Just a few days ago, polling in Colorado by Public Opinion Strategies (R) showed Ken Salazar leading both Republicans:
D-Ken Salazar 48
R-Bob Schaffer 37
D-Ken Salazar 52
R-Pete Coors 36
Released Friday, we get conflicting results from a poll of 500 likely registered voters done this week by the Tarrant group (R), showing:
Salazar leads them by double-digits in all four matchups, and given that these are both partisan Republican polling firm, the lead is probably even greater the low of 11 percent above, so that's great news.
But what's interesting here is the tango by the dueling poll firms, whose interest is probably financially built in; POS for Schaffer, and Tarrant for Coors. In fact, they release identical opposing results, showing their candidate behind Salazar by 11 percent, and the opposing Republican behind by 16 percent. Let them quibble, Salazar wins hands down either way.
Between Tarrant and POS, I'd give the nod to Tarrant for the publicity, as they actually provide us with some GOP match-up information:
Coors beats Schaffer 50-32 percent, according to Tarrant; and in terms of name recognition, Coors fared better, 85 percent of those polled recognized the name on one of the nation's best-selling beers (yes, that's a quote), compared to 73 percent name id for Schaffer.
It's a good strong matchup for the nomination, and for control between two strong factions within the state's GOP. Standing with Coors are endorsements from Gov. Bill Owens, Lt. Gov Jane Norton, Rep. Scott McInnis, and retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Schaffer is backed by Sen. Wayne Allard, former Sens. Bill Armstrong, and Hank Brown, and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo.
If you think this reminds you a bit of Pennsylvania, your onto something. Though there is little difference on the issues of the economy, taxes, education, the war and homeland security, there's definitely an intra-battle going on here that's ideological in basis.
The GOP Colorado state convention is June 5th, for getting on the ballot, and the GOP primary is August 10th.
Coors is contemplating whether to get on the ballot via the caucus at the convention, or petition to get on the ballot; and has campaign chairs in all 64 state counties of Colorado feeling that out. Schaffer is going to run strong with traditional GOP caucus attendees, the home-schoolers, the Christian groups, rural Colorado (like the 4th, his district home), and conservative Colorado Springs. This should be another intra-party dandy (as long as Coors doesn't get the shakes and quit) to watch unfold in the GOP tent.