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Allard Takes Early Lead

U.S. Senator Wayne Allard has picked up substantial support among unaffiliated and Democrat voters since June 2001 and now leads Democrat challenger Tom Strickland 51 percent to 35 percent in the race for U.S. Senate.

Question: In November 2002 there will be an election for U.S. Senate. If the election were held today and the candidates for U.S. Senate were Democrat Tom Strickland and Republican Wayne Allard, whom would you vote for? (Rotated)

Allard is benefitting from a powerful political trend since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

  • a rally effect behind the president, who’s approval has been above 80% since 9/11
  • an increase in support for incumbents, especially federal officials, and trust in institutions such as Congress
  • a record increase in Republican party identifiers
  • an inversion of issues since 9/11 that benefit incumbent Republicans, such as defense spending, military and economic growth
  • the near eclipse of challengers such as Tom Strickland in the post-9/11 news environment

The senate race is only now beginning after a long dormancy caused by 9/11. The Strickland campaign restarted in earnest in January. The environment could change over the next nine months. Allard is barely above 50 percent. It is likely that the president’s popularity will decline. Issues could shift to benefit Democrats. And, finally, there could be more unexpected circumstances, such as Enron. But as of February 2002, the Republican incumbent, Wayne Allard has opened a big lead.

Permission to quote or reprint is granted provided the source, Ciruli Associates, is credited. Ciruli Associates • 1129 1/2 Pennsylvania St. • Denver, CO 80203 • PH (303) 399-3173 • FAX (303) 399-3147. For additional information on Colorado politics, log on to Ciruli Associates’ website: www.ciruli.com.

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