Election Day 2010: All Eyes on Colorado's U.S. Senate Race

November 2 2010, 2:00 PM

The millions of dollars spent, the barrage of advertisements, the finger pointing, and the gotcha moments all come down to tonight. The campaigns have done their best to influence voters in order to advance their political agendas, and The Denver Post does an excellent job of summing up some of the big questions that remain. Will the polls that showed Democrat John Hickenlooper winning the governor's race by at least five percentage points be proved correct, or were polls indicating the job is within reach of American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo closer to the mark? And, what impact will the tea-party movement have once all the ballots are counted today? Another important question: How will Democrats fare overall in Colorado, after making significant inroads with voters in recent years?

For any party these days, the state is "unpredictable," writes The Washington Post, noting that Colorado's political culture "spans religious conservatives, environmentally conscious liberals, a growing Latino bloc, and pro-business mining interests."

While several Democrats are fighting to retain their seats in the U.S. House, it's the race between Michael Bennet, a Democrat appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Bill Ritter, and tea-party favorite Ken Buck, a Republican prosecutor from Greeley, that has captured the attention of the nation. The results are expected to be among the closest in the country. The latest average of polls from RealClearPolitics.com has Bennet trailing Buck by three points in a race marked by heavy spending on both sides (via The Christian Science Monitor). 

But as The Colorado Independent points out, the most recent results from Public Policy Polling aren't exactly a slam dunk for Buck. Of the 66 percent of respondents who had already cast their votes, Bennet was ahead 52 percent to 46 percent.