Politics & Policy

CO Sunday Update

•Could the statewide success of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper–and the collapse of the center-right vote split between Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes–actually help not only the other statewide political races, but embattled Congressional Dems as well?

-Colorado, where polls suggest Democrat John Hickenlooper is a shoo-in to win over Republican Dan Maes and third-party candidate Tom Tancredo. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet also has seen his standing improve. The victories could help Rep. John Salazar in his competitive race — and possibly even save Rep. Betsy Markey’s uphill re-election bid.

•Could the two other candidates in CO-4, Doug Aden of the American Constitution Party and the independent candidate Ken “Wasko” Waszkiewicz, play spoiler to Cory Gardner’s chances of unseating Rep. Markey?

•Fighting for her political life, Markey knew she would have an uphill climb the moment she was elected in 2008. Her first announced challenger, University of Colorado Regent Tom Lucero, formed an exploratory committee in December 2008.

•Political analyst Charlie Cook has moved Markey from “Toss Up”–previously the lowest rating an endangered incumbent would face on his ratings system–to “Lean Republican,” and RedState blogger Moe Lane calls it the “list of doom.”

•Stuart Rothenberg is not buying the “Dems have a chance, says recent polling” meme:

So, you get situations such as Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) trying to alter the conventional wisdom that she is destined to lose by releasing a campaign poll showing her tied with Republican challenger Cory Gardner at 38 percent, with two other candidates drawing a combined 7 percent.

Forget the fact that any Democratic incumbent getting 38 percent of the vote in September of an election year is toast. Also ignore the fact that other polling, not yet released, conducted more recently by a Republican pollster for whom I have the highest regard shows Markey trailing badly.

Are we really to believe that Markey — who represents a district won narrowly by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) two years ago, by President George W. Bush by 17 points in 2004 and by Bush by more than 20 points in 2000 — is going to get re-elected if and when Democrats lose 30 seats in the House?

Remember, Markey voted for the stimulus bill, the health care reform bill and cap-and-trade after coming into my office as a candidate and stressing that she was a moderate Democrat.

So I’m supposed to believe that at least a couple dozen other Democratic seats are going to turn Republican, but Markey’s seat isn’t? [emphasis added]

•The Denver Post endorsed Rep. Salazar in his third reelection bid over two-time challenger Scott Tipton in CO-3.

•Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) has released a new ad targeting his opponent Ryan Frazier’s attendance record as an Aurora City Councilman, and continues the ongoing jobs battle in the district:

•Rachel Maddow of MSNBC invited the Denver Post’s Michael Booth on to discuss the third debate between Sen. Michael Bennet and Ken Buck, giving props to Bennet while Booth played the Senate debate more evenhandedly:

•Political analyst Charlie Cook takes Buck’s campaign to task:

In Colorado, appointed Sen. Michael Bennet is running a few points behind GOP challenger Ken Buck, but Buck’s unimpressive campaign is helping the Democrat. If Buck ends up winning, he will owe it more to the wave than to astute strategy and execution.

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