Thursday, September 11, 2014

Post-Labor Day: Democrats Ahead, But Udall Stronger Than Hickenlooper

The first post-Labor Day polls are mostly good news for Democrats. Mark Udall’s lead of six points in the new NBC/Marist poll will reinforce the Democrats’ campaign strategy of “all reproductive rights advertising all the time.” Expect to see the Romanoff’s campaign to start to highlight the issue and many other Democrats.

John Hickenlooper is still in what appears a closer race with Bob Beauprez. If you asked the state’s political class who was the least vulnerable between Hickenlooper and Udall, Hickenlooper would have won hands down last winter and spring. But, repeated polls have shown him in a close race whereas Udall appears to have a near margin of error lead.

One difference between the NBC/Marist survey and Rasmussen in the governor’s race is the naming of two third party candidates – libertarian and Green Party. Together, they are taking nine percent of the vote, no doubt some from each of the frontrunner candidates.

The Hickenlooper campaign must have some angst over the closeness of the race. Hickenlooper has many people who like him, but he generates little passion, especially among the rank and file Democratic core constituencies. In fact, he has especially alienated the environmental community.

Hickenlooper’s advertising is just starting. The ads will likely try to reestablish the non-politician with some humor image that made his career. Also expect to see a lot of flood waters. But no doubt his “feisty” demeanor at the Club 20 debate reflects his frustration with his weak numbers. Although Hickenlooper has no paid critical advertising of Beauprez, independent PACs are lurking and they may step up to help the governor.

Click here for CBS/NYT/YouGov survey

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