For the first time today, Rasmussen Reports released survey data on the Colorado gubernatorial race that included Dan Maes as a candidate. The result?
A tie in the head-to-head matchup: Maes 41, Hickenlooper 41. At the same time, the presumed Republican frontrunner Scott McInnis leads Denver’s Democratic mayor 46-41 — a statistically consistent advantage over the past three months. Hickenlooper remains the candidate who draws the strongest reactions either way, while Maes’ very favorable-to-very unfavorable ratio of 9-8 is similar in proportion to the more well known McInnis’ 16-14.
The underdog Dan Maes likely can’t be anything but pleased by this result that gives his candidacy credible status less than eight weeks out from the primary election. Precisely how much is attributable to the favorable headwinds for Republican candidates is hard to say. A look under the hood at the poll’s crosstabs would tell us more.
Look to Maes to tout his 41-41 tie with John Hickenlooper as a way to boost his campaign’s mostly meager fundraising. In the end, substantial growth to the Maes campaign warchest will go a lot further than poll numbers that show him barely above water. I’m keeping my eyes on the June campaign finance reports due out on July 6 to tell me whether we can expect more than the slimmest of chances for the Evergreen businessman in the August 10 primary.
But as I keep saying, the longer Maes stays alive in this race the longer he exceeds expectations. It’s a remarkable accomplishment that the biggest surprise he could hope to pull off in this campaign isn’t yet out of reach. Winning the assembly was huge, but he’ll have to pump in plenty more steam to get to the top of the hill.