In the most recent Public Policy Poll, conducted earlier this month, Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is edging out the two Republican frontrunners—Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck (45 percent to 39 percent) and former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton (44 percent to 41 percent), according to Politics Daily. But the question following the primaries in three states earlier this week is whether Bennet’s numbers will hold.
In recent primaries, voters have lashed out at establishment-backed candidates, including Pennsylvania’s longtime senator, Arlen Specter, instead giving the nod to self-fashioned Washington outsiders. Those dynamics leave Bennet and Norton defending themselves, according to the Denver Daily News, as Buck and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat challenging Bennet, continue to campaign as reform-minded outsiders.
As Romanoff tells The Denver Post, “Washington’s blessing can’t save an incumbent,” noting Specter’s defeat and the loss of Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln to challenger Bill Halter, who is backed by union interests.