Ken Buck, GOP headed for victories, NRSC says
The National Republican Senate Commitee's press secretary, Amber Marchand, has been Ken Buck's most effective media relations person during the campaign, sending out daily bulletins about polls and attacking Michael Bennet as often as possible. While I haven't republished many of her releases, I've followed up on a few and have written my own pieces. Here's one of Marchland's last e-mail blasts for the GOP and Buck. It's a good roundup of the political outlook as reported by Colorado's and the nation's media:
With only one more day until Colorado voters make history and elect Ken Buck to the U.S. Senate, a few items of note today:
· A new FOX News survey today finds that “Ken Buck is closing strong in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.” Buck gained 4 points from the Fox Newsbattleground state poll taken two weeks ago and now leads Bennet 50 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. For a Senate challenger to be leading so late and be above 50 percent is a serious sign that Bennet may be headed for defeat… President Obama's agenda continues to be unpopular in Colorado. His job approval in the state is steady at 40 percent and a consistent 48 percent believe his policies have hurt Colorado’s economy… The percentage of voters, though, who believe that Bennet is too closely allied with Obama remained steady at 51 percent. Much of Buck’s strength comes from his 8-point advantage among independent voters.
· And a new McClatchy-Marist survey shows Ken Buck leading appointed Senator Michael Bennet 49-45 percent. CQ Politics reports: A new McClatchy-Marist Poll in Colorado shows Ken Buck (R) leading Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 45%. Key findings: Bennet is ahead by nearly 2 to 1 in Denver, but trails in the rest of the state. Of those who think the worst economic news is yet to come, 69% back Buck. Of those who think the worst is behind them, 68% back Bennet.
· Meanwhile, Democrat polling firm Public Policy Polling also shows Buck leading Bennet: The Senate race in Colorado continues to look like it will be one of the closest in the country on Tuesday night. PPP's final poll there finds Ken Buck ahead of Michael Bennet by the slimmest of margins, 49-48… Each candidate has his party base pretty much sewn up. Bennet is winning 87% of Democrats and Buck is winning 86% of Republicans. Giving Buck his slim lead is a 50-46 advantage among independents.
· KDVR-TV’s Eli Stokols reports that “In the closing days of the closest Senate race in the entire country, Buck is the odds-on favorite to beat the Democratic appointed Sen. Michael Bennet.” It's a few days before Halloween and Ken Buck is talking about chainsaws. But his newest line, about the heavy spending cuts he will fight for if elected to the U.S. Senate, isn't anything that's going to appear in a Democratic attack ad, even with Sen. Michael Bennet's tracker lurking with his video camera in the back of the room. "We don't need higher taxes, we need lower spending," Buck said. "And you know what? It's not going to be a scalpel, folks. It's going to be a chainsaw." … As he heads back out on the road after picking up a pulled pork sandwich from a roadside BBQ stand, Buck can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the rebirth of what had, until recently, been another Republican tradition in Colorado -- winning.
· And the Pueblo Chieftain reports “There was plenty of applause, cheers, fist pumping and pounding Sunday at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck's last campaign stop in Pueblo.” Greeted with cheers and applause when he entered the office, Buck raised his hands and jokingly yelled, "Don't let that stop you from making some phone calls!"… The Weld County District Attorney spoke confidently about beating Democratic incumbent Mike Bennet, who stumped in Pueblo on Saturday. He also spoke of "hope" for GOP victories in Pueblo, long considered a Democratic stronghold. He called Bennet a "rubber stamp" senator who votes how the president wants. Speaking of Barack Obama, Buck had choice words for him too. "(Obama's) telling Democrats 'If you don't work hard, we'll wake up to a Senator Buck on Nov. 3.' He's going to wake up to Ken Buck on Nov. 3, Nov. 4, Nov. 5. He's going to wake up to Ken Buck the last two years of his presidency." Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso was traveling with Buck and addressed the crowd.
· In national news, a new report by Gallup shows Republicans holding a commanding 15-point lead over Democrats in the generic ballot test: The final USA Today/Gallup measure of Americans' voting intentions for Congress shows Republicans continuing to hold a substantial lead over Democrats among likely voters… Gallup's analysis of several indicators of voter turnout from the weekend poll suggests turnout will be slightly higher than in recent years, at 45%. This would give the Republicans a 55% to 40% lead on the generic ballot, with 5% undecided.
· And the Wall Street Journal reports that Independent voters continue to flock to theGOP, according to a new survey: The Democrats' final push to woo undecided voters appears to have fizzled, potentially putting dozens of competitive House races beyond reach and undermining the party's chances in at least four toss-up Senate seats, according to party strategists and officials. Independents, a crucial swing bloc, seem to be breaking sharply for Republicans in the final days of the campaign… Nationally, independent voters, who backed Democrats in 2006 and 2008, have swung to the GOP. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 52% said they would vote Republican next week. The survey found Mr. Obama, who won 52% of independents nationally in 2008, has a job-approval rating of just 40% among that group. With enthusiasm ebbing on the left, Democratic candidates needed this year to win over even more independent voters than Mr. Obama did in 2008, strategists said. Candidates who have been banking on making up this ground in the closing days have instead seen independent voters flocking to the GOP.
· Writing in Politico today, NRSC Chairman Senator John Cornyn frames the 2010 midterm elections: Voters are focused on job creation and government spending – and rightly outraged at Washington’s broken promises to make things better. The White House promised that the stimulus bill would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. Yet for 18 straight months, it’s been above 9.5 percent. More than 15 million Americans remain out of work.President Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half. Yet the last two fiscal years had the two largest deficits in U.S. history — each more than one trillion dollars. Our national debt has increased by 29 percent since the beginning of the Obama administration. It’s now more than $13 trillion. Obama promised that families making less than $250,000 would not see any kind of tax increase — “not one single dime.” Yet ObamaCare alone includes half-trillion dollars in higher taxes. And the majority in Congress has done nothing to stop the largest tax increase in history from further weakening our economy, beginning New Year’s Day… If we get the chance, Republicans will restore limited government to Washington – and we have a clear agenda to do so. First, we will make job creation America’s top priority – by keeping taxes low… Second, we will end the regulatory uncertainty that’s keeping job creators on the sidelines… Third, we must restore fiscal discipline – by cutting Washington spending.
· And Senator Cornyn also reviews the Senate landscape in the New York Times: The battle for control of Congress rolled into a frenetic final weekend as Democrats fought to preserve the Senate as their power center on Capitol Hill, trying to hold off a Republican surge that could reshape the political order in Washington… The outcome of five contests considered tossups will help determine if Democrats retain control of the Senate, according to the latest analysis of races by The New York Times, with Republicans trying to capture Democratic-held seats in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington… “Our hand will be strengthened, even if we’re not in the majority in January,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “It’s remarkable that we’ve hung together as much as we have.”… The difficult climate for Democrats and the strong Republican momentum around the nation has made simply holding on to the Senate seem like a victory even though the party stands to lose a significant chunk of its majority, some senior lawmakers and perhaps the majority leader.