Poll: Key Senate battle all tied up
April 24th, 2014
09:33 AM ET
8 months ago

Poll: Key Senate battle all tied up

(CNN) - A new poll in Colorado, a state that could determine if the Democrats keep control of the Senate in this year's midterm elections, indicates the race is deadlocked between the Democratic incumbent and his Republican challenger.

And a Quinnipiac University survey also suggests that GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is the strongest of the potential 2016 presidential candidates in Colorado right now, edging out Democrat Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 showdown in the Rocky Mountain state.

According to the poll, which was released Thursday, 45% of Colorado voters say that if the November general election were held today, they'd back first term Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, with 44% saying they'd support Rep. Cory Gardner, the all-but-certain GOP Senate nominee. Udall's one percentage point margin is well within the survey's sampling error.

Key races to watch in 2014

The poll indicates a wide gender gap, with Udall leading 52%-35% among women and Gardner ahead 53%-38% among male voters. Udall attacked Gardner over the GOP challenger's stance on abortion, in his first TV ad, which hit the airwaves earlier this week.

Udall has the support of nine out of ten Democrats, Gardner has the backing of nearly nine out of ten Republicans and independent voters are divided between the two candidates.

Health care hurting incumbent

Fourteen percent of Colorado voters list the federal health care law as the most important issue to their vote this year (second only to the economy). Those voters back Gardner over Udall by 21 points.

The survey indicates Colorado voters opposing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, by a 59%-37% margin. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group, has spent over $1 million to run television commercials in Colorado that criticize Udall for his support for the health care law.

Colorado voters are split at 42% on whether they approve or disapprove of the job Udall's doing in the Senate and by a 46%-40% margin, they say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected. And President Barack Obama's approval rating in the state stands at 38%. Presidential approval ratings are considered an important indicator in midterm elections.

"In a race that is both too close to call and one of the prime targets for Republicans trying to take back the Senate, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall might best focus on one predominant concern – the economy," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Gardner initially decided against running for the Senate last year, but he changed his mind and announced in February that he would launch a bid. After Gardner jumped in, three other GOP candidates dropped out of the race. In Gardner, who was first elected to the House in 2010, the GOP has the top tier candidate they were looking for to take on Udall, who Republicans consider vulnerable.

The Quinnipiac poll is the first non-partisan, live operator public opinion survey conducted since Gardner cleared the GOP field.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Colorado.

Paul early leader of the 2016 pack in Colorado

In a possible 2016 presidential showdown, Paul edges out Clinton, the former secretary of state, 48%-43%, among Colorado voters. As with the 2014 Senate race, there is a large gender gap.

In other hypothetical White House matchups, Clinton is deadlocked at 42% with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is all tied up with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (45%-44%), and has a five point advantage (45%-40%) over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The poll indicates Paul with a 41%-30% favorable/unfavorable rating, Huckabee at 37%-30%, Clinton at 48%-47%, and Bush with an underwater 29%-40% score.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 15 – 21, with 1,298 registered voters in Colorado questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.


Filed under: 2014 • Colorado • Cory Gardner • Mark Udall • Polls • Senate • Senate Race
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Rudy NYC

    tom l

    So weird how exciting and angry the gang gets with the Koch brothers yet you have a former hedge fund manager who made a lot of his money from coal now contributing 100 million dollars and they're totally cool with that.
    ---------–
    Angry? You mistake anger for sardonic cynicism. Who is this "former hedge fund manager" that you speak of, and where on this good earth has he spent $100 million dollars? If you cannot cite a name, then your story is just that... a made up story.

    Speaking of the Koch brothers, did you know that they spent ten times more money in 2012 than the top ten unions combined? And, that is just the money that was spent by the Kochs. Let's not forget about the Adelsons of the world who spent their own lion's share of money.

    ====

    Tom Steyer is his name. And the Koch's can spend as much money as they want. Funny how the crickets come chirping from the left with Mr. Steyer.

    April 24, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. smith1

    democrats need to get out and Vote.

    April 24, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. smith

    @Rudy-What about Tom Steyer donating 100 million for the dems mid-term elections?

    April 24, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Silence DoGood

    smith
    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?
    ------------
    I am not scared to show a picture ID.
    I am not so cheap that I cannot pay a poll tax.
    I am not a woman so a woman's right to vote would not stop me.
    I don't live in Wash DC so DC voting rights does not stop me.
    But these things are impediments to voting and unconstitutional in my country.

    April 24, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @smith
    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?
    --------
    Not scared. It is unconstitutional to block voting in any way. Remember the Constitution?

    April 24, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. tom l

    The fact that the gang doesn't even know about Tom Steyer says everything you need to know about the mainstream media. So now you have 2 liberal billionaires pledging millions of dollars and, all of the sudden, the gang is silent.

    April 24, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Tom Steyer is his name. And the Koch's can spend as much money as they want. Funny how the crickets come chirping from the left with Mr. Steyer."

    Using your logic, Mr. Steyer can spend as much money as he wants as well. Either way, whoever spends the most wins, eh, tom?

    Sorry. Not my cup of tea. Not in my America, anyway.

    April 24, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. just asking

    Silence DoGood
    @smith
    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?
    --–
    Not scared. It is unconstitutional to block voting in any way. Remember the Constitution?
    -–

    just how does showing an id block anything? answer: it doesn't. supreme court has alreadt ruled. it is law, just like obamacare. why does the left continue to whine and lie?

    would you have a problem dipping thumbs in purple ink to stop voting multiple times?

    April 24, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    I am pretty sure the Kochs have given $100 million to our un convicted Medicaid scammer governor in Florida, Scott.

    April 24, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. tom l

    @Lynda,
    I have zero problem with Tom Steyer spending as much money as he wants. He earned it and it is not my place to tell him how to spend it. I just find it hilarious that a man with all of the characteristics of someone that is evil according to the left, Tom Steyer – a billionaire, older, white, former hedge fund manager, made most of his money in the coal industry – will be embraced.

    April 24, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Tom l, there is no one here proclaiming their support for Steyer. Have you seen any posts that think this a great thing by anyone? We know all about Steyer, and no one I know is supporting what he is doing. However, Steyer would not even be in the news had Citizens United not given the green light to unrestricted spending. By your twisted reasoning, Steyer is within his rights to donate as much as he wants, so why are you complaining? You should be applauding him as an example of the kind of person we should aspire to be, since h's rich, and that is the only thing that counts, right?

    April 24, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. tom l

    I know for a fact that the Kochs have given $100 million to New York Presbyterian hospital...

    April 24, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-What about Tom Steyer donating 100 million for the dems mid-term elections?
    ------------------–
    What about it? How much did he spend in 2012 and 2013 compared to the Kochs and Adelsons in the world? If you have a problem with someone deciding to match conservative spending with spending on liberal groups, then that's just too bad? The Boo hoo.

    You act like only conservatives are allowed to spend money. Let's watch how the money is spent, though. Let's see if tens of millions are spent on blatantly false and misleading ads such as we have seen come from AFP.

    April 24, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Donna

    Tampa Tim
    Donna – After you repeal ACA, you better hope you don't end up with an illness that gets you kicked out of your junk plan
    --

    That won't happen because everybody agrees that pre-existing conditions should be covered with no exclusion. Everybody is willing to accept that change and it would a one paragraph bill that would not destroy our healthcare system. Of course it will drive up health insurance costs but it is something that most everybody will accept.

    Do you have any other false healthcare fears you need addressed?

    April 24, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Justafool – There is no voter fraud, there is only republican voter suppression.

    April 24, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    @ just asking, is there widespread fraud that has turned the results of a national election? Why devote time and energy to a problem that does not exist on any reasonable scale? Why are you insisting these laws be passed when the only " need" that exists is to impede and suppress voter turnout for the benefit of one party? Is it because you cannot conceive of any way you could lose other than by cheating, when its clear that your ideas don't pass any smell test with the public?

    April 24, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Donna

    Mr. Steyer HAS actually influenced SITTING DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE with his money offer. They pulled that all night climate change BS show just to please this billionaire. Why do you think the Keystone Pipeline has not yet been approved? Steyer opposes it and the Democrats don't want to lose that $100 million. Democrats have already been bought and sold by the far left enviromentalists and the country and jobs are paying the price for it.

    April 24, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    @just asking
    Silence DoGood
    @smith
    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?
    ––
    Not scared. It is unconstitutional to block voting in any way. Remember the Constitution?
    -–

    just how does showing an id block anything? answer: it doesn't. supreme court has alreadt ruled. it is law, just like obamacare. why does the left continue to whine and lie?

    would you have a problem dipping thumbs in purple ink to stop voting multiple times?
    -----------
    The real question is why the radical right, led around by their nose ring by the likes of the Kochs, want this so badly. It is a known effect that any impediment, even bad weather, favors conservative turnout at the polls. The myth of wide-spread voter fraud has been debunked many times over, often by conservative investigators.

    The answer of course is to poke the electorate bell curve by ID's, Gerrymandering, photoshop ads, money and lies.
    It is not that complex, yet somehow lost on the very people being used.

    April 24, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Gunderson

    Aw, well,
    Silence is Good,
    If you let political ads tell you how to vote you are dumber that old Gunderson think you are. Got to go back to check but read on Fox, that "Htiler" Web site that jobless claims are up again this week. Maybe Obama Care unpopular because of Fragile Economy, 29 Hour Work week and, No JOBS !

    April 24, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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