Another Candidate, Another Poll

With Jane Norton’s entry into the Colorado Senate Race, Rasmussen has test-polled her against both Sen. Ben. and Romanoff.  (No word on whether or not the controversies over Obama’s czars is hurting Andrew).  It turns out she polls better than either Frazier or Buck against the Senator Select, leading 45-36, and beating Romanoff 42-34.  Norton does well, 52-21, among unaffiliated voters, but that’s a very fluid voter bloc, given the high number of undecideds there.

Some of this, however, may be a result of polling sample.  Last week, Rasmussen had Bennet’s very favorable-to-very unfavorable levels at 14-18, but this poll has them at 8-19.  It’s hard to believe that Bennet has really suffered that much deterioration in one week – especially in numbers that are so low in absolute terms to begin with.  The new sample also has Romanoff down 8 points, 12-20, in the very-favorable-to-very-unfavorable rating, which is just hard to believe given his general popularity when he left office earlier this year.  Do people remember his active campaigning for his doomed baby, Amendment 59?

Norton certainly has higher name recognition than Frazier or Buck.  All three are right at break-even in the Veries, but Buck is at 9-7 (16 total) and Frazier at 6-6 (12 total), while Norton polls 13-12.  There’s no question that Bennet’s negatives are higher than his positives, but a sitting Senator with any sort of a record should have generated stronger feelings, especially in this political environment.  As with Ritter, the election should be a referendum on the incumbent, but count on the SEIU and CODA to try to define all three Republicans simultaneously as right wing-nuts.  Given that the public hasn’t really formed impressions of them yet, there’s plenty of room for them to prey on the uninformed.

Yet to be included in any Rasmussen poll is Tom Wiens.  I spoke with Tom before the show on Sunday night, and he seemed very confident that he could compete with Norton in fundraising.  The question is, can he compete with Bennet in the general for votes, or is he simply not electable outside of his base in the Springs?

UPDATE: A friend of mine from elsewhere in the state reminds me of another part of my conversation with Tom Wiens before the show Sunday evening.  Tom stressed that he has extraordinarily good relationships with delegates from across the state, and that he expects to do very well at the state convention.  While unlikely to win 70% there, an extremely strong showing could be enough to propel him through the primary in August.  One caveat to this strategy is that, between higher caucus participation and the as-yet-unpredictable straw poll, it maybe harder for the traditional party caucus-goers to dominate the proceedings.

While it’s the official position of the Republican Party that all candidates are welcome, and that primaries make for stronger candidates, I do happen to believe those things.  It’s a long road, people, and the raw poll numbers right now don’t mean much.

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