27 October 2010

6 Days To The Election In Colorado

* The Vice Chair of the Adams County Democratic Party, Bob Trucker, appears to have given money to two Republican candidates this election cycle (one statewide and the other in Adams County), as well as having brought false criminal charges against the Republican candidate for Attorney General (for which he is now facing charges) and serving as a spokesman for a Proposition 102, a bail bond industry backed initiative that is non-compliant in campaign finance and has strong bipartisan opposition.

I'm stunned, although occasional scandals seem to errupt from the Adams County Democratic Party now and then. Most recently, the past county party treasurer of ten years, Elmer "Butch" Hicks, has also been embroiled in scandal resulting in felony embezzlement criminal charges being filed against him in September of this year).

* Yet another survey shows the U.S. Senate race in Colorado between Michael Bennet and Ken Buck to be a coin toss (43-42).

* Polling summarized at Real Clear Politics suggest that West Virginia and Washington State are leaning towards Democrats, that Pennsylvania and Illinois are leaning towards Republicans, and that Alaska, Colorado and Nevada are down to less than two percentage point in favor of Republicans, with the latest unreported state poll from Colorado bringing the average polling here to almost dead even, the closest in the country.

That result with Alaska, Colorado and Nevada going to Republicans would leave Democrats with 51 seats in the U.S. Senate. But, Democrats could hold 54 seats with only a slight shift in the political atmosphere as election day approaches, in a year when cell phone effects may be distorting the polling significantly in favor of Republicans.

The same source thinks that 225 seats in the House lean GOP already and that 32 more are toss ups (a majority would be 218). But, I'm skeptical because the quality of the data in those races is not nearly as solid as in the Democratic races. They do finally have a post-August poll for CO-3 (incumbent Democrat John Salazar v. Republican Scott Tipton) which was taken in October listed showing Tipton ahead by 4 percentage points, however, which does make that prediction more credible than it was until this poll was included. A poll by the same firm in CO-3 found Republican Gardner to have a three percentage point lead over incumbent Democrat Betsy Markey.

If Democrats lose both CO-3 and CO-4, but hold both houses of the state legislature and win the Governor's race, there will be a strong incentive in the redistricting process to try to crave out four Dem leaning districts, rather than the five that Democrats hold now, creating three heavily Republican "sacrifice" Districts in order to pick up a seat reasonably reliably in 2012.

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