Poll: Dem Sen. Michael Bennet In Toss-Up Race

The new survey of Colorado from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a close race. This is itself an improvement from most other polls, which have shown him running behind his Republican opponents.

When tested against three Republican candidates, Bennet is tied 43%-43% against former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, leads Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck by 46%-40%, and leads state Sen. Tom Wiens by 45%-37%. The TPM Poll Average has Norton ahead of Bennet by 46%.1-41.0%.The poll also has Bennet’s challenger in the Democratic primary, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, running stronger than Bennet. Romanoff leads Norton by 44%-39%, leads Buck by 44%-36%, and is ahead of Wiens by 34%. The TPM Poll Average has Romanoff ahead of Norton by 43.3%-41.4%.

PPP’s Tom Jensen writes: “I would be cautious about declaring Romanoff to be the more electable candidate based on these early numbers though. Bennet has had all the negatives of incumbency – being associated with an unpopular majority party during a recession – without the positives – defining himself positively to the voters on the airwaves in the context of a statewide campaign.”

The last PPP survey of Colorado was conducted way back in August 2009, before Norton got in the race. At the time, Bennet led Buck by 39%0-35%, and trailed former Rep. Bob Beauprez (who eventually opted against a run) by 42%-39%.

“Republicans really haven’t been helped by getting Jane Norton in the race,” writes PPP president Dean Debnam. “Michael Bennet’s actually polling a little better against her than he was against Bob Beauprez last summer. This is likely to be one of the closest races in the country this fall.”