4th, 5th and 7th CDs in Colorado In Play

The National Journal, which regularly rates which Congressional races are most likely to change party, has declared that the 4th, 5th and 7th Congressional Districts in Colorado are all in the list of 50 most likely to change hands in November.

The 7th CD, where Democrat Ed Perlmutter faces Republican Rick O’Donnell, is rated second most likely in the country to change hands, in this case, from Republican (this is Bob Beauprez’s seat) to Democratic.  The latest debate in this race is summarized here,

The 4th CD where Democrat Angie Paccione faces Marilyn Musgrave is ranked 39th, and the 5th CD where Democrat Jay Fawcett faces Republican Doug Lamborn is ranked 50th.  Meanwhile, the 3rd CD, in which incumbent Democrat John Salazar faces Republican Scott Tipton, is no longer on the top 50 races where a turnover is likely, after lingering at the bottom of the list for weeks. The latest poll of in the 4th CD shows Musgrave leading Paccione 46-42, within the margin of error of the poll.  Musgrave won in 2004 with just 51% of the vote.

A poll commissioned by Fawcett’s campaign showed Fawcett leading the 5th CD race 41-28, although this has yet to be confirmed by an independent poll.  This is an open seat created by the retirement of Republican Joel Hefley who has denounced Republican nominee Doug Lamborn for sleezy campaign tactics.

While Paccione and Fawcett are both underdogs in these districts where voter registration leans heavily Republican, and most pundits think it will be tough for Democrats to win 15-30 seats, these seats are still definitely “in play,” which is remarkable considering that these seats were considered safe Republican seats when they were drawn.

Meanwhile, none of the Congressional races Democrats are defending, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd CDs of Diana DeGette, Mark Udall, or John Salazar are close. 

The 3rd CD race is particularly notable as there is actually a small Republican voter registration edge in the district.  John Salazar, a moderate Democrat, has managed to appeal to rural voters in the District.

The 6th CD, where Bill Winter faces Tom Tancredo in a heavily Republican South Suburban Denver district, is currently ranked as the longest shot for Democrats this year.

Democrat Bill Ritter, meanwhile, is ranked third in the nation for the likelihood that he will prevail over Bob Beauprez in the race to be Governor of Colorado.  The most recent poll by Rasmussen shows him ahead by 16 percentage points.

Hat Tip to Dan Slater at Dem Notes.