Thursday, April 23, 2009

Colorado Change?

April 2009 is probably too early to be reading too much into polls for an election in November 2010, but, that caveat aside, here are some numbers from a Public Policy Polling poll that might be give the GOP some (even if very small) hope:
Three months into his appointment as a Senator, Michael Bennet [D] isn’t making a strong positive impression on Colorado voters.
41% say they disapprove of his job performance so far, with 34% approving. 25% don’t have an opinion one way or the other. He is meeting with approval from 59% of Democrats but only 11% of Republicans, and his overall reviews from independents are negative as well, with 32% approving but 43% disapproving.
Bennet's numbers suggest that there could be some opening for a Republican pickup here, a sorely needed commodity for the GOP at the moment. However, Bennet leads a number of his possible Republican challengers in this poll; beating Bennet 43-42 in this poll, former Congressman Bob Beauprez is the only Republican candidate who leads Bennet. But Bennet's re-election numbers in these hypothetical head-to-heads linger in the low 40's and high 30's, so it certainly seems as though Colorado voters are open to voting for somebody else.

Talent recruitment could be incredibly important in a race like this one. If the GOP runs a strong candidate, it looks like it would have a real chance of taking this seat back (Ben Nighthorse Campell, a Democrat-turned-Republican, held this seat before Ken Salazar won it in 2004). Polls continuing to show Bennet as vulnerable would probably encourage challengers to enter the race. With tough poll numbers for some Republican incumbents looming overhead, the GOP and John Cornyn, who's heading the National Republican Senatorial Committee, might find a super-thin ray of hope in Colorado.

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