April 23 2009, 11:42 AM
Although political newbie Michael Bennet, a Democratic U.S. senator, has barely begun to roll up his sleeves, there's speculation about whether he'll be able to hang on to his seat in next year's election. RealClearPolitics notes that Bennet has a piddly 34 percent approval rating, and that 41 percent disapprove of the job he has done so far. Forget for a moment the possibility of a party challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Fortunately for Bennet, three hypothetical Republican opponents--Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, and state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry--would trail in a general election. However, former Congressman Bob Beauprez, who lost to Bill Ritter in the governor's race in 2006, polls better than Bennet: 43 percent to 42 percent.Â Political Wire provides a breakdown of Bennet's problems: More Dems (16 percent) than Republicans (11 percent) disapprove of his performance. He also has negative numbers with independent voters. President Dean Debnam of Public Policy Polling writes, "The good news for [Bennet] is that he still hasn't had the opportunity to define himself the way he wants to the voters in a campaign, and when he has the opportunity to do that next year he may fare better than he is now" (viaÂ TalkingPointsMemo).