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Gov. Ritter is latest Dem to bail

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2010

On the heels of the news that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) won't seek reelection and that Sen. Chris Dodd, too, has decided to slink away quietly rather than face a humiliating defeat, Denver's 7News has now reported that Gov. Bill Ritter has also pulled the plug on his reelection campaign:

Gov. Bill Ritter, who was in for a tough re-election fight this year, canceled a scheduled fundraiser on Tuesday night and has decided not to seek re-election, according to Democratic sources familiar with the governor’s plans.

There was no word on why Ritter chose not to seek re-election.

The Call7 Investigators have learned that a press conference will be held Wednesday.

The "leak" came out of Washington, suggesting that the DNC and/or Obama administration are behind his sudden interest in spending more time with his family. It's rumored that he'll get an appointment to a job in the Obama administration — maybe Czar of Whatever We Don't Already Have a Czar For. 

It's also rumored that the purpose of having the unpopular Ritter step aside is to entice State Rep. Andrew Romanoff into abandoning his primary challenge to the equally unpopular Sen. Michael Bennet and going for the governor's race: 

ABC News is reporting that former Rep. Scott McInnis is the likely GOP nominee and will have a far clearer shot at becoming governor in an open seat race. Colorado is likely to now be a potentially good pickup opportunity for Republicans.

However, Democrats are far from ready to concede the race just yet, ABC News reported. Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has been a thorn in the national Democrats side with his primary challenge to appointed Sen. Michael Bennet. Several Democrats believe Romanoff will now take a serious look at the governor’s race instead of continuing his Senate battle.

Ritter's decision may have been influenced by his dismal poll numbers, like a recent Rasmussen poll showing him trailing McInnis by 40% to 48%.

If poll numbers are any indication, we may see a bunch of congressional Democrats deciding to spend more time with their families. Among likely voters, the Democrats are cratering in Rasmussen's generic congressional ballot (emphasis added): 

Republican candidates start the year by opening a nine-point lead over Democrats, the GOP's biggest in several years, in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 35% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

The latest generic ballot numbers highlight a remarkable change in the political environment during 2009. When President Obama was inaugurated, the Democrats enjoyed a seven-point advantage on the Generic Ballot. That means the GOP has made a net gain of 16 percentage points over the course of the year. Support for Democrats has declined eight points since Obama's inauguration while Republican support is up nine points.

There has been a notable shift this week among women, who now favor Republicans slightly 40% to 38%. Last week, women favored Democrats 45% to 38%. Men prefer Republicans 49% to 32%, showing little change over the past week.

Among all voters not affiliated with either party, the GOP leads 48% to 17%.

That last set of numbers really strikes me. Among independent voters, support for the Democratic candidate is in the toilet.

If that isn't enough to give Dems everywhere pause, maybe the polling numbers from that bluest of blue states, Massachusetts, will do so. Among likely voters, Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley leads Republican Scott Brown by only nine points. And if you dig further into the numbers, they're even more disturbing for Coakley (emphasis added): 

Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view.

For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable.

Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.

I donated a few bucks to Brown a while back. A Brown victory is very much a long shot (Dems have something like a 6-1 voter registration advantage in Massachusetts), but I figure if he can get within a few percentage points, it should scare the beejeebus out of a bunch of Dems. Maybe make them think twice about supporting Obamacare and the rest of the headlong rush to a Socialist America. 

And if, by some miracle, Brown pulls off a win — wouldn't it be the most delicious irony ever to have the deciding "No" vote on Obamacare cast by the man elected to replace Ted Kennedy?

I can dream, can't I? πŸ™‚ If you'd like to help the dream, go here and contribute what you can. 

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3 Responses to “Gov. Ritter is latest Dem to bail”

  1. zombyboy said

    Seems to me that Dodd was probably convinced to drop out to give Dems a chance of holding the seat. If he had run, there was a good chance he would lose; without his negatives, another Dem has a good shot of holding the seat. Or, at least, that’s my theory.

    Still can’t get my head around Ritter, though. That one is pretty shocking. He must be getting a prime post in the administration. Maybe Homeland Security if Napolitano is forced out?

    Strange days.

  2. David Aitken said

    Well, there’s rumors that Ritter was having an affair with Villafuerte. here

  3. rgcombs said

    Zombyboy, you’re almost certainly right about Dodd. A number of Dems seem to be quite happy about his decision. There was speculation that Ritter was encouraged to drop out for the same reason. But he’s quashed that theory by making it clear that it’s all about his family. πŸ™‚

    David, I hadn’t seen that rumor — thanks for the link (I fixed it for you; you can’t use HTML in comments, just “WIKI format” — click Help in the Post Comment dialog).

    If the rumor is true, his wife did a pretty good job of playing “The Good Wife” today. But she’s not nearly as good-looking as Juliana Margulies. πŸ˜‰

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