As Michael Bennet wakes from his fitful sleep this morning, who could fault him for wanting to crawl back into bed and pull the blankets over his head. This morning's release by the Denver Post and 9 News of their Senate poll reinforces exactly how bleak Bennet's chances of besting Tea Party favorite Ken Buck truly are.
The Denver Post/ 9 News poll shows Ken Buck with a 48 to 43 lead over Bennet. The significance of the 5 point deficit for Bennet is magnified by the results showing independents in Buck's column 53 to 34. Additionally, a string of independent polls leading up to today's release shows Bennet's campaign strategy is failing. Rasmussen poll of September 29 showed Ken Buck with an 8 point lead.
This poll was followed by the Marist poll of October 1 echoing the 8 point lead.
Nate Silver of the New York Times, before the most recent poll, deemed Buck's chances of becoming the next Colorado Senator at 79% based on a compilation of recent polling. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n...
Bennet's votes for Obama's health care legislation and TARP certainly have been votes Bennet has consciously attempted to distance himself from. His decision to decline visits from the President during the run up to the general election underscores his recognition of the toxicity of his well documented loyalty to the President's agenda.
Bennet, handicapped by the need to distance himself from his voting record, is left with attacking Buck on social issues. Not very effective when social issues are far down the list of voter's primary concerns this election cycle.
Bennet ads have tried to convey Ken Buck as too extreme for Colorado with minimal effect on voter sentiment. Buck's ability to withstand an endless onslaught of negative advertising by his primary opponent, Jane Norton, should have given Bennet an indication of the futility of such a strategy. On the other hand, Bennet is left with few options given his acknowledgement his voting record is best left in the unmentionable category.
The Marist Poll reinforces Bennet's compulsion to downplay, if not completely ignore his record in Washington. President Obama enjoyed a 54 to 45 percent margin of victory in the 2008 election against Republican candidate John McCain. Those numbers were aided by President Obama's impressive wins in Denver County (76% to 24%) and a comfortable margin of victory within the Denver suburbs (56% to 44%). Current sentiment in Colorado shows voter dissatisfaction with Obama and the current state of the economy. That dissatisfaction is proving to be an anchor for Michael Bennet.
Crosstabs from the October 1 Marist poll reflects just how damaging Bennet's close ties to Obama are in this climate of disenchantment with the current administration. The Marist poll shows Bennet with a 65-31 advantage in Denver/Boulder over Buck, a drop off of 11 points from the 2008 Presidential election. The Marist poll gets uglier for Bennet when comparing the Denver suburbs. Marist shows Buck polling ahead of Bennet 57-38, a gaudy 18 point deficit for Bennet.
The polling of "very enthusiastic", which indicates the likelihood of voter turnout, could be a harbinger of bad news for Bennet on Election Day. In the only region Bennet can point to as solidly in his camp, Marist polling reports 34% of Denver/Boulder supporters being very enthusiastic. By means of contrast, those areas of the state Ken Buck is polling ahead, including the Denver suburbs, 46% report being very enthusiastic.
If the people who control the purse strings for the Democratic Party are reading the same tea leaves. Bennet might have justifiable cause to remain huddled under his covers. With triage in full swing, Bennet just might find himself losing national funds to finance his failing campaign strategies