The poll in question is mostly about pot legalization – which is a subject that the Democrats can’t quite capitalize on, given that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are strongly in favor of the War on Some Drugs – but not entirely. There’s also some polling of the Colorado Senate race. And… oh, boy: “In an early look at the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Colorado, U.S. Rep. Michael Coffman, a Republican, runs better than his wife, State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, against Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. Matchups show: Michael Coffman gets 43 percent to Bennet’s 40 percent. Bennet leads Cynthia Coffman 44 – 36 percent.”
That’s not something that you ever want to before you have your coffee in the morning when you’re a Democrat, and never mind that it’s just one poll. There’s no guarantee at all that either Coffman, or anybody else, can beat Sen. Michael Bennett next year. The problem for Democrats is that Bennett must win next year. In order to retake the Senate the Democrats must do everything absolutely perfectly, and ‘absolutely perfectly’ includes ‘lose no Senate seats of their own*.’ Previously, the Democrats could comfort themselves with the statements ‘Eh, Democratic incumbent Senators always win’ or ‘we took Colorado away from the GOP:’ but both those comforting platitudes have long since been taken out and shot. Having Nevada and Colorado’s Senate seats at serious risk was already worrisome for the Other Side; any news that Bennett could genuinely lose would be particularly unwelcome.
Put more succinctly: the Democrats have a narrative, and this poll steps all over it. It is, of course, one poll, and thus not indicative of anything. Still… you don’t like being told that your most vulnerable incumbent is getting beat one year out, you know what I mean?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: It is remarkable, by the way, that Iowans are split down the middle on whether to legalize recreational weed. That suggests a wider shift among the American populace. Who knows? Barack Obama may end up being the last Democratic President to ever send out the feds to go after potheads…
*Essentially, +6 (+5 if the Democrats somehow manage to win the Presidential election) is maybe kind of workable. Maybe. Net +6 is right now a fool’s errand. There just aren’t enough plausible pickup possibilities, particularly since the likely Democratic candidate will be running an incredibly lackluster campaign anyway.