Monday, October 5, 2009

Ritter Suffers From Economic Downturn

The economy is the top issue for Colorado voters and Governor Bill Ritter is losing the vote of confidence on “improving the state’s economy and creating jobs.” In the new Tarrance Group poll of mid-September, only 41 percent of voters approved his performance on the economy, but 53 percent disapproved.

Unfortunately for Ritter, more voters say the state is on the wrong track (48%) than say it’s headed in the right direction (41%). His overall job approval was similar to previous polls. Less than half the state’s voters approve (48%) and nearly as many disapprove (46%).

Although early polls are only snapshots of fast moving rivers, Ritter’s biggest concern must be that 56 percent of the voters in this sample wanted a “new person” elected governor.

One slight good piece of news is that a plurality of voters judge Ritter a moderate and 40 percent call him a liberal. Only 5 percent see him as conservative. It is better to be seen as a moderate in a Colorado general election. This poll had 54 percent of its sample self-identifying as conservative – a high percentage, but those are likely voters. They are older and lean more Republican.

(See Associated Press article)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Obama Endorsement Can Help With Democrats, But Not Statewide

Another poll, this one by well-known Republican pollster Lance Tarrance, shows less than half of Colorado voters approve (48%) President Barack Obama’s job performance, with his disapproval just as high (47%).

Obama’s lowest job approval is on Colorado’s Eastern High Plains (35%) and is especially ominous for newly elected Democratic Congressman Betsy Markey.

But, in Democratic strongholds of Denver and the north suburbs of Boulder and Adams counties, he scores above 67 percent. Hence, assuming Colorado Democrats don’t resent Washington politicians and the Democratic establishment trying to tell them who to vote for, Obama’s endorsement of Senator Michael Bennet should be a help among Democrats, not a hindrance.

(See Denver Post article)

Establishment Candidates Winning Early Primary Test

In a new poll from the Tarrance Group, establishment-endorsed primary candidates Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Jane Norton win their respective primaries in an early test.

Bennet is only ahead of his Democratic opponent, Andrew Romanoff, by 14 percentage points. Early primary polls are notoriously volatile and largely a reflection of early name identification.

Norton is 30 points up on Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck. Rumors among Republicans indicate Buck may drop out. If true, Norton is the likely nominee and spared a serious primary. Romanoff will easily make the primary ballot’s 30 percent threshold and be able to run a campaign into the August primary.