View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Colorado Stays Red

Good News: Barring a meltdown the President will carry Colorado. Bad News: he probably won't be making any more visits here. A poll of registered voters has the President beating the "unnamed Democrat" by 10 points. This almost certainly understates his support, since in all other polls I've seen, named Democrats fare far worse than unnamed ones. Since to be elected President, one must legally have a name, this makes it harder for the Dems. Also, polls of likely voters consistently put the President (and usually Republicans in general) further ahead.

One bit of bad news/good news is that as the Iraq situation appears to stabilize, it also becomes less of an issue of voters. However,

In a hypothetical contest pitting the president against a generic Democratic nominee, Coloradans give Bush a 10-point lead, 46 percent to 36 percent. Of those who picked the Democrat, 62 percent opposed the war from the beginning and 19 percent said they once were for it but reconsidered. A solid 90 percent who picked Bush supported the war from the start.

Pollster Lori Weigel said that partly explains the strength of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the race for the Democratic nomination, since he is the one top-tier candidate who said he opposed the war from the beginning. But support for the war among overall respondents suggests Dean could have an uphill battle in a general election, she said.

Interestingly, the poll calls this bad news: "One troubling poll result for Bush was that his job-approval rating was 44 percent among Colorado voters who said they or someone in their household was worried about losing a job in the next six months."

That means that his numbers are fairly good even among those who are concerned about their jobs. As the economy continues to rebound, this group is going to shrink. Altogether, it looks like the national Democrats in this state are pulling from a pool that's going to dry up as the election year moves on. Now, if we could just translate that to the 1st District...

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