Colorado Democrats must defend a senate seat and the governorship in what could be a difficult year. The final mid-term election of a president often produces a strong trend against the incumbent’s party – 2006 cost Bush both House and Senate majorities.
Mark Udall won his senate seat in the Barack Obama sweep of Colorado in 2008, getting a slightly larger vote (Udall 53% to 42%; Obama 54% to 46%).
Like most first-term senators, the public does not have much of an opinion of Udall. A recent poll puts his approval at only 36 percent, with nearly one-third (31%) not able to rate him.
John Hickenlooper won a three-way race with a narrow majority of the vote (51%). But, he has excelled in accruing and maintaining public esteem, and now has 54 percent approval. He has had 60 percent earlier in the year when the environment was less partisan.
Hickenlooper’s problem is a liberal legislature, especially a large House majority, that unless disciplined may cause him grief.