5-Point Udall Lead Curiously Spun By Denver Post

In the strictest sense of the word “reporting,” the Denver Post reports:

Democrat Mark Udall still leads among Colorado’s likely voters, but his Republican rival, Bob Schaffer, is narrowing the gap, according to a Denver Post poll.

Udall, who had been up by as many as 10 percentage points in previous polls, is favored by 43 percent of registered voters surveyed, to Schaffer’s 38 percent.

But with 14 percent of respondents saying they haven’t made up their minds less than a month before the election, it’s clear the race is much tighter than it appeared to be over the summer, said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research…

Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, even said he is “ecstatic” that the Republican has cut Udall’s lead in half. [Pols emphasis]

“Voters are starting to cut through the negative attacks against Bob Schaffer and seeing him as a mainstream candidate,” Wadhams said.

Here’s the problem: the overall polling curve has had Udall in a trading range between 4 and 8 percent above Schaffer for months. In August, for example, multiple polls showed Udall with a six point lead. There have been outliers in both directions, but the overall trend is clear. Schaffer’s campaign knows this, and so does Post reporter Karen Auge. And still we get this breathless story about ‘big poll movement’ in the Senate race.

Like we say, it’s a little curious, and it seems to be increasingly the case that curiously spun stories like this one are penned by accomodating Post reporters.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Half Glass Full says:

    And as for Wadhams, well, whaddaya expect: he HAS to say he’s “ecstatic.” Regardless of party, it’s gotta be tough when you’re in the last weeks of an obviously losing campaign and have to put up a brave front.

  2. redstateblues says:

    How does the state GOP go about firing him when he loses every single election in Colorado?

  3. reefsaver says:

    Who wrote this article? What planet have you been living on? The Denver Post has been so biased against Schaffer this year that I am emabarrassed for them.

    Schaffer is running against a big dirty smear campaign funded excessively by out-of-state donors with a much, much larger agenda, which will have Udall under their thumb if he wins.

    Karen Auge, the Denver Post reporter, tries to write a balanced article and ColoradoPols claims bias. Pretty fishy.  

    • redstateblues says:

      Do you even watch TV? Between the US Chamber of Commerce, Freedom’s Watch, the NRSC and the others I’m forgetting, there is no doubt who has been fighting an uphill battle against the smears.

      And Schaffer is under the thumb of the oil companies, it’s so obvious to anyone who isn’t in the bag for him already. As you apparently are.

      • reefsaver says:

        Is that where you get your information?

        Painting oil companies as the bad guy is too economically clueless to even dignify with comment. But I will anyway. Working in the energy industry is not a crime. Udall, Obama etc are bashing Exxon-Mobil for their profit margin during their campaigns, and they are simply capitalizing on people’s ignorance. Exxon’s profit margin is about 8% by the way, which isn’t squat in such a technically-intensive industry. Oil is part of the solution to our energy independence, but frankly I’m against offshore drilling, I’d rather reduce demand and build more mass transit. And no, Bob should not have supported subsidies to the oil companies, because it’s not a free market approach. But oil was $30 a barrell when he did, so it wasn’t because he was “under their thumb.” Those oil subsidies aren’t the only travesty– did you see that fat farm bill Salazar is so proud of?

        I’ve never worked in petroleum and I support Schaffer because he understands what this country needs regarding education, technology, and fiscal responsibility. And because I don’t believe everything I read in the Denver Post or anything that ProgressActionNow releases.

        The Democrats are going in the wrong direction. Do you want to explain to me how raising taxes like Obama Udall, Pelosi, Reed and the rest of the Democrats want will help this economic situation we are in? And don’t blame it on Bush; I don’t like him and never have, but he has had virtually nothing to do with this current crisis. This started under Clinton. Just like the technology bubble that crashed and sent the stock market down to 8,000. Way lower than it is today.  

          • reefsaver says:

            We all need to go to work for the government. Great benefits, and you can’t get fired. Let others take the risks, and the government takes a cut. Unbelievable.

            Bob is right. While I wouldn’t use the word “modest” to describe the profits, it is true that 8% is not unreasonable. These companies are owned by institutional investors mostly anyway. It’s the excessive executive compensation that must be addressed, not profit margins.

            Let me add a word on bailouts– wasn’t it GM that lobbied Denver to remove all of its trolley lines in the 1930s and 40s so they could sell more cars? Now they’re getting whacked and I’ll bet they want a bailout too. Just say NO.  

        • redstateblues says:

          Is that the negative advertising against Udall is far more prevalent on the airwaves than the anti-Schaffer ads.

          I agree with you, though, that mass transit and reducing demand are real ways of digging ourselves out of the energy hole.

          • reefsaver says:

            I haven’t paid real close attention to the TV ads. But the Udall camp asked for it by all the smears they started last spring. I mean really, claiming that a serious Catholic “looked the other way” on forced abortions? That’s personally insulting, and how could someone even go about proving he didn’t? It may be a good attack strategy, but it is abysmal ethical standards by the Democrats. So if they hit Udall a little hard now, he can’t cry about it, it would be hypocritical and whiny. If you’re going to dish it out, you have to be able to take it.

            I used to know Udall’s dad. Nice guy. Too liberal. Too much of a tax-and-spender. That’s the wrong economic approach now. The government needs to increase its efficiency, not its size.  

            • redstateblues says:

              that was a 527 group. By law they are completely separate.

              For me, tax-and-spend is much more preferable to the current Bush Admin policy of cut taxes and spend like there’s no tomorrow.

              And showing Mark Udall’s picture directly next to pictures of some of our worst enemies and other unsavory characters is far from hitting him “a little hard”. Of course, that was the US Chamber of Commerce, not the Schaffer campaign. It’s important to point out that the two are not one in the same.

              My biggest problem with Bob Schaffer, aside from his stance on most social issues, is his unwillingness to reach out across the aisle. We have had way, way too much partisan bickering in the US Senate over the last eight years. I feel that Mark Udall would be a better Senator because he does not demonize the members of the other party in the way that Schaffer does.

              Schaffer doesn’t only act that way to other politicians, he is callous and snooty to even those of us he might be representing. At the first Udall-Schaffer debate, he refused to acknowledge that the people supporting Udall were from all over Colorado and not just Boulder. When you have a mindset that anyone who disagrees with you is a “Boulder liberal” you not only push away people who might have supported you, but you make something that doesn’t need to be partisan just that.

              I’m no gigantic Udall lover, I just think he is a better fit to go to Washington to represent Colorado.

              • reefsaver says:

                Vote Udall if he fits you better. But the 110th Congress has a 9% approval rating and Udall wants a promotion. Doesn’t make sense to me. The years Schaffer was in Congress were much better for America. Schaffer is the actual change candidate this year, though the Presidential race dynamics don’t help him much in making that point. The last 8 years of partisan bickering you mention didn’t include much Schaffer. He’s been gone since 2003. I’m siding with the 59% of Americans who want the entire Congress thrown out.

                Bob was picking on the Boulder-ites and other Udall supporters at the Wildlife Experience debate, but I think they need a little more sense of humor. He was just joking. He is very approachable, just go talk to him.

                Bob needed to moderate a bit on a couple of social issues, and I think he has. That’s true conservatism anyway. A real conservative believes in maximizing freedom, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Some in the party seem to have not learned that. Bob is about as non-discriminatory a person as there is, and for that he should be credited.

                But the main issue to me is that Bob is an actual fiscal conservative. You are correct–Bush’s “don’t-tax-and-spend” policies were idiotic and intended to enrich the power structure. It worked. To the detriment of all of us. Hopefully the $700B Bailout to Nowhere was the last bad Bush idea we’ll have to endure.

                Bob isn’t supportive of these Bush policies, he is the real deal when it comes to fiscal conservatism (except for the oil subsidies.) And that is really the approach we need in this economic climate. There aren’t any other viable alternatives other than control spending and slowly climb out of this. This is a real economic downturn but it is not the end of the free world.

                I didn’t see the ad with Udall next to unsavory characters. No idea what that was about.


    • nonlawyerlobbyist says:

      has become increasingly disappointing.  With its endorsement of MM over Betsy Markey yesterday, would anyone be totally shocked if it endorses Bob Schafer — or John McCain?  Remember, these are the same Einsteins who endorsed the Current Occupant — twice!

    • Colorado Pols says:

      is not synonymous with “based on crap.”

      • bmenezes says:

        It claims Schaffer narrowed the gap compared with previous polls but cites no substantiation for that claim; it didn’t even cite the specific finding of the previous Mason-Dixon poll for the Post, which would have been the only real basis for making that claim.

        Further, it buried — buried — the data showing that Schaffer’s “unfavorable” rating has soared since the last Post poll. It then compounded that problem by quoting the pollster Coker as surmising that the unfavorable ratings rose — only 3 percentage points for Udall but 18 points for Schaffer — because of “the barrage of negative ads each side has been firing at the other.”

        WTF? If each side has been firing negative ads at the other and Schaffer’s unfavorable rating rose six times as much as Udall’s during the polling period, what should that tell the pollster or, even more so, the freaking reporter or editors of this story at the Post??? Does that fact combined with the overall poll finding really show Schaffer has narrowed the gap?

        God’s Holy Trousers, does anybody even copy edit at the Post any more??? It’s apparent they don’t do any content editing…

  4. Mason-Dixon is a highly respected polling organization – along the Mason-Dixon line out East.  This year they’re getting in to polling more states, but I don’t think they’ve quite gotten the hang of Colorado yet.

    Their last poll, in mid-August, was the +10 outlier the Post article relies on to push its drama story.  This time they come in on the low side, more conservative on both this race and on the Obama-McCain race than Rasmussen’s latest figures.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    except it favors Schaffer.  Go figure.

  6. WritterWrocks says:

    Senator Allard’s daughter just endorsed Udall [Caren Allard-Campbell, married to the son of Senator Ben NH Campbell].  She said it’s time for statesmanship and that the state party’s favor with the religious right is destroying what’s left of the GOP in Colorado.  

  7. themonk77 says:

    Notice the trolls do not comment on local races or issues?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      to be incurious.

      They have to spend so much time memorizing their talking points that they don’t have time to explore the world with an open mind.

      Reefermadness is a good example.

      • redstateblues says:

        I don’t think reefsaver is a troll. He actually acquiesced on one or two points, and trolls never do that.

        He also said that reducing executive compensation is a good idea, and that we need mass transit and demand reduction to make a dent in energy prices. I agree wholeheartedly with both of those points.

        • themonk77 says:

          He’s dealing with local issues.  Might not agree, but he’s not parroting.  Whereas the current jr high crowd is only going after the national talking points.

          • redstateblues says:

            I completely agree with your theory. The trolls who comment on the presidential race are 99% not from here, and therefore have no interest in commenting on local issues.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        My apologies for missing the obvious distinction.  Perhaps a better way to identify the out of state agitators is to call them McCain zombies.  The dead following the dead.

  8. Canines says:

    Who is Mark Udall’s campaign manager?

    I never see that person’s name mentioned in any articles on Udall — unlike Wadhams’ name getting mentioned in every single article on Schaffer. (You’d think Wadhams was running for office, himself.)

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