The Rocky Mountain News has a story today about new poll numbers showing Democrat Bill Ritter with a 55-33 lead over Republican Bob Beauprez, and includes this “analysis”:

Pollster Lori Weigel said Ritter, the former Denver district attorney, is benefitting from voter anger at President Bush and the unpopularity of the war in Iraq.


You hear this refrain about Iraq and President Bush over and over from pollsters and analysts, and while it may be correct in many cases, it isn’t a blanket explanation for everything.

Why is Jake Plummer playing so bad for the Denver Broncos? The war in Iraq.

Ritter isn’t beating the stuffing out of Beauprez because of Iraq or because of President Bush. There might be an anti-Republican sentiment out there that Ritter benefits from to a degree, but he’s winning because Beauprez has run the worst campaign in Colorado in decades. Beauprez has proved to be an absolute nightmare as a candidate — and his campaign has been worse — so all Ritter has had to do is get out of the way of the coming train wreck. Ritter has run a solid, if unspectacular campaign, and it has been more than enough to pummel poor Beauprez.

We’re really getting carried away with the Iraq and President Bush excuses for everything that is happening in politics in 2006, and in doing so, it completely misses the point of why Democrats are sweeping through the GOP in Colorado. Iraq and President Bush certainly play a big role in congressional and U.S. Senate races, but it’s not why Ritter is winning the race for governor.