|Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet at the Capitol, June 2021|
Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
The article reviews Bennet’s environmental record and my political observations, which include:
“Bennet has raised significant money. There is no particular boiling scandal. And we’re picking up a congressional seat, so that’s carrying a lot of the attention in the state,” he continued, referring to the new House seat Colorado is getting in the next election thanks to the latest U.S. Census count.
Ciruli said Bennet has had issues with an enthusiasm gap in the past, noting that his failed 2020 presidential campaign generated little excitement. “I don’t think Bennet is a jump-up-and-down-with-enthusiasm candidate,” Ciruli said. “On the other hand, he’s a solid senator in a state that, as far as I can tell, still leans highly Democratic.”
“They’ll have a nominee, and it’ll be a contest. But that nominee is going to be burdened in a state where Donald Trump is a pariah,” said Ciruli of the former president, who remains the GOP’s kingmaker.
“We got this new congressional district because we have 700,000 new people,” Ciruli said. “A very significant portion of them are young and well-educated. They came out here for the environment and recreation and the great mountains…”
The shift has been reflected in recent elections. While Bennet struggled with close margins by his 2010 and 2016 races and Gardner unseated Udall in 2014, Gov. Jared Polis (D) won by a comfortable margin in 2018 and President Biden beat President Trump by more than 13 points.
“We’ve had waves of new people in the past that were conservative, but that’s not this group,” Ciruli said. “This group is solidly liberal.”