A new poll conducted by the Denver Post and Denver’s 9News offered further evidence that Tea Power has reached Colorado. In that state’s Senate GOP primary race (to fill the seat left by Ken Salazar’s appointment as Interior Secretary), Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck is thumping the state’s former lieutenant governor, Jane Norton, by 53 percent to 37 percent among likely Republican primary voters. That’s particularly impressive given that Buck joined the race as a long shot — “he was expected to disappear into the political ether,” as the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza recently put it. But Buck has tapped into Tea Party energy, working the movement’s local events hard and winning the endorsement of South Carolina Senator and TP idol Jim Demint. Buck’s views aren’t quite as conservative as those of other upstart Republicans with major Tea Party support, like Nevada’s Sharron Angle or Kentucky’s Rand Paul. For the moment, though, his success does suggest that that Tea Party politics are more than an entertaining media narrative.
In other Colorado news, the White House may be pleased to see the same poll show that incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, appointed last year to fill Salazar’s seat, is well ahead of challenger Andrew Romanoff–who is perhaps best known for publicly revealing that the White House tried to lure him out of the race with the promise of a federal job.