Jane Norton-Ken Buck Poll: Buck Solidifies Status As New Front-Runner

A SurveyUSA poll commissioned by the Denver Post and 9News is changing public perceptions of the Colorado Senate race both within the state and throughout the country.

The poll--which was released Sunday--showed Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, once considered a longshot to capture the Republican party nomination, with a 53%-37% lead over former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton.

Although the Survey USA poll is not the first to show Buck with a double digit lead, it has altered the discourse surrounding a race that was once dismissed as a lock for Norton.

Independent analysts like Denver-based pollster Floyd Ciruli have responded to the poll by saying "it will be very difficult [for Norton] to change the direction [of the race]"

The Washington Post's influential Politics blog, The Fix cited the poll as an affirmation that Buck looks poised to replicate Sharron Angle's unlikely victory in the Nevada GOP primaries, which was largely fueled by Tea Party and grassroots support.

Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen wrote in a blog Monday that "it's looking more and more like Ken Buck will join [tea party-supported GOP nominees Angle, Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio] once the Colorado primary comes around."

The Norton campaign has responded to the poll by hammering SurveyUSA's credibility. "This is but one of many examples where SurveyUSA has had it wrong," campaign manager Josh Penry wrote in an email to supporters."

Spokesman Cinamon Watson, said the poll was "inconsistent with all of [the Norton campaign's] internal polling,"

As libertarian blogger Ben DeGrow points out, SurveyUSA has been ranked as the third most accurate polling service in the country by polling guru Nate Silver.

Norton still holds a commanding cash advantage over Buck, although conservative PAC's and other independent political organizations have already spent hundreds of thousands in support of Buck's campaign.

Primaries will be held on August 10.

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