Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton now posts a 14-point lead over incumbent Democrat Michael Bennett, but her lead over Bennet’s intraparty challenger, Andrew Romanoff, is not as big in the race for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.
She runs just seven points ahead of Romanoff, a former state House Speaker who is challenging Bennet for the Democratic Senate nomination – 45% to 38%. In January, Norton had a 12-point lead, 47% to 35%.Romanoff cut Norton's lead in half over the past month? That's a lot of poll movement for a period in which essentially no campaigning occurred. And it doesn't seem to be related to party -- Norton's lead over Bennet is virtually identical to last month's.
So why would the poll show so much movement for Romanoff? Well, it's possible that we're talking about polling methodology issues. The survey involved only 500 voters, so we might be seeing just a lot of random fluctuation here. Also, Rasmussen is using a "likely voter" screen, and I imagine who is considered a likely voter for November 2010 has shifted around quite a bit recently.
But assuming the poll is capturing something real, it suggests, as Rasmussen notes, that Bennet is facing the worst of both worlds: As the incumbent, he gets blamed for being in power during tough times, but he doesn't have any of the built in advantages of incumbency (e.g.: massive name recognition). Romanoff, while still trailing Norton, doesn't carry as much baggage as Bennet.
So I'd call this relatively good news for Romanoff. But he should really stop having Ken Gordon write his press releases:
Bennet now trails Norton by 14% while Romanoff has closed to be within 7% - the momentum is all on Andrew's side. It is sort of a Massachusetts moment.Ken, did you really just compare Romanoff to Scott Brown? Really?