It looks like the serious chunks of change that CD5 challenger Robert Blaha has been spending are paying off. Today the Blaha for Congress campaign released a poll showing Blaha within 5 points of incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn, up from a 31-point Lamborn lead back in February.
Both polls were conducted by Louisville, CO-based Magellan Strategies and paid for by the Blaha campaign.
Even with the caveat that Blaha paid for the polls, the results are still impressive.
We're guessing the multiple rounds of TV spots by the Blaha campaign have significantly upped his name ID among voters, representing a large chunk of that poll uptick.
Lamborn hasn't been up on TV since Blaha announced, leaving the airwaves alone to Blaha to bludgeon him.
But Lamborn is no stranger to primary challengers as an incumbent Congressman. He fended off a serious challenge in 2008 and won his seat after a multi-candidate primary in 2006.
Lamborn is also consistently ranked as one of the most conservative members of Congress, something highly valued by voters in the extremely conservative 5th Congressional district.
The advantage of incumbency is useful to Lamborn in more than just his voting record, including the ability to use taxpayer funds to send out "franked" mail to constituents. Blaha recently filed a formal complaint against Lamborn for his use of franking, though it's unlikely to go anywhere since a Franking Commission formally approved all of Lamborn’s mailers before they were sent.
If we had to handicap this race right now, we think the poll above is a good indicator, even if it likely overplays the gains Blaha has made. Lamborn will be tough to knock off, but Blaha certainly seems like he will put up a strong challenge.