The reliable in-state Magellan Strategies polling firm today released the results of last week’s voter interviews on Colorado statewide races. Taking the pulse of 954 likely voters, they found not surprisingly that John Hickenlooper has a wide lead over Republican Dan Maes (and an even wider lead over third-party Tom Tancredo) — though some small amount of Hick’s support may have been eroded in the intervening few days before the latest Rasmussen poll was taken.
But I’m more interested in bringing attention to the down-ticket races, which Magellan features in its top line results, as follows:
Republican Attorney General John Suthers holds a commanding 47-32 lead over Democratic challenger Stan Garnett
Democratic State Treasurer Cary Kennedy trails GOP challenger Walker Stapleton by the modest margin of 42-38
As is typical with these lower-profile, down-ticket races, a healthy share of undecideds (especially among unaffiliated voters) remains. But it seems more than reasonable at this point to say it’s a good year to run as a Republican in Colorado–unless your name is Dan Maes.
But a key reason why I wanted to bring attention to the down-ticket races is because the first head-to-head public survey of these races further belies the accuracy of the so-called Big Lie, er, Line on a certain local Lefty blog. It may be time for them to wake from their slumbers and update their results. In the meantime, please enjoy my amateur (and more accurate) attempt at election oddsmaking: (more…)
Do the math. That means not only has support dropped for all three candidates, but that one in four voters isn’t settled on any of the choices. Add in those who say they are leaning in one direction or another, and it doesn’t get a lot better (in fact, it gets worse if you’re Tom Tancredo):
John Hickenlooper (D): 40 percent
Dan Maes (R): 32 percent
Tom Tancredo (AC): 9 percent
That still leaves one in five voters who are left out in the cold on this one. Frankly, to see such a high level of undecideds in a high-profile race right before Labor Day has to be incredibly rare. Perhaps someone with a longer institutional memory can offer up a comparison.
But in this hyper-information age with the local 24 hour news cycle’s attention to this race, the early barrage of Hickenlooper TV advertising and the minute-by-minute interaction of new media, the low and declining levels of support for all three major candidates sends a strong message of voter dissatisfaction: Maes needs a bold move to sell Republicans on his qualifications and convictions (and money to do it), Tancredo needs to show he is something other than a spoiler (a tall order), and Hickenlooper just needs to hang on.
So yes, Hick the Democrat still is the odds-on favorite in a three-way race, but we might be seeing the dynamics of the gubernatorial showdown reshaping as we head into September and the home stretch.
The voter sample was 38 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican and 27 percent Unaffiliated, a reasonable model given expected high GOP voter intensity. If you weight the voting sample in line with actual active voter registrations (which would assume Democrats and independents are as enthused about voting this year as Republicans), Perlmutter still only leads 40-38. In other words, this race is absolutely a statistical tie.
The incumbent is in rough shape to be tied with around 40 percent support two months before the election. Unlike the challenger Frazier who has 22-11 favorable-to-unfavorable and 60 percent name recognition, there’s very little room for Perlmutter to go up: 37 favorable, 39 unfavorable and nearly 97 percent name recognition. Expect the Democrat to step up the negative campaign forthwith.
Among voters in Perlmutter’s home base of Jefferson County, Frazier maintains a 40-38 edge while outpolling the incumbent 43-36 in his own Arapahoe County backyard. Perlmutter narrowly wins the Democratic-leaning Adams County 41-37.
In addition to the fact that 7th CD voters believe the country is on the wrong track by a 65-35 margin, they also substantially disapprove of Obama’s job performance (57-39) and have a strong negative opinion of Nancy Pelosi (61-28). Among CD-7 unaffiliated voters, 60 percent disapprove of Obama’s performance and 68 percent have a negative opinion of Pelosi.
A few weeks ago, Bill Ritter-appointed Secretary of State Bernie Buescher brought his own campaign into the news limelight by requesting a waiver from the law requiring ballots be sent out to military personnel no later than 45 days before the general election. By doing so, Buescher opened the door to accusations that he was trying “to shaft military voters.”
Last week Brad Jones from Face The State reported on Buescher’s national television appearance on Fox News where he sought to justify the waivers, noting:
…it’s hard to understand why Buescher is allowing himself to become the national poster boy for military voting snafus when innovative solutions are well within reach.
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, Hickenlooper currently leads Republican Dan Maes, 41-33, with 3rd-party candidate Tom Tancredo picking up 16 percent. In a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Hickenlooper and Maes are tied at 45.
Many of you know I have devoted several postings to analyze this year’s showdown for the Colorado state house and Colorado state senate. Many of these races remain critically important even as they are outshone by higher-profile statewide races (and have become even more important in light of the folly that is the governor’s race in this state) — including the 22 candidates participating at R Block Party tomorrow. The state representatives of today also help form the bench for runs at higher office in the future.
The R Block Party’s second annual picnic includes a live and silent auction, baked goods sale, and of course, plenty of opportunities to write good old-fashioned checks directly to one or more of the candidates. If you can do only one tangible thing for the cause of limited, fiscally responsible government over the next few weeks, make it this event!
This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.
The cost of government at all levels consumes about 64 percent of the average Coloradan’s gross income (compared to the national average of 63.41 percent). There’s a less-than-inspiring thought for the day. If that doesn’t help focus your energies on advancing liberty and limited government for the upcoming fall elections, I’m not sure what will.
Update, 8/21:Lynn Bartels’ story in today’s edition of the Post fills out a little bit more detail and gives more attention to both the major party candidates… including a lede that identifies Perlmutter’s Bush-bashing blameshifting (which makes the headline above obsolete). Guess the blog focus on the Libertarian candidate was supposed to be the teaser for today’s story (?). I also was promised some video footage from the Frazier campaign, and will post that here when it arrives.
This morning featured the first showdown of Colorado 7th Congressional candidates at a chamber of commerce-sponsored debate. It was practically in my backyard, but who has $20 or more to swing for such luxuries?
The only coverage of the debate I’ve found is from the Denver Post‘s Lynn Bartels. With her former fave Lang Sias out of the 7th CD race, guess whom Bartels ended up showering the most attention on? Not rising Republican star Ryan Frazier. Not incumbent Pelosi Democrat Ed Perlmutter. Who then?
If you guessed Libertarian Buck Bailey (without reading the blog post), you win tonight’s star prize: a self-congratulatory pat on the back and a warm heaping helping of self-esteem. Taking nothing else into account, one is left to infer from the Post‘s coverage that the exchange between the two major party candidates was somewhat less than interesting. (I mean, I’m sure Mr. Bailey is a nice guy and everything….)
But the Ryan Frazier campaign had a different take. Full press release from his campaign below the fold: (more…)
To the extent that I have communicated with leaders of Colorado Tea Parties and other liberty groups, I have sought to emphasize the importance of making an impact on state legislative races. In fact, followers of this blog know I have put out several updates ranking the likelihood of seats changing in the state senate and state house. My next, and likely final, analyses are slated to come out in September.
Anyway, Ballotpedia’s Leslie Graves this week announces a study that should attract significant interest and involvement: “Is the tea party movement impacting state legislative elections?” More information is here, including a direct link to a survey that I encourage all Colorado Tea Party and other liberty group leaders to chime in on. I certainly hope that Colorado is setting the example of making a positive difference in state legislative races, and that other states are on board as well.
These races are where local groups can exert the most leverage and see tangible results during the upcoming election. It’s also how the conservative, pro-liberty team builds up a bench for bigger races in the future.
We’re not talking about the popularity of candidates vying in well-publicized elections, which often feature a significant undecided vote. What do you do when 65 percent of likely voters confess they don’t even know three Colorado Supreme Court justices are up for retention? You’ve got to get the message out.
Well, for the 894 voters tested from all around Colorado, learning a little basic information makes a difference: (more…)
News this afternoon from the Dan Maes for Governor camp brings news of the Party core growing more united around his candidacy, with a couple of giant endorsements reported on Facebook:
But all the speculation now is around tomorrow’s deadline for Maes to announce who his running mate will be. As Amy Oliver ably speculates, one of the two finalists almost certainly is Tambor Williams of Greeley. While she won’t wow anyone with big name recognition, she would balance Maes’ weaknesses with her experience as a four-term state legislator, head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies and appointed service on the state’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, in addition to her private legal practice. In 2002 Williams signed the Colorado Taxpayers’ Pledge.
We’ll know for sure tomorrow whether Maes-Williams will be Colorado’s Republican ticket for 2010.
For those who are wondering, my views about Dan Maes’ candidacy pretty much line up with what Rossputin wrote this morning (except I am more inclined at this point to vote for Maes than for the Libertarian candidate).
This is a sticky post. Please scroll down for newer content.
I know I’m biased, but watching this video is 4 minutes well spent if you want to understand how some Colorado unions representing teachers and other school employees put money and power before common decency. Watch non-union Pueblo school employee Becky Robertson tell about the year she missed the September deadline to opt out of paying union fees because of family medical emergencies, and what happened when she asked for the money back:
Thank you, Colorado teachers unions (not to mention the school district negotiators that agree to make these deals). And yes, it’s entirely legal in Colorado. For more information on the school districts where non-union teachers and other employees have to go through pains each year to opt out of expensive union fees, and the deadlines for both union and non-union members to opt out (usually in August and/or September), check out the Independent Teachers website.
Republican state senate candidate Owen Hill was blindsided yesterday by a Colorado Springs Gazette story with fabricated claims that Hill plagiarized statements off his Libertarian opponent’s website. A friend of mine, quoted in the story, does his job of defending his Party’s position and candidate, but issued his quote carefully:
“My understanding is, from Doug, that Doug had written the stuff, and he noticed it was on his opponent’s website and was not pleased with that discovery,” said David K. Williams Jr., chairman of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. [emphasis added]
Unfortunately, the Gazette opted for a sensational he said / he said story rather than perform a little basic investigation. Owen Hill’s campaign did the homework for the reporter showing that Hill’s statements were posted on his blog in January, months before the Libertarian even had declared as a candidate or put up a website. (more…)
Update, 8/19:Interestingly, party identification for the poll fits very closely with what would be expected based on national trends and turnout in the recent primary election: Republican (39%), Democrat (36%), Unaffiliated (25%). Since not all respondents answered every question, the actual percentages for individual questions may vary slightly. Thanks to Jim Pfaff for supplying the information.
A Colorado political survey released late this past week has garnered little attention. The survey (PDF) of 1,091 likely voters was conducted by my friend and Right-leaning political consultant Jim Pfaff of Innovative Data Solutions. Among the interesting top-line findings:
U.S. Senate: Ken Buck leads appointed incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, 49-37
Governor: In the existing 3-way race, Democrat John Hickenlooper pulls down 38 percent, followed by 30 percent for Republican Dan Maes and 19 percent for third-party Tom Tancredo
However… in a hypothetical 2-way matchup, Maes leads Hick 44-42
Interestingly, while voters oppose the idea of replacing Maes by a margin of 43-26, with 31 percent undecide (though the numbers aren’t broken down by party affiliation), Hick fares the worst head-to-head against a hypothetical GOP replacement candidate, 45-39
On a generic ballot ticket for the Colorado state legislature, Republicans outpoll Democrats 50-32 (!) — a finding that if correct and taken advantage of by hard work and smart campaigning translates to new majorities in the state house and state senate
Unsurprisingly, 58 percent declared “jobs and economy” as the “most important issue facing Colorado voters,” followed by “government spending” (16 percent) and “illegal immigration” (15 percent)
39 percent of respondents self-identified as “conservative” and 7 percent as “Tea Party,” with 31 percent “moderate” and 16 percent “liberal”