|Poll||Date||Sample||Gardner (R)||Markey (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||52.5||41.4||Gardner +11.1|
|The Hill/Penn, Schoen & Berland (D)||9/25 - 9/27||391 LV||44||41||Gardner +3|
|AAF/Ayers (R)||8/23 - 8/28||400 LV||50||39||Gardner +11|
|2008: Markey (D) 56%, Musgrave (R) 44%||2008: McCain (R) 50%, Obama (D) 49%|
|2006: Musgrave (R) 46%, Paccione (D) 43%||2004: Bush (R) 58%, Kerry (D) 41%|
|2004: Musgrave (R) 51%, Matsunaka (D) 45%||2000: Bush (R) 61%, Gore (D) 39%|
10/6/10 -- The GOP gubernatorial candidate is collapsing, but it doesn't seem to be affecting Cory Gardner's chances of becoming the next congressman from this Republican-leaning district. Both non-campaign polls we have of this race show Markey at 40 percent. Incumbents under 50 percent are usually considered vulnerable, and incumbents under 45 percent are usually in serious danger.
When most people think of Colorado, they think of mountainous western Colorado. But the eastern half of the state is actually an extension of the Great Plains – flat, arid lands that are suited to heavily irrigated agriculture and ranching, and not much else. The 4th District covers this area. Although it is geographically massive, almost all of its population is located in Larimer and Weld Counties, in the northwestern portion of the district.
This area has consistently elected Republicans to Congress, with exceptions in the worst Republican years (the 1930s, 1958, 1964). It elected Marilyn Musgrave in 2002, an outspoken social conservative. She survived a number of close re-election efforts, but was finally done in by the Democratic wave in 2008. The district sent Betsy Markey to Washington.
Markey has generally voted the Democratic Party line since coming to Washington. This is dangerous in a district that gave President Bush 58 percent of the vote in 2004 and went for John McCain. She faces a high-quality challenger in state House Minority Whip Cory Gardner, who starts the general election campaign a bit ahead of Markey.