The key points: the race is still Salazar's, but by a statistically insignificant 46%-44% (LV, MoE 4.5%); among voters with a favorable impression of both candidates, Coors +20; among voters who identify terrorism/homeland security as their number one issue, Coors +46; on fiscal discipline issues, Coors +20.
The main shortfall of Coors (somewhat inexplicably) at this point seems to be name I.D.--that should change with the current media blitz. Though I'm not sure why recent media blitzes haven't done the trick.
I'm not sure how much weight I put in this poll--it was conducted on behalf of the Coors campaign. However, I could be downright hostile to this poll and I would still have to concede that a 46 point advantage on national security issues is astonishing, and not good news for Ken Salazar. His attempt to portray himself as a "law and order" candidate has clearly not broken through on the issues of defending the country. If this issue advantage finds a way to get through the murk of the campaign, this should be a race that mirrors the Allard/Strickland race of 2002.
Factor in the recent RMN poll that has the Presidential race at a dead heat, and it would seem that this state is much closer than anybody would like. Time to get to work.
UPDATE: The Rocky Mountain News has as its headliner today the results of its own poll which puts Salazar up by 11 points. In the article it does acknowledge the Coors internal poll, but this still can't be a good sign.
JOSHUA ADDS: I'd certainly be happier if their poll showed Coors up 10 points rather than down. But the internals don't seem to be available online, and Powerline has a post suggesting that polls that don't disclose their internals are more likely to favor Kerry. Could the same be true of this poll? The internals aren't there on the Rocky site, the News4 site, or the Public Opinion Strategies site. Without them, there's no way of looking at demographics, party balance, or anything else of interest. It doesn't surprise me that Salazar leads among Hispanics, for instance, but it does surprise me that he leads among rural voters.
cross-posted at Best Destiny