Another Potential House Seat For Democrats

By Sean Reagan

Democrat Betsy Markey holds a 7-point lead in her race to unseat Republican incumbent Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado’s Fourth District. The poll, released by Markey’s campaign last week, puts her up 42%-36% with a 4.9% margin of error.

Even given the early stage of the campaign, that’s good news for Democrats looking to score another House seat.

Musgrave barely held onto her seat in 2006 winning just 46% of the vote (Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness won 11%). George W. Bush paid several visits to the state to boost her candidacy. She won only 51% of the vote in 2004 (she took office in 2002, beating Stan Matsunaka to replace outgoing Bob Schaffer).

That’s not a good track record in what is traditionally considered a solid Republican district.

Meanwhile, Markey has been running what some commentators consider an “untraditional” campaign.

Staying below the radar has been part of Markey’s intent to be a different kind of candidate, her campaign manager said.

“We thought it was really important that Betsy took the time in the district, on her own, to define herself to voters before Marilyn Musgrave does,” said Anne Caprara, Markey’s campaign manager. “Our focus for the last few months has really been the grassroots and the infrastructure stuff.”

She said the campaign wanted to avoid trumpeting every event Markey has on the calendar—a fairly uncommon strategy in the media-saturated world of modern politicking.

Markey strolled to several businesses in Loveland on Wednesday, for instance, and Caprara intentionally didn’t notify most Northern Colorado media, preferring to avoid the appearance of a staged photo-op.

It appears to be paying off.

Even for a Republican, Musgrave is highly conservative. She voted against the Farm Bill, against enhanced SCHIP eligibility for 2 to 4 million children, against regulating the subprime mortgage industry, against investing in homegrown biofuels, against the moratorium on offshore drilling, and against increases to the minimum wage. She’s also stood resolutely by George W. Bush on the War in Iraq.

That’s good news for Markey. Forty one percent of Colorado voters rate the economy as the number one issue they want elected officials to address. And over half of them think Bush is doing a poor job.

Also playing in Markey’s favor is the latest Rasmussen poll, which puts Obama up by six points in a head-to-head matchup with McCain. Bush won with just 52% of the vote in 2004.

Colorado will be competitive this year – one of the best chances for Democrats to swing a red state blue. And Betsy Markey may just get a new job in process.

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2 Responses to “Another Potential House Seat For Democrats”

  1. Any new Dems is a good thing. I hope that she wins.

  2. [...] The poll, released by Markey??s campaign last week, puts her up 42%-36% with a 4.9% margin of errorhttp://www.ruralvotes.com/thebackforty/?p=70Just get over it, Ken Guardian UnlimitedComment is free: Tristram Hunt: London’s Labour party needs [...]

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