This morning’s Quinnipiac Poll shows U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman leading Bennet by three points in a head to head match up. In the poll of 894 registered voters conducted between March 29 and April 7, 2015, Bennet received 40% compared to Coffman’s 43%. This is bad news for the incumbent. What’s worse? Coffman leads Bennet by 12 among the coveted independent vote – 32% to 44%, respectively.
Another bad trend for Bennet? While Coffman leads Bennet among men by 15 points, Bennet’s lead among women is just 8 points.
All of this points to a rocky start to Bennet’s 2016 Senate campaign. While Democrats love to point out that Bennet was the rare bright spot in the 2010 election, they too often forget that the 2010 election was awful for Republicans in Colorado. They may also forget that Coffman already has won statewide not once but three times. In 1998, Coffman was elected State Treasurer. He was re-elected in 2002. In 2006, he was elected Secretary of State.
The last election was particularly impressive as 2006 was a bloodbath for Republicans. That year, Democrats took control of the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and many governorships and state legislatures. For those who may have forgotten, 2006 was the year that Bill Ritter beat Bob Beauprez by 17 points. Nonetheless, Coffman eked out a victory by 25,000 vote victory.
Coffman has been battle tested. Bennet? Not so much. It could be a bumpy 2016 for Colorado’s sitting Senator.