A recently-released Quinnipiac Poll does not paint a pretty picture for incumbent liberal U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. According to the poll of 1,049 Colorado voters, Bennet’s job approval is just 39%, and just 32% think he deserves to be re-elected. This poll was conducted February 5 -15, 2015, and has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
These numbers are starting to look a little like former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s numbers before the outset of his ill-fated campaign. To be clear, the comparison here is Udall in 2013 = Bennet in 2015 – see the parallels? To put this in context, the first numbers in June 2013 (no Colorado polling was available from Quinnipiac prior to June 2013) we had on Udall’s “job approval” and “deserves re-elect” showed that 45% approved of the job he was doing as a Senator, and 40% thought he deserved to be re-elected. We all know how Udall’s race turned out and Bennet is six points and eight points, respectively behind the curve.
Back then, Quinnipiac pollster Tim Molloy noted, “As Sen. Mark Udall prepares for a reelection campaign next year, he cannot be happy with an approval rating short of the magic 50 percent mark.”
It’s likely that Bennet feels the same way this week.
But, here’s the worst news of this week’s poll. Only 53% of Democrats favor Bennet’s re-election. To compare to Udall in 2013, 60% of Democrats thought he deserved re-election. Our liberal faux journalist counterparts had this to say about Bennet rubbing salt in his Democratic base’s wounds:
“But voting to override the President’s veto makes even less sense. Politically, this doesn’t win Bennet any supporters who would actually support him against a viable Republican. But worse, Bennet’s unapologetic thumbing of his nose at Keystone XL opponents further drives an emerging wedge within the Democratic coalition in Colorado. Even if he got a green light from the White House to vote this way since the override has no real chance of succeeding, this is insult added to injury for Bennet’s Democratic base–and has no political upside that we can see.”
With low enthusiasm within his own party, it may be difficult for Bennet to push back against what is going to be an energized Republican electorate, eager to put the Obama administration and anything affiliated with it, in the rear view mirror.