UPDATE 3: ProgressNow’s Secretary of State preference poll holds surprises

In an effort to oh-so-helpfully whittle down the 20 candidates vying for Colorado’s open secretary of state position, ProgressNow has launched a poll urging the liberal group’s members to cast their vote for their top choices. The voting continues through Thursday, but ProgressNow sent out a teaser today, listing the top picks. Is it Bernie Buescher? Andrew Romanoff? Scott Gessler? Keep reading.

UPDATE 2: According to ProgressNow, the following are the latest number of votes from the unofficial poll as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday:

1. State Sen. Ken Gordon (D-Denver) – 2,721
2. Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff (D-Denver) – 866
3. Federal Election Assistance Commission Chairwoman Rosemary Rodriguez – 227
4. State Rep. Bernie Buescher (D-Grand Junction) – 192
5. Colorado Democratic Party Executive Director Sherry Jackson from Denver – 132
6. GOP Attorney Scott Gessler – 108
7. TV talk show host Aaron Harber – 89
8. 2004 5th Congressional District Democratic nominee Jay Fawcett – 58
9. Public Integrity Project Executive Director Claudia Kuhns – 47
10. Policy analyst for the Department of State’s Business Division Scott Primeau – 27
11. Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Jessica Lovingier from Black Hawk – 26
12. Denver Democratic Party Secretary Dan Willis – 22
13. 2000 and 2002 Democratic Secretary of State nominee Anthony Martinez from Conejos – 20
14. 2008 state House District 6 Democratic candidate Josh Hanfling from Denver – 19
15. Art Institute of Colorado adjunct professor from Fort Morgan Cary McMinnra – 6
16. Rancher Energy Corp. President/CEO John Works – 5
17. Littleton attorney John Clough – 3
T-18. Littleton financial analyst Theresa Smith – 1
T-18. U.S. Geological Survey research scientist James Tindall – 1
19. Information Services, Inc. Vice President of Operations Joseph Poche – 0

Yes, you read it right. Gessler, whose name is synonymous with “Colorado Republican attack 527s” has so far gotten more votes than Denver Democratic Party Secretary Dan Willis and unsuccessful Democratic state representative candidate Josh Hanfling combined — in a poll being conducted by a decidedly liberal group. Smackdown!

And as of this writing, TV talk show host Aaron Harbor is at 89 votes, compared to Gessler’s 108. Lot’s more to be read into this if you’re the conspiracy type, but you get the picture.

There’s nothing promising that the seven-member panel that is advising Gov. Bill Ritter to replace Mike Coffman will pay any mind to the poll, but there’s still time to cast your vote. Polls close Tuesday.

UPDATE 3: A clue why Sen. Gordon is so far ahead: The Rocky Mountain News reports that Gordon sent out a press release canvassing for votes. “I’m sure the governor won’t make his choice entirely by a poll like this, but it can’t hurt to show I have support,” the senator wrote.

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