UPDATE: Politico’s Dave Catanese Tweets that Bennet’s campaign will release an internal poll shortly showing them up four points over Romanoff.
The big story today, obviously, is the new SurveyUSA poll released by 9NEWS and the state’s newspaper of record showing big movement in our marquee primary races:
The pollster asked 536 likely and actual Democratic primary voters who they supported or would support in the August 10th election and 48 percent chose Romanoff, 45 percent selected Bennet and 8 percent were undecided. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.
In June, a similar poll conducted by Survey USA showed Bennet with a 53-36 lead. This poll was conducted from July 27-29 by phone.
The poll also shows the likely impact of a series of stories regarding plagiarism of water essays by Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis. Of 588 likely and actual Republican primary voters, 43 percent said they were supporting Dan Maes, 39 percent are in favor of McInnis and a whopping 18 percent remained undecided with a little over two weeks to go before the election…
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck had the support of 50 percent of the 588 voters surveyed while former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton had 41 percent…
It’s a credible poll–people have been waiting for SurveyUSA to weigh in on these races for over a month, and some tightening was fully expected. It’s worth noting that the enduring lead this poll shows for GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck is consistent with most other polls, and is more trustworthy than whatever somebody in DC showed the Washington Post on Friday. The poll also shows clearly, whichever way you combine it, that Tom Tancredo’s insurgent gubernatorial bid sinks whatever hope the GOP may have of beating John Hickenlooper.
As for the Democratic Senate primary between Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff, in which this poll shows a 20-point swing of support? Two things to keep in mind here. First of all, this swing is largely attributable to the stridently negative campaign waged against Bennet using every resource at Romanoff’s disposal. We’ve said repeatedly that we aren’t fazed by sharp elbows in a primary, we expect them: it’s why we always said that Romanoff’s promises not to do so were silly. We never once said that going negative had no chance of success, indeed in Romanoff’s case it was probably his only choice from the beginning.
But based on the growing backlash against the over-the-top nature of Romanoff’s most recent messaging, it’s an open question as to whether or not this intensely acrimonious endgame for Romanoff can hold together for ten more days. Scorched-earth negativity can work to propel an underdog past superior resources, but it’s a fine art; if you take it too far, it becomes a grave liability with undecided voters.
The other factor that needs to be included in the discussion is the less-predictable circumstances of this mail ballot election. The question of who is a “likely voter” is not as easy to answer this time, as the dynamics of mail voting have less of a history. But we will say this: in terms of simple logistics, the larger, better funded campaign is always going to be the one better equipped to chase down the mail ballots they need to emerge the winner. Lower turnout, in turn, would favor the Romanoff campaign’s more ardent cadre of supporters. That being the case, this election would come down to such a ballot chase, and Bennet’s resources to produce a higher turnout could be the decisive factor–regardless of what any group of 500 people might say.