New Innovative Data Colorado Poll Gives Reason for GOP Optimism

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:

  1. U.S. Senate: Ken Buck leads appointed incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, 49-37
  2. 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
  3. However… in a hypothetical 2-way matchup, Maes leads Hick 44-42
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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)
  7. 39 percent of respondents self-identified as “conservative” and 7 percent as “Tea Party,” with 31 percent “moderate” and 16 percent “liberal”

While I find the results encouraging, it’s also worthwhile to note that I have yet to see the precise voter registration / party affiliation sample to see how reliably it fits with Colorado’s likely voter turnout in November. Judging by the self-identifying responses on ideology and how they compare with Gallup’s reported national picture, as well as top-line discrepancies with Rasmussen on the governor and Senate races, for now I’ll “conservatively” estimate the Innovative Data poll is about 2 to 5 points too optimistic in the GOP direction.

Still, from what I can see, that means:

  • Ken Buck is leading Michael Bennet in the high single digits
  • If Tom Tancredo dropped out of the race, Dan Maes essentially would be in a dead heat with John Hickenlooper
  • Republicans enjoy nearly a 15-point lead on the generic ballot statewide for legislative seats

Translate: A golden opportunity lies out there for Republicans and conservatives. Even given the state of the governor’s race, all is far from lost and no GOP statewide candidate should be counted out. If GOP candidates for state legislature put in the hard work and heed good advice, new majorities should be coming into town. And we may see a few surprises roll in our direction come Election Day.

But I’d also feel better seeing more data from other polling outfits that substantiate some or all of these observations.


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