With Hillary Pulling Away, What Happens Down The Ballot?

Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton.

As the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning reports, there’s really no longer any doubt:

Hillary Clinton holds a 10-point lead over Donald Trump among likely Colorado voters, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released Wednesday…

It’s the sixth consecutive poll that shows Clinton comfortably ahead in Colorado, which has been considered a swing state in recent elections.

In the poll, which was conducted Aug. 9-16, Democrat Clinton beats Republican Trump with the support of 49 percent of likely Colorado voters to his 39 percent. In a four-way race, Clinton leads Trump 41-33 percent, with 16 percent for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 7 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Colorado voters appear to have highly unfavorable opinions about both Clinton and Trump, although that’s a contest Trump is winning by about 10 points.

Quinnipiac University’s polling in Colorado is notorious for overestimating Republican strength, especially early polling from them more useful as GOP-leaning propaganda than any kind of accurate barometer. In this case, however, Q-Pac is tracking only a few points right to what the other recent polls all show in Colorado–a large and growing lead for Hillary Clinton.

In the absence of anything on the horizon to change the trajectory of the presidential race, the next logical question is how the growing likelihood of a Clinton landslide victory will affect races down the ballot. Republicans have more or less conceded the U.S. Senate race to incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet at this point, so the line of defense for them begins with the two congressional races considered pickup opportunities for Democrats: Scott Tipton in CD-3 and Mike Coffman in CD-6. From there, Colorado Republicans face a major challenge holding their one-seat majority in the state senate–with everything coming down to an all-in Trump-supporting conservative running in a swing suburban district.

For all of their perennial bravado Republicans have generally had their backs against the wall electorally in this state since 2004, when a resurgent Democratic coalition took what has proven to be enduring control of the state legislature. Since 2004 Democrats have won consistently at the top of the ticket, and fought to the last vote even in the biggest “GOP wave years” of the Obama presidency.

In 2016, the scenarios for Republicans in Colorado range from honorable defeat to wholesale destruction. The difference relies on the degree to which local Republicans can convince voters to split the ticket–a nightmarish political position to be in.

For Democrats, it’s the greatest opportunity to run up the score since the “Colorado Model” became a thing.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    Well, I don't agree with those who say that Tipton is in greater danger than Coffman. I'd love to see them both go but I think Morgan has the edge on Coffman. Gail's fundraising is very encouraging…let's win them both!

    • BlueCat says:

      Let's but ColPols's 50/50 is over optimistic for either race at this point.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Salazar getting reengaged should benefit Dems in CD 3.  Yuugely popular politician on the Western Slope.

      • BlueCat says:

        Yes he is. Always got lots of cross over Republican votes in his elections. Of course that’s a black mark against him with progressives who don’t remember how Dems first took over the congressional delegation and both chambers of the state legislature with candidates like Salazar who could get some of the Republican vote.

        They’ll also say well they’re just just as bad as Republicans so who cares. But they won’t ever be able to demonstrate any majority Dem body passing legislation anywhere near as toxic as that passed by every single majority Republican legislative body at every level in this country. Every one of the supposedly just as bad as Republican Dems they vilify is responsible for good legislation we’d never have gotten out of Republicans.

        And one thing no one can deny…. As AG he pretty much single handedly rescued us from Texas style gerrymandering that would have given the GOP the same overwhelming power here they have in Texas. That paved the way for all the stunning Dem victories that followed. Without him Colorado would be a whole lot redder.

        So to those ungrateful Dems who demonize this very good man I say, he’s not liberal enough for me either but screw you.

  2. itlduso says:

    It appears both sides are going to throw a lot of money into Colorado Congressional races.

    From Daily Kos:

    CO-06: The NRCC has made it difficult to find out where they're making fall TV reservations or how much money they're putting into each seat, while the DCCC and House Majority PAC just tend to announce exactly what they're doing. Still, Colorado Public Radio reports that the GOP has reserved $4.9 million to help Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in this 52-47 Obama suburban Denver seat. Coffman is facing state Sen. Morgan Carroll.

    The two Democratic House groups have also reserved a combined $6.4 million in the Denver media market, though some of that money is earmarked to help ex-state Sen. Gail Schwartz against Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in the more conservative 3rd District. It's also possible that some of the NRCC's reservation will be used in Tipton's race instead of for Coffman.

  3. exlurker19 says:

    My ultraconservative hair stylist, "Emails, emails, the FBI is crooked!" says that Republicans may stay home and not vote at all, because even she can't stomach Trump.  Like that's a threat, or something.  (Her tone of voice was very foreboding about staying away  from voting. I think I was supposed to be scared or something.)

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    This just reinforces my suspicion that there may be a lot of undervotes on the top line. 

  5. Moderatus says:

    If conservative voters can't vote for Trump, we'll make sure to support Republicans down the ballot to stop Hillary from having unlimited power.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Isn't that what Ted Cruz tried to say at the GOP convention ("vote your conscience up and down the ballot") for which he was roundly denounced and now faces the prospect of a primary challenger from Michael McCaul (who would probably lose to Cruz) or Rick Perry (who polling shows could be beat Cruz).

      Fluffy, as a GOP shill, isn't your job to exhort party unity and all that other crap to the Republican Party faithful? You're now condoning under-voting?


    • Duke Cox says:

      stop Hillary from having unlimited power. 

      You are out of your mind…you know that? How, by any stretch of the imagination, is any American ever able to have unlimited power? That is never going to happen…Can you not at all speak without mindless hyperbole? Can you never accept the truth of the world instead of trying to make the truth fit your twisted world view?

      You poor dear…does the stupid hurt you when it is on the inside, or only when it tries to escape??


    • BlueCat says:

      Doesn't seem to be working that way for Glenn. Bennet's polling even farther ahead than HRC.

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