heard Gail Schwartz was not running I kind of wrote this race off.

    Let's unwrite it off!

    • Moderatus says:

      Schwartz declined because she is smart. One wishful thinking poll won't be enough to dislodge Tipton. Your best shot was in 2012, and all you could muster was Sal Pace. Now you've missed the chance.

      • Miss Jane says:

        Well, at least he did vote to reopen the government.  How well the rest of this plays out, we'll just have to wait to see. There are a whole lot of people very unhappy with Lamborn in El Paso County right now.  These coming months will be very interesting to watch.

      • BlueCat says:

        Don't know why you say the best shot was in 2012 as opposed to right now.   It certainly hasn't been one poll, one time showing the continuing decrease in GOTP approval. Meanwhile Obama's numbers, while nothing to write home about, have held steady and I always check Real Clear polling every day and several days during the last couple of weeks Rassie, of all pollsters, has even shown Obama's job approval in positive territory. In spite of Hannity's fantasy generic Dem has been consistantly out polling generic R.  Taking all this stuff together I wouldn't be so quick to say none of it means anything.

        Nope, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of a Dem win in CD3 or of the whole House out of hand just yet. Nor would I bet the farm on either outcome. Lots of stuff can happen between now and then. A strong well funded Dem could emerge in plenty of time. The TPers could piss even more people off including more big donors, who might conclude that they can't prevent TP primary wins in time for 2014 elections so they'd just as soon wait it out and let more Dems, who are mostly pretty damn Wall Street friendly anyway, win.  Who knows? You may turn out to be the one doing the wishful thinking. wink

        • BlueCat says:

          Sorry. Forgot to do the blue thing.

        • Moderatus says:

          Traditionally, the best shot at an incumbent is their first re-election. It gets much harder to unseat an incumbent the longer they are there.

          • Davie says:

            Unless they are a Tea Party Republican with a 28% approval rating.'

            Now we've both stated the obvious.

          • BlueCat says:

            All other things being equal, Modster. This time maybe they aren't. My highest hopes are for CD6, though. Even though Coffman is not a freshman incumbent either. His CD kind of is. 

            Tipton sure does look like a goober though, doesn't he?  Admit it. He could be the son of Howdy Doody. The older folks will know what I'm talking about if you don't.

            If "shit eating grin" ever appears in a dictionary, this photo would be perfect for it.

  2. MapMaker says:

    I wish there were polling numbers that would encourage someone to run against our congressman from Weldistan. He really doesn't understand how unseemly it is to both crow about the "accomplishments" of the government shutdown while simultaneously whining about how it's all Obama's fault.

  3. vertigo700 says:

    These are bad numbers. Compare them to Mike Coffman's polling numbers from a few weeks ago and they look similarly dire. In fact, the are worse. Coffman had a 31/47 approval/disapproval rating, wheras Scott Tipton has 28/51 approval/disapproval. I suppose part of that is just the polls were taken at different times with Tipton's taken later after people became even more annoyed at the ungoing mess. But those are still terrible numbers for Tipton, especially considering the party identifications..more Republicans were interviewed than Democrats.

    Obviously, this is just one poll, but it's undesputably a very bad poll for Tipton. He looks as bad or even worse than Mike Coffman. If we are assuming Coffman is vulnerable we should very well start assuming the same about Scott Tipton. Especially if newer polls confrim this result.

    What is Angela Giron doing nowadays?

  4. mamajama55 says:

    The PPP poll is very encouraging!

    I'd like to see a moderate Dem, or even an unaffiliated moderate, probably male, without significant vote history on firearms or abortion, but articulate on environmental and energy issues, run in CD3. The gender of the candidate is probably not as important as their being perceived as understanding rural life.

    2014 is not the year for Senator Giron to take CD3. She was too damaged by the recall. She could easily win her old seat back next year, after Mr. Rivera keeps focusing on guns, guns, guns. 2016 would be the year to expand political horizons. Giron really is an extraordinarily capable public servant.



  5. The realist says:

    I'm convinced there is a Dem candidate somewhere in CD3 with the stature and clout to beat Tipton – but whoever they are they've got to jump into the race yesterday. It's a large, difficult district in which – as in so many places – the Repubs all vote R, so a Dem or unaffiliated candidate will have to work very hard, raise a lot of money. and be a standout personality.

  6. vertigo700 says:

    What about Mike McLachlan? A Vietnam War veteran who is married to a former Colorado "Teacher of the Year." Didn't they try to recall him, but failed because of lack of signatures? Suggests maybe he's got some solid support from his home community. Durango wouldn't be a bad place to base a campaign either. City is growing and seems to embrace progressive policies. 

    I understand the hesitancy to take on Tipton given the poor performance of Sal Pace last year, but with polls like this, I expect someone to come forward soon. Maybe Mike McLauchlan is the guy.

    Also lets remind the tourist-focused communities of CO-3, that Scott Tipton voted for a shutdown that caused three national parks in his district to close. That's not good for his district's economy. 

    • Duke Cox says:

      I want to see Tipton introduce a bill that would forbid the sale of Americas' natural gas to foreign countries. Not only is the plan to establish a viable export market a blow to American national security, but it will eventually drive up the price we pay for gas…. wrong on every level.

      Congressman Tipton should be leading the charge to protect Americas' resources from foreign interests. 

      American Energy for Americans!!

    • mamajama55 says:

      Mclachlan would be a good choice. If he challenges Tipton, though, get ready for some serious NRA backed attack ads and campaign money, pounding him for his votes on the gun control legislation.

      Basic Freedom Defense Fund has kind of retreated from El Paso county back into Durango. They sent out a duelling questionnaire to legislators that has completely fizzled, since Brown's Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has already got a stable of legislators in pocket. It's a safe bet that they would reactivate if Mclachlan made a run for CD3, and Dems would have to be ready for stiff opposition.

      The recall committee against Mclachlan still has about $2000 on hand. They wouldn't be allowed to use it in an actual electoral campaign, though.

  7. Sunmusing says:

    Just a thought…how about someone from the western slope run against Tipton? We have got to have someone, anyone…Tipton has abused his trust, and has continued to support policies that hurt Coloradians…

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