The Colorado gubernatorial race has taken a big turn in the last 4-6 weeks, with Democrat Bill Ritter opening up a double-digit lead in the polls over Republican Bob Beauprez. Ritter has started to pull away as much for what he is doing as for what Beauprez is doing to himself, and the Ritter momentum is gaining national attention.

The daily political buzz called “The Fix” from The Washington Post notes that Ritter is now a clear favorite in a race that is ranked the sixth-most likely governor’s seat to change hands in 2006:

6. Colorado: This open seat contest between former Denver district attorney Bill Ritter (D) and Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) is the biggest mover in this month’s Line. A recent Mason-Dixon poll showed Ritter up by seven points despite the fact that he remains largely unknown in the state. Beauprez may well have picked the wrong cycle to run statewide as voters’ unhappiness with Congress appears to be plaguing his bid. Given Ritter’s cash edge, it looks like it will be difficult for Beauprez to make up lost ground. (Previous ranking: 9)