Tales from the Trail

Reuters-Ipsos Poll: Democrat closing gap in Colorado Senate race

The Senate race in Colorado is almost neck-and-neck, with Democrat Michael Bennet closing in on Republican Ken Buck and narrowing his lead to 3 points, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

But the enthusiasm gap favors Republicans, with 72 percent saying they are certain to vote in the Nov. 2 midterm elections compared with 55 percent of Democrats.

USA-POLITICS/The Senate contest pits Bennet, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when he became President Barack Obama’s Interior Secretary, and Buck, who is backed by the conservative Tea Party movement.

Former President Bill Clinton showed up in Denver late Monday to campaign for Bennet, which was notable because he had endorsed Bennet’s rival in the Democratic primary.

Colorado is one of the races seen as a guage of how strong the anti-incumbent mood is among voters largely worried about the economy and whether Tea Party candidates can generate broad appeal.

Reuters/Ipsos poll on Colorado races: Democrat Hickenlooper, Republican Buck leading

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Colorado races shows a mixed picture for Democrats and Republicans ahead of the November election, reflecting the mountain state’s status as a hard-fought battleground where neither party holds a clear advantage.

Democrat John Hickenlooper has a substantial lead in the Colorado governor’s race in which a third-party candidate is splitting the Republican vote, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. USA-POLITICS/

But the Democrat in Colorado’s Senate race, incumbent Michael Bennet, trails Republican challenger Ken Buck 40-49 percent, the poll found.

Bennet, Buck score wins in Colorado

In a primary drama that might have been subtitled “two presidents and a party,” incumbent Colorado Senator Michael Bennet won the battle for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination on Tuesday.

Bennet’s win was  a welcome victory for President Barack Obama who backed the incumbent who battled both anti-incumbent fever and a challenger, Andrew Romanoff, who had the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton.

On the Republican side, Tea Party-backed candidate Ken Buckbuck narrowly defeated former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton. Buck, a former prosecutor, won despite being caught on tape complaining about Tea Party “dumb-asses” who question whether Obama was born in the United States. He will face Bennet in November.