Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck, who are vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Bennet, have begun to set the tone of their campaigns, sparring, in part, over the budget, notes The Denver Post.

The economy has repeatedly been a theme in this year’s elections—and for good reason.

The first six months of 2010 data gathered by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation finds that Colorado’s economy isn’t faring as well as many had hoped. EDC chief economist Patty Silverstein tells 9News there’s been a loss in employment, calling the data “disappointing news.”

Country Financial asked Denver residents to assess their own financial security, finding a decrease in August after increases in April and June.

The confidence level for the Denver area is 64.8, down from 67.7 in the June report and 66.8 in April, according to the Denver Business Journal. The current confidence level, which is based on respondents’ perceived ability to save and pay off debts, is only slightly ahead of February’s lowest-ever reading of 64.3.

In other results, only 47 percent in Denver say they are confident they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement, down 13 percentage points from the June survey, and 52 percent say their family would be able to live comfortably if they died or were disabled, down 11 points from June.