Tags: Michael Bennet

For Embattled Incumbents, Those Final Poll Numbers Are Often Painfully Accurate


Let’s look back at last cycle, focusing on Senate incumbents who were washed out with the wave . . .

NC: Elizabeth Dole’s totals in the last few polls: 46, 45, 46, 43.

Elizabeth Dole’s final result: 44.2 percent.

OR: Gordon Smith’s totals in the last few polls: 40, 42, 42, 46.

Gordon Smith’s final result:  42.5 percent.

AK: Ted Stevens’s totals in the last few polls: 46, 45, 44. (I’m not counting a Research 2000 one, for obvious reasons.)

Ted Stevens’s final result:  46.5 percent.

Now let’s go back to 2006.

OH: Mike DeWine’s totals in the last few polls: 42, 44, 44, 42.

Mike DeWine’s final result: 43.3 percent.

PA: Rick Santorum’s totals in the last few polls: 39, 40, 43, 39.

Rick Santorum’s final result: 41 percent.

VA: George Allen’s totals in the last few polls: 49, 45, 44, 44.

George Allen’s final result: 49.3.

Here and there, you could find an incumbent finishing a little better than the polls suggested; Conrad Burns finished 3 percentage points higher than the RCP average; Jim Talent finished 1.2 percent higher.

This would appear to confirm a gut-level suspicion we have, that an incumbent in the mid-40s or lower swimming against a tide tends to finish right around that final poll level; the undecideds split between the challenger and third-party options.  

With that in mind:

CA: Barbara Boxer’s totals in the last few polls: 46, 43, 48, 46.

NV: Harry Reid’s totals in the last few polls: 47, 46, 46, 47.

CO: Michael Bennet’s totals in the past few polls: 46, 45, 45, 45.

WA: Patty Murray’s totals in the last few polls: 50, 49, 48, 49.

Of course, there’s still 13 days for these poll numbers to change . . .

Tags: Barbara Boxer , Harry Reid , Michael Bennet , Patty Murray

I Think the Colorado Polls Are Trying to Tell Us Something.


It’s not too late for Republican Ken Buck to fumble this, but Colorado’s incumbent Democratic senator Michael Bennet has been remarkably consistent in his polling in October: 45, 45, 45, 45, 46.

There have been exceptions to the “incumbent rule” from time to time, but if Bennet remains at 45 percent in the final polls, I’ll have a hard time seeing him jumping to a majority on Election Day.

Also, in a year and political environment like this one , how many genuinely undecided but certain-to-vote voters are still out there?

Tags: Ken Buck , Michael Bennet

A Great Ken Buck Ad That Cannot Be Ignored


A reader writes in, raving about this ad for GOP Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck, and I concur. It’s a basic, simple message that I think hits the sweet spot of appealing to conservatives and independents simultaneously.

“We protested when the government ran up trillions of dollars of debt. We sent e-mails when they nationalized health care. We asked them to get off the backs of small business so we could create jobs. We pleaded with our government to secure our border. And you know what? They heard us, and yet they ignored us. And folks, on Nov. 2, they will ignore us no more.”

Tags: Ken Buck , Michael Bennet

Senate Democrats to Unions: You’re On Your Own, Pal!


One of my regulars observes: “Last night in a debate, Sen. Bennet in Colorado caved in on EFCA, or Card Check. Manchin did a complete 180 on EFCA last week. If these guys are telling the unions where to stuff it to save their hides, the rout is really on.”

The Denver Post: “After more than a year of equivocating on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would greatly ease union organizing, Bennet said: “I would not support the language in that bill.”

The Wheeling News Register:

Manchin said he does not support removing the secret ballot provision for workers, and that government has no place in dictating labor contracts.

Manchin called the secret ballot vote “the most precious thing you own.”

“I’ve said publicly that … we must retain the secrecy of the ballot. It’s your vote, and only you should have knowledge of how you do that,” he said.

Another provision of the proposed card check law calls for a government arbitrator to resolve contractual disputes between a company and a union.

“My response to that is that the government has no right to be involved in contractual disputes between an organizing body and the company they are working with,” Manchin commented. “That’s why you have collective bargaining. You sit down and bargain.

Tags: Joe Manchin , Michael Bennet

In Colorado, NRSC Hits Bennet on the Stimulus


The NRSC goes up on the air in Colorado, with this ad set to run “statewide.”

I guess you could say the NRSC is letting Coloradans know incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet kept one of his promises.

Tags: Ken Buck , Michael Bennet

In Colorado, Buck Leads Bennet by 5


I keep hearing that the Colorado primaries turned out great for Democrats. Sure, the governor’s race looks like a pretty easy win at this point, but that was pretty much baked in the cake before primary day; both Dan Maes and Scott McInnis were bloodied — mostly self-inflicted wounds, mind you — before the primary votes were cast.

In the Senate race, incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet trails in the latest Rasmussen poll by 5 and has trailed Buck in hypothetical matchups most of the year. And Buck hasn’t even started mocking Bennet for trying to run against Washington as an incumbent senator.

Tags: Ken Buck , Michael Bennet

Some Rocky Campaigns Up in Those Rocky Mountains


Daddy duties interfered with the usual late-night primary-results blogging, but you guys had Battle 10 on the case.

You think you’re having a rough morning? Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff sold his house in Denver in order to finance a late round of ads in his Senate primary . . . only to finish with 46 percent. He’s single, so there’s no awkward breakfast conversation with a Mrs. Romanoff this morning.

Appointed incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet wins, so he can continue to run against Washington. He will take on Ken Buck, who won a hard-fought race against Jane Norton. I expect the Bennet campaign will do everything it can to make this race about one issue: high heels. Fairly or not, Buck off-the-cuff seemed to insinuate that “I don’t wear high heels” was a reason to vote for him, and the Democrats will make sure that comment gets before every woman in Colorado. (One other complication from that remark? Men tend to like women who wear high heels!) Having said that, Bennet enters the general election with a job-approval rating in the sterling mid-30s.

Scott McInnis and Dan Maes battled relentlessly in an exceptionally hard-fought contest to not be the GOP gubernatorial nominee, but in the end, Maes’s suggestion that a Denver bike program represented a United Nations plot — and willingness to go on MSNBC to discuss the idea before an incredulous anchor! — just wasn’t enough when matched up against McInnis’s admission that he used part of a judge’s work for a series of essays on water rights that the gubernatorial candidate published without crediting it, a mistake he called unacceptable and inexcusable, but also unintentional. (Initially blaming the staff was a nice touch.) As you probably guessed, Maes will be an underdog against the Democratic nominee, Denver mayor Hickenlooper.

Tags: Dan Maes , John Hickenlooper , Ken Buck , Michael Bennet , Scott McInnis

Perhaps the Buck Doesn’t Stop in Colorado, but Goes All the Way to
the Senate


The ground seems to be shifting in Colorado:

Ken Buck holds a large lead over Republican primary opponent Jane Norton in the race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat, a Denver Post/9News poll shows. Buck, the Weld County prosecutor buoyed by outside TV buys and Tea Party sentiment, leads former Lt. Gov. Norton 53 percent to 37 percent among likely Republican primary voters, according to poll results. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet appears to be riding rich TV spending and incumbent media attention, staying well ahead of former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s insurgent campaign. Bennet beats Romanoff 53 percent to 36 percent among likely voters. The primaries are Aug. 10. 

The poll also finds that:

either Democrat has an uphill fight in a state where sentiment has turned strongly against the Obama administration. Both Bennet and Romanoff would lose to either Buck or Norton, according to the poll, though some of the results are within the margin of error. Between the current front-runners, Buck would take 46 percent of the general vote in November, and Bennet 43 percent. (The margin of error on that question was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for both candidates.)

Tags: Andrew Romanoff , Jane Norton , Ken Buck , Michael Bennet

Alinsky, Romanoff -- This Post Might as Well Be in Russian


I think today’s Jolt is among my best yet. Just one of its many offerings:

The Romanoff Lie-nasty

The Denver Post: “U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff acknowledged tonight that he discussed three possible jobs with the deputy chief of staff of the Obama administration — all contingent upon a decision by Romanoff not to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.”

Allahpundit: “Not only does he name names — as the Denver Post originally reported, it was indeed deputy chief of staff Jim Messina who contacted him about dropping out — but he’s actually released Messina’s e-mail from last year describing the jobs they had in mind for him. The one key omission? Any acknowledgment by Romanoff that he himself lied to the Post when initially asked whether anyone had offered him a position.”

Melissa Clouthier: “The administration, and President Obama would like to escape being tagged for this overt action to buy the certain kind of political situation that will help him. This all may well be illegal. Will the press actually dig down and get an answer from either of these men? Doubtful, but this could be a slow drip on the Obama Presidency. In addition, will Sestak’s refusal to answer the questions about the job offer harm him politically? He certainly wants the issue to go away now that he’s won the primary.” Her reaction to the USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and Caribbean, USAID Office of Democracy and Governance Director or U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director: “These are PAID JOBS, no? That was the distinction the administration went through pains to avoid with the whole Sestak mess, right? So the paid part is the illegal part, if we’re parsing and not pretending to be in Chicago, right?”

Chicago? Forget it, Melissa, it’s Chinatown.

I hate to be such a cynic on this, but I am so far from surprised at allegations of using federal appointee positions as bargaining chips that the light from “surprised” takes several years to reach me. Appointing people to cushy federal jobs is a form of power, and you use that power to . . . expand your power and network of allies. This is all very Alinsky. Not only do I think this goes on regularly in the Obama White House and more openly than its predecessors, I think they laugh a bit at the current outcry that the executive branch is being used as a consolation prize every time the DSCC can’t persuade the locals that the incumbent’s done a swell job. Who the heck is going to investigate and punish them over bribery, Eric Holder? Heck, he probably got the Attorney General job in exchange for not backing Hillary and a couple of baseball cards.

Dan Riehl: “I think it’s safe to say, Obama is more interested in creating jobs for politicians he wants out of a race, than he is in creating private sector opportunities for hard working Americans. The economy be damned, it’s all government all the time with this bunch. Things won’t truly improve until we throw them and him out.”

Time’s Mark Halperin lays it out so clearly, even his fellow members of the MSM can’t ignore it: “This case seems potentially more serious than the Sestak matter for at least three reasons: the dangler was a government official and not a private citizen/intermediary; the jobs dangled were paid positions (unlike the unpaid advisory slot dangled to Sestak); and Romanoff is not obviously as qualified for these jobs as Sestak was for the position discussed with him.”

At Red State, James Richardson reminds us:White House legal counsel say administration officials did not act improperly in the Sestak matter. But today’s revelation of White House electioneering manipulation is far more difficult to sweep under the rug. Federal statutes prohibit the exploitation of government-funded positions, appointments or contracts to advance partisan interests. 18 U.S.C. § 600 reads in full: ‘Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.’”

Tags: Andrew Romanoff , Barack Obama , Michael Bennet

Denver Post: We’re Skeptical of Politicians Who Refuse to Answer Questions


The Denver Post concludes that rumors in their state’s Senate race are a little too close for comfort to the tale of Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania, the administration has admitted it enlisted no less a power player than Bill Clinton to ask Rep. Joe Sestak to stop his bid against Obama ally Sen. Arlen Specter. Clinton suggested Sestak remain in the House and accept an influential, but non-paying, role on an advisory panel. (Sestak has since ousted Specter.)

The Denver Post last September quoted unnamed sources that said Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, contacted former state House Speaker Romanoff, who hadn’t yet announced his candidacy, with specific suggestions for Washington jobs in exchange for his staying out of the race against appointed Sen. Michael Bennet.

The White House denied any such offer, but sources told The Post’s Michael Riley: “Romanoff turned down the overture, which included mention of a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency.”

Obama endorsed Bennet the day after Romanoff formally announced he was in the race.

We read Riley’s story with particular interest. Only days before it ran, after hearing whispers of a Romanoff job offer, we asked the former House speaker directly whether he had been offered a job by the White House to drop out of the race.

He told us unequivocally that he had not been offered a position.

The matter dropped off the political radar until Sestak admitted on the campaign trail that he was offered some sort of job.

Romanoff now refuses to answer questions about whether he was, in fact, offered a job. In fact, Romanoff refuses even to offer an explanation for why he won’t answer the question. And yet, like Obama, Romanoff’s campaign theme has been to run against the Washington way of doing things.

We don’t know what to make of all the secrecy. Without an explanation, voters are left to wonder who to believe. And if Obama doesn’t mind the position in which that places Romanoff, he ought to care about where it places him.

Permit me to offer the cynical assessment: Yes, the Obama administration sees executive-branch staff positions as a pile of gift cards to be used to buy off inconvenient Democratic primary challengers. Yes, this is precisely the sort of thing that bribery laws are supposed to prevent. And yes, everyone in the Obama administration knows there will be no serious consequence for breaking this law.

Tags: Andrew Romanoff , Joe Sestak , Michael Bennet

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