Colorado is likely to be home to several competitive races in 2010: notably Senator Michael Bennet’s first re-election run, two Democrat-held House seats, and hopefully Governor Ritter’s re-election bid. With that in mind, it’s encouraging to see early signs of disaffection with President Obama:
Barack Obama and Mark Udall each won their elections in Colorado last year by pretty solid margins, but Public Policy Polling’s first look at their approval numbers since taking office finds relatively weak numbers for them in the state.
Obama receives approval from 49% of voters with 45% dissenting. For Udall it’s just 41% approval and 46% disapproving.
For each that’s a much smaller swath of the electorate approving of their job performance than voted for them last fall, and it looks like a lot of that may have to do with their standing among independent voters.
An average of PPP’s final three Colorado polls last year found Obama and Udall both doing spectacularly well among independent voters. Obama had a 24 point lead with them and Udall led by 27. But now only 48% of independents approve of what the President is doing with 47% disapproving and for Udall the spread is negative at 41/48.
The midterms are a long way off, but numbers like this will aid both in candidate recruitment and early fundraising. In a formerly red state that has trended blue, we’ll need both.