Friday, July 17, 2015

Bennet has Good Summer, But Next Year Depends on Clinton

Michael Bennet has had a good summer. Republicans have not recruited a strong senate candidate or even identified one as of the middle of July and the party is dealing with its own internal disputes. President Obama has had an exceptional month (Gallup, Fox News and Economist/YouGov have him at or about 50% approval) and the Republican presidential field has been upended by Donald Trump, who is now running first or second in the three recent national polls (USA Today/Suffolk: Trump 17%, Bush 14%; CNN/ORC: Trump 12%, Bush 19%; Fox News: Trump 11%, Bush 15%).

Sen. Michael Bennet and Hillary Clinton
But, Bennet is hardly home free. It’s 15 months until the election and Cory Gardner, the Republican 2014 winner, did not enter the 2014 senate race until February 2014. Most importantly, in recent years the alignment of the presidential and senate elections in swing states has grown. Today, more than 80 percent of voters are selecting matching parties for president and senate. Of course, if the Republicans have a weak and poorly funded candidate, it could well ensure a loss, regardless of how Ms. Clinton does in Colorado, but if the state remains competitive with only a few points between the respective presidential nominees, Bennet is likely to be in a very close race, even given the advantages he appears to be building.

Due to the Republican Party’s struggles in Colorado, Politico has just lowered Bennet’s vulnerability to 9th from their previous 7th.

In its latest rating, Politico only kept Colorado in its top ten list due to the expected competitive nature of the presidential race and because no other senate race appears more competitive (note Politico  ranks Arizona 12th).

See The Buzz:
U.S. Senate – Washington Post Ranks Colorado 7th
The West in Play; Colorado, Nevada and Arizona in Center of Field

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