« Open Thread - and Blogads Are Here (Almost) | Main | Nader Dinged in Two Swing States »

Thursday, August 19, 2004

SUSA: All Tied Up in CO

Posted by DavidNYC

Speaking of Colorado, SUSA released a new poll (PDF) a couple of days ago (likely voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 47
Bush: 47
Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��4%)

This is bad news for Bush: He won CO by over 8 points last time around. However, it's still early, and I still don't predict CO to wind up in our camp. But the good news for our side is that Kerry leads among Hispanics by 66-24 in this poll, meaning that Bush is way below his target of 35% in this demographic. Kerry also leads among indies, 49-38.

One related note: The Senate race between Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Pete Coors is also in a virtual tie, with Coors at 48% and Salazar at 47%. I don't know much about the specifics of this race, but I would tend to think that a tie at this point benefits Salazar slightly. I say this because the outgoing Senator (Campbell) is a Republican, and I expect there to be an anti-incumbent/anti-GOP swing across much of the nation.

And to follow up on what Chris said the other day, I think the GOP is in a lot of trouble long-term. In 2012 or 2016, how will the GOP be able to compete when CO, VA, AZ, NV, NH and maybe NC (and maybe even GA) are all lean-blue, and FL, NM & OR are solid blue? Even if IA, WI, MN and OH head their way long-term, we come out with a big advantage. I'm starting to think that Teixeira & Judis really are right.

Posted at 12:57 PM in Colorado | Technorati


If the Colorado presidential polls stay close until election day, it will be interesting (and possibly decisive) to see what level of support the CO electoral college referendum receives from the voters. Assuming your candidate is ahead, why vote to give his opponent any extra electoral votes? Conversely, if your candidate is behind, you're likely to favor the apportionment of electoral votes in order to give your candidate a few extra votes if (as it looks to be) the overall national contest is tight. But what if the presidential candidates are in a dead heat on election day? I'd be willing to bet that if it's very close on election day, CO voters will approve the referendum overwhelmingly.

Posted by: Jack at August 19, 2004 01:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

CO will most like go Republican. If it doesn't Bush is in BIG trouble. He needs CO, or it's going to be a big blow to his campaign and Republican campaigns going forward.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 19, 2004 02:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Colorado will be closer than anyone expected this year unless Nader again pulls in 4-5%. On the other hand, SUSA hasn't exactly been a reliable pollster. In June, they had a poll showing Kerry leading by only one point in California. Furthermore, Coors' burst of popularity against Salazar in the CO Senate race seems rather sudden as well. I expect Bush will win CO by about four points, but I think two months ago Republicans would have been expecting more like an 8-10 point margin.

Long-term trend patterns for CO are less predictable than AZ. There aren't as many Social Security and Medicare-dependent senior citizens snowbirds in CO and the Hispanic population is decidedly lower. From my understanding, in-migration to CO is more likely to be upper-income whites to exurban GOP strongholds like Douglas County south of Denver, one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, than it is Hispanics and senior citizens. Furthermore, I think many of the new residents from "more liberal parts of the country" is not necessarily accurate. In the case of California expatriates moving to the Rocky Mountains, I'd bet money that the most prominent home county among former Californians is the GOP stronghold of Orange County, which is only softening for the Republicans now because whites are leaving (for places like Colorado) and Hispanics are replacing them. If it wasn't for all the Hollywood types moving to the Aspens, Vails and Breckenridges, I think Colorado's new residents would be influencing the Democratic Party as negatively as the new residents of Minnesota are for ours. I'm much more pleased with the demographic shifts in the aforementioned AZ, NV, VA and NC.

Long-term trendlines for zero-growth old economy states in the north are likely to be very mixed. Ohio and Iowa, cited as possibly trending Republican, are probably more likely to trend anti-incumbent than anything else, since neither party will be able to effectively stop the bleeding in traditional Middle American industries on their death spiral. Unfortunately for Dems, MI and PA are probably not likely to be sure things presidentially in election cycles to come because battered-bloody blue collar workers aren't going to continue supporting Democrats if the Dems can't sufficiently patch up their gaping wounds. Should John Kerry get elected for instance, he'd best hope for Clinton-era economic growth rates or else the Rust Belt's malaise will continue at the 2001-2004 pace and he'll be hard-pressed to be re-elected.

Posted by: Mark at August 19, 2004 03:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Unfortunately, I don't think either party has real answers for helping the three big Rust Belt States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Those states and many others will continue going through some difficult transitions in the "New Global Economy."

Posted by: Pepe at August 19, 2004 04:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe, Kerry's alternative energy plan is a step in the right direction. It could start putting people back to work in those rustbelt states.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 19, 2004 06:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

CO could possibly go for Kerry. Now, about Ohio. CNN had an interesting Gallup poll result of Kerry, 2% over Bush for likely voters, and 10% over Bush for registered voters! I continue to have a gut feeling that Kerry will take the four rust belt prizes: OH, PA, MI, and WVA, but I am seriously worried about vote fraud, especially in Republican dominated OH. :(

Posted by: Shar at August 20, 2004 03:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"we don't have sheltereenies..."

moe szlak

Posted by: a_yankee_liberal at August 20, 2004 08:02 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We Democrats are getting a little optomistic with Kerry riding high in the polls at the moment. Bush will surge and temper that optomism. Bush will probably wind up wining CO by around 4% or so, Kerry would have to be +5% in CO at this point to have a real chance. But, OH and WV are two different stories, Kerry has real leads in those states. He might just hold on to win. I'd think Kerry has a better shot at winning WV, being a traditionally Democratic state, than OH, a Republican state. I guess OH has been hit by job losses, and wants a change at the top. I can't blame them, Bush represents those very interests who have been moving their jobs out of the country.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 20, 2004 08:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We have reason to be concerned about voter fraud in Ohio. They will be using questionable Diebold voting machines (at least in many of the precincts), and the Diebold CEO said he would do whatever it took to help George Bush win the state of Ohio. Nice, huh?

I've long liked Kerry's chances in Ohio. All the attention is likely to propel higher turnouts this year than in 2000, especially in Democratic northeast OH where turnout was lagging last time. Gore was able to peel off a number of significant Republican leaning counties with razor-thin margings, including Franklin Co. (Columbus), Montgomery Co. (Dayton), and Clark Co. (Springfield). Kerry should have at least as good of chances in these counties. Meanwhile, Kerry has tremendous opportunities to gain thousands of votes in eastern Ohio, where in many cases, the margins were softer for Gore in 2000 than they were for Mondale in 1984. This is particularly true in the Steubenville area, which has the dubious honor of having the most job losses per capita of any city in the nation (think the closing of Weirton Steel right across the border in WV). Kerry looks to be in good shape to improve upon Gore's numbers in key NE counties as well, namely that often-cited bellwether county of Stark, home to the cities of Canton and Massillon and a whole bunch of unemployed Timken workers. That whole belt of counties from Akron to Youngstown-Warren is ripe for Kerry gains. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Ohio pulls strong for Kerry, so long as he doesn't allow Bush to frame the campaign discussion around wedge issues.

As for West Virginia, I'm close to writing that one off completely. The coal economy is booming in southern WV (the most Democratic part of the state) and Bush plays a definite role in that. Even if the coal economy of the southern counties was in as terrible shape as the steel economy of the northern WV counties, I think the increasingly conservative social environment of the state would win it for Bush. The state has undergone the same transformation into a "values' voting state" that Kentucky has to its west. Kentucky went from a swing state to a Republican stronghold in just two election cycles. West Virginia appears to have went from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican-leaning swing state over the same period. It would honestly surprise me if the Dems have a shot at WV in most future presidential election cycles, no matter how terrible their economy is (and it's likely it will remain terrible for the foreseeable future). If Kerry can pull this state out in November, the dynamics of this race a following a far different pattern than what my gut tells me.

Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2004 08:40 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, agreed with most of your post. Montgomery county-Dayton, is not a lean Republican county. It may be one in mid-term elections, but Democrats hold most of the local offices except Sheriff and County Commission, although they have a shot at one those seats this year. There will be a huge vote in West Dayton this year. I could see Kerry getting a 9,000 vote lead out of MontCo. Maybe 1,000 in Clark.

Posted by: philly at August 20, 2004 11:38 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not really sure why coal is such a big issue in WV? I mean it employs about 16,000 residents, down from 17,000 four years ago. I guess in proportion to the size of the state it plays a big role. But 16K jobs is nothing in other states. My state losses or gains 16K jobs easily in a month, depending on economic conditions.

Apparently coal miners aren't too happy with some of the Bush initiatives to deminish mine safety. But, WV is rather socially conservative. A typical tug-of-war. I think Kerry will pull it out.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 20, 2004 11:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Look at the internals of the poll. Kerry scores 38% in Colorado Springs. That is so far above what any Democrat expects to get down there it spells real trouble for Bush.

The number: 1,000. Troops will be redeploying to Iraq from Ft. Carson in November...as that date gets closer they will monitor the situation in Iraq very closely.

Hopefully, the US has dodged a bullet at the Imam Ali shrine and Iraq will quiet down. If not, Bush will have a hard time making a case to military families around Ft. Carson. New registers in Colorado favor Democrats, with Salazar, the NDN and Move America Forward doing a lot of the registration.

However, don't overlook the possibility that the Republicans will cheat. In 2000, the most heavily Republican county in the state (Arapahoe) held polls open until midnight, allowing voters to change registration, move, etc. The Republican Secretary of State has also challenged hundreds of new Latino/a registration forms.

The constitutional amendment to divide Colorado's Electoral Vote won't pass. It's an idiotic idea and every newspaper and TV station will be editorializing against it.

Posted by: Ralph at August 20, 2004 01:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rasmussen today released their monthly poll confirming the tie:


Colorado now officially a hardcore swinger. Yeah baby!

Posted by: Disenfranchised Floridian at August 20, 2004 03:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Colorado: Bush 47% Kerry 47%

Survey of 500 Likely Voters
August 19, 2004

Colorado 2004
Presidential Ballot

Bush 47%
Kerry 47%
Other 2%
Not Sure 4%


August 20, 2004--Add Colorado to the growing list of Toss-Up states on the road to the White House. Earlier this week, new survey data moved Nevada and New Mexico to the Toss-Up Column.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of Colorado voters shows Bush and Kerry tied at 47%. Our previous survey in the state, conducted in April, found President Bush with a five-point advantage, 49% to 44%. Four years ago, Bush won Colorado by nine points over Al Gore, 51% to 42%.

With Colorado in the Toss-Up Column, John Kerry continues to hold a narrow lead in our Electoral College projection. However, neither candidate has enough states wrapped up to approach the 270 Electoral Votes needed for victory.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 20, 2004 03:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This is great news about Colorado's race tightening up! It's hard for me to believe that Colorado might actually be a swing state and flip for Kerry! All we need is folks from Mexico and Central America to continue moving to the USA in droves, and we'll transform Colorado and the Sun Belt into a solid Blue Belt! Within probably the next generation, here in NC one will need to be fluent in Spanish to get a good job--that's how fast the Hispanic population is growing here. I fully expect over the next 10 to 20 years that the Republicans will become the minority party as the USA becomes an increasingly Hispanic nation.

Posted by: Pepe at August 20, 2004 04:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Maybe Kerry is popular in CO because he knows how to snowboard?!? :-)

I agree that the country will eventually become majority Democratic within the next decade. This election is starting to show the signs of where the change will occur. The solid south will not be so solid anymore. States in the southwest will continuing trending Democratic. Ever read "The Emerging Democratic Majority"? They try to make the case for a new Democratic coalition.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 20, 2004 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rock NJ:
The reason why coal is important in West Virginia is simple; it is one of the primary high paying economic anchors in the state. Yes employment is comparatively low but the jobs that are produced are good paying and support plenty of local spin-off jobs (the bartender at the bar near the mine, the doctor, etc.) Additionally coal has undergone a massive restructuring where output is still very high but manpower is very low compared to fifty years ago. The employed are just the tip of the entire coal related employment and pensioned groups. If coal production and profitability goes down, then several pension funds are at risk as well as a decrease in rail, barge and the trucking industries.

Posted by: fester at August 20, 2004 05:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Thanks. I do understand coal is important to WV. But, I was really surprised when I read it was only 16K jobs. I thought, it must be like 100,000+ jobs or something to be such a political issue. It kind of seems like WV should be looking forward to developing new industries instead of trying to preserve the old coal industry. Like you said, much more coal is being produced with less people than 100 years ago. That's the main reason why jobs have been lost jobs in the coal industry, simple productivity advances. Funny how they try to blame everything from safety rules, to wages, to environmental regs for destroying the coal jobs, when in reality most of the job losses are due to automation and other advances. All in all, 16K seems kind of small, but I understand the spinoff job effect. I wonder how many people work in retail in WV, probably more than 16K.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 20, 2004 06:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I wonder how many people work in retail in WV, probably more than 16K.

Yeah, it's probably a lot more. Unfortunately they're probably all in low-paying WalMart jobs.

Posted by: Pepe at August 20, 2004 06:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Anyone looking for a last minute birthday gift for the HARDCORE Bush fan in your life, this should do the trick. Angering Bush Fans everywhere with the truth of it's statement, the one, the only "Bring Back Complete Sentences" Kerry/Edwards Button.

Posted by: Michael at August 20, 2004 07:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's quite striking that these are the states that have had the steepest job losses during the recession (and no real recovery yet):

Michigan -7.9%
Colorado -7.0%
Miss -6.9%
Mass -6.8%
Ohio -6.2%
NC -5.7%

OK, aside from Mass, all of these (except Miss.) have been the biggest swingers toward the Dems, compared with 2000, I think. Just goes to show how important the economy is, at the margin! I actually think that (perhaps aside from NH) Ohio and Colorado are Kerry's most likely pickups -- even more than Florida!

Posted by: Jason at August 21, 2004 12:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't know how recent the above unemployment figures are, but I just heard on last night's local news from Raleigh that in NC the unemployment figure is at 5%--the lowest it's been in over three years. Actually, that doesn't seem that high to me, and here in the Triangle it's even lower. NC has added thousands of jobs I forget how many consecutive months, and I remember hearing them state that something like 7000 new manufactoring jobs have been added. That's not too bad, especially when one figures that on average, 2-3% of the "unemployed" aren't aggressively seeking employment for a variety of reasons. In other words, there is no such thing as "zero unemployment." Even if there were enough jobs for everyone in the state we would still see at least 2% listed as "unemployed."

Posted by: Pepe at August 21, 2004 07:39 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

And don't forget that John Kerry was born in Colorado.

Posted by: DavidNYC at August 21, 2004 06:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Yeah, but Dubya was born in Connecticut...and he sure as hell won't win that one.

Posted by: Nathaniel at August 21, 2004 08:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

LOL, that's funny, Nathaniel. Just an observation, but I drove through the entire state of Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland, and I didn't spot one Bush bumper sticker. In all fairness, I didn't observe any Kerry ones, either. One of my favorite bumper stickers is, "Hope is on the way -- Kerry-Edwards 2004."
Why are Ohioans fond of painting the state of Ohio on their barns? Can you imagine the impact of painting "Kerry-Edwards 2004" superimposed on state of Ohio barn displays? These barn displays are visible to thousands traveling the highways and have to be the best advertising in the world! I did spot an "ABB - Anybody but Bush" bumper sticker.

Posted by: Shar at August 21, 2004 09:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Bush's support is soft this election cycle. I really expect Bush to wind up winning OH, because it's a Republican state, but Kerry has a shot with the bad economy in OH and the increasingly unpopular war.

Look at some of the states that are now in battleground range like CO, NV, NC, VA. Kerry might not win any of these Republican leaning states, but it demonstrates a profound weakness on Bush's part.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 21, 2004 09:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why are Ohioans fond of painting the state of Ohio on their barns? That was done in honor of Ohio's bicentennial (1803-2003), and you will find them in all of Ohio's 88 counties. It's a lot better than the series of large billboards I saw a few months ago just south of Columbus. Basically, they said "Hell is real" and for those breaking God's 10 Commandments, they will "burn in hell." Lovely, huh?

Posted by: Pepe at August 21, 2004 10:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rock NJ, let me say it again, and from someone involved in Ohio politics, Ohio is not a Republican state. It is a conservative state that will vote Republican because the Democratic Party runs terrible candidates and has no money.

I think Kerry has a 51% chance of winning.

Posted by: pc at August 22, 2004 01:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks for that barn display info, Pepe. pc, 51% is better than 49%. Who said that Bush was a conservative? A lousy economy, job losses, the highest deficits in U.S. history, never-ending war, the trampling of human rights? Lowest interest rates since the 1940's... I can't imagine any senior citizen, including senior veterans, happy about this economy. No wonder so many older folks have to accept part-time work just to pay their bills. How can a senior possibly save with such low interest rates? The stock market is just sliding along sideways and seniors can't invest there, either. Where in the world is Bush getting so many votes??

Anybody who votes for Bush-Cheney because of "conservative" values has to be an idiot!

Posted by: Shar at August 22, 2004 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Where in the world is Bush getting so many votes??

My question, exactly, Shar. Ohio has lost what, over 200,000 jobs in the past four years? It's economy during this time must be one of the worst performing in the nation--and yet, Ohio is a swing state! How can this be? It just doesn't make sense, except that Ohioans are voting on more than there wallets. Sounds like a lot of Southerners!

My folks live in NE Ohio, in the heart of the Mahoning Valley. My mom told me today she has seen something that I consider truly shocking: Bush "open houses!" My mom didn't know what they were when she first saw the signs for "Bush Open House," and then she saw all the cars parked in the street and people in the yard. At first she thought it must be a family reunion. But she has seen several. Then she read about it in the local paper (Youngstown Vindicator)--they are some sort of Bush pep rallies--in the heart of the moribund Mahoning Valley. We used to call it the Steel Valley when I was growing up, but most of those good-paying jobs are long gone, as the mills have mostly closed. Can you believe this? Bush pep rallies being held in neighborhoods in the heart of NE Ohio? I haven't lived in the Buckeye State in over 20 years, but it certainly has changed! I could see this sort of thing in Cincinnati, in SE Ohio, maybe in Columbus--but Northeast Ohio???!! I'm afraid that Ohio will be voting once again for Bush--and don't forget, they will have the gay marriage referendum on the Election Day ballot, too. Very depressing!

Posted by: Pepe at August 22, 2004 07:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Anybody who votes for Bush-Cheney because of "conservative" values has to be an idiot!

The word "conservative" has lost its meaning in 2004. As you rightly point out, modern conservatives have thrown out all their pricipals in the pursuit of power. Statists or cabalists might be a better term than "conservative" these days to describe the Republicans and their ilk. The only thing they're conserving is a completely rotten system that benefits the very few at the top of the pyramid.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 22, 2004 10:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment