New polls out today from Bush country are part predictable, part unexpected. A Denver Post poll shows Bush leading Kerry in Colorado 48 to 43 percent. Not surprising given the state's record of voting for Republican presidential candidates. But Bush's 5-point lead is not a lock, putting Colorado in play. In the state's Senate race, presumed Democratic nominee Ken Salazar, the attorney general, has a firm lead over either of his potential Republican rivals. Against Pete Coors, the Colorado brewing titan, Salazar gets 47 percent to Coor's 40. His lead against the Republican running against Coors in the primary election, Bob Schaffer, is double that at 40 to 35 percent.
Meanwhile, NPR reports that a new poll from the Center for Rural Strategies shows support for Bush waning in swing states' rural areas. Among the Reddest, rural voters in battleground states still favor the president over Kerry 51 to 42 percent, but that is down significantly since 2000, when Bush got 55 percent and Gore 37 percent in the swing states' rural regions. Why the shifting loyalties? Many respondents switching tickets this election say the economy and the war in Iraq are making them change their minds.