October 06, 2006

Ritter Lead Smaller, Undecideds At 20%

Ritter's lead is smaller in this poll, and the undecideds are pretty high at 20%, but the paltry 33% showing for Beauprez is still not very encouraging:
A new poll shows the race to be Colorado's next governor could hinge on unaffiliated voters.

The poll by Ciruli Associates found with just a month left until the election, Democrat Bill Ritter is leading Republican Bob Beauprez 43 percent to 33 percent.

The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

However, 20 percent of responders say they are still undecided.

The statewide survey of likely voters was taken Sept. 26th to Oct. 2nd. That is when Republicans began an advertising campaign that attacks Ritter's record on plea bargains.
Unaffiliated voters always decide elections--otherwise most of Colorado would continue to be completely GOP if going solely by party registration. Thanks to the MSM for pointing out the obvious!

There is a problem with the term "unaffiliated". Most self-described "moderates", "independents" and "unaffiliated" voters actually behave and vote like those in the registered parties. Having been able to vote since the '98 election, registering for the GOP did not occur until the '04 election. The motivating factor was voting in the primary, but other than that, I voted GOP--pretty much down the line. A GOP voter in all but registration. Most "unaffliated" voters behave in a similar way, though many go to great lengths to justify their non-party affiliation. A legitimate claim to independence. Affinity for minor parties--greens, libertarians--that have no electoral chance of winning. Most often, it is simply disaffection felt toward one or both parties: a disaffected GOP voter may continue to vote a "conservative" or libertarian ticket, but drop party affiliation. It is, however, unlikely that this voter would register with the Dems. Colorado's surplus of such voters demonstrates that voters here may feel one or more of the above motivations for avoiding party affiliation. They are all legitimate reasons, but let's not kid ourselves about the "unaffiliated" voters: they know how they will vote, but more importantly, they know that campaigns can and will spend millions fawning, begging, and cajoling the very small percentage of those remaining "unaffiliated" voters who actually haven't yet made up their mind.


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