As Colorado Republicans gear up for their fall retreat this weekend, a new poll is throwing more heat on the gubernatorial primary battle. Colorado Policy Institute, a new group headed by GOP operative Sean Tonner, gives former Congressman Scott McInnis an early lead over his former aide, state Senator Josh Penry, writes The Denver Post, which points out that McInnis (pictured) proclaimed Tonner "on board" his campaign earlier this year, saying Tonner would be "doing" McInnis' 527 group. It's illegal for campaigns to coordinate with 527s, and Tonner tells the Post the CPI is not connected to either of the GOP's gubernatorial campaigns: "This group is not for elections." A blog on the Colorado Springs Gazette's Web site, At the Capitol, notes that, despite McInnis' "colossal" lead, 47 percent of those polled remain undecided. With a long way to go in persuading those voters, state Republicans are gathering in Keystone this weekend, where the "mood...has been buoyed on two fronts," writes the Post's Lynn Bartels: The Dems' "perceived spending spree" and the divisive U.S. Senate Democratic primary contest between Senator Michael Bennet and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff are energizing an otherwise battered GOP for 2010.
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