Michael Bennet (D-inc): 41
Josh Penry (R): 34
This is the second time PPP has examined the fortunes of Colorado's appointed senator Michael Bennet. Bennet's approvals are down in net negative territory, at 34/41 (with a large 25% not sure). PPP also polled Bennet in January, and Bennet isn't making much headway at winning friends and influencing people: his favorable/unfavorable was 33/21 then, so most people who've formed an opinion since then have formed a negative opinion. It'll be interesting to see whether the charisma-challenged Bennet can improve his standing, and what happens if he doesn't. The real race to watch (and one I hope PPP polls next time) is a possible Democratic primary: former state house speaker Andrew Romanoff, who wanted the appointment and has weighed a challenge, has to be encouraged by these numbers to start testing the waters.
PPP also tried out some head-to-heads. There aren't any trendlines from the previous poll, though, as none of the four guys PPP polled in January have taken any steps to run, and a new, lesser set of contenders has taken their place: Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier is officially in, while Weld County DA Ken Buck is likely to enter and ex-Rep. Bob Beauprez has at least made some noises. (State senate minority leader Josh Penry is more associated with the governor's race, but it's possible he may jump over to senate if he wants to avoid an awkward primary clash with his former boss, ex-Rep. Scott McInnis.) Beauprez can't really be seen as lesser, I suppose, considering he's just as well-known as Bennet, if just as little-liked; his favorability is 33-43. At any rate, Bennet is in a dead heat with the somewhat-well-known Beauprez (who lost the 2006 governor's race), while the others seem to operate as "generic R" and lose to Bennet by a not-so-comfortable margin. (Discussion underway in conspiracy's diary.)