Bennet Must Deal With Undertow
Barack Obama carried Colorado in 2012 by 5 points against Mitt Romney. But two years later, Obama’s Gallup approval rating in October and November 2014 was in the low 40 percent range, with more than a 10-point negative between approval and disapproval. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall lost in 2014 by 2 points to Republican Cory Gardner. Although Gardner was a popular incumbent congressman, he was helped by Democrats having a negative national political environment. Harry Reid lost his majority to Mitch McConnell in 2014. Control of the Senate switched to Republicans as Democrats lost seven seats Romney had carried in 2012 and two Obama had carried – Iowa and Colorado.
Bennet must also deal with a powerful national Democratic undertow. Democrats are expected to lose the House. All the major indicators are negative for the incumbent party. Biden’s low approval, the generic ballot test leans Republican, partisan identity has shifted Republican, and twenty-eight Democratic congressmen, including Ed Perlmutter, have retired.
However, the key question is: Can Colorado Republicans find a candidate that donors want to support with millions of dollars, unite Republicans and win a super majority of unaffiliated voters? A tall order, but Biden’s numbers are helping them.