Poll: Key Senate battle all tied up
April 24th, 2014
09:33 AM ET
3 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. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Another meaningless poll.

    April 24, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Until which time Quinnipiac polling will be replaced by 1,298 LIKELY voters during the month of October; and come November replaced by 1,298 ACTUAL voters.

    "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."

    The Koch brothers have certainly taken over CNN's talking points as well.

    April 24, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. Harold Read

    Time to follow Melowese Richardson's example: Vote early! Vote often!

    April 24, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. smith

    Colorado is a purple state for sure now. Gun rights, pot laws, and the ACA are the hot issues.

    April 24, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Anonymous

    And yet, except for a tiny paragraph in Thursday's "Gut Check", not word from faux newz-light about NC senator Kay Hagen having a slight advantage over her repug challenger, or KY challenger Alison Lundergand-Grimes being only one point behind repug senator mcconnel – DESPITE the fact she has yet to run a single television ad while the koch brothers have been attacking her relentlessly for the past year through their wholly-owned puppet mcconnel.

    Nor was their more than a sentence about AK senator Mark Prior’ 10 point lead on his repug challenger, and LA senator Mary Landreu’s EIGHTEEN POINT LEAD! Or how about some acknowledgement of the polls showing the Kentucky governor’s approval rating at 56-29, while Louisiana governor bobby jingles is 40-54? Kentucky’s governor set up a healthcare exchange that is helping his citizens. bobby jingles didn’t. Coincidence?

    And NOBODY EVER talks about the fact that Florida governor Medicaid Thief is EXTREMELY unpopular, and will be on the ballot with a Medical Marijuana referendum and a few other touchy issues.

    As a liberal, I’m not making any predictions about November, but BOTH sides of the aisle should be concerned.

    April 24, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @Harold Read
    Time to follow Melowese Richardson's example: Vote early! Vote often!
    ---------–
    ....and catching one person in voter fraud certainly justifies conservatives limiting all voter access.
    Keep the conspiracy alive!

    April 24, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    Nor was their more than a sentence about AK senator Mark Prior’ 10 point lead on his repug challenger,

    ++++++++++++++

    Mark Pryor is from Arkansas. AK is Alaska.

    April 24, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Tommy G

    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.
    ---

    Funny how lying to the entire country is hurting the Democrats. And their solution? Double down on the lies. Keep up the good work!! The American people have seen and heard enough of the lies from Demorcats. Time to flush them ALL.

    April 24, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Sniffit

    ""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.""

    Of course...no mention whatsoever of the fact that AFP used photoshopped footage of Obama and Udall together from when they were visiting the hospital after the Aurora shooting, which showed immense disrespect for and has enrage and hurt the families of the victims, resulting in them sending a scorching letter to AFP and pleading with CO television networks not to air the advertisement. These RWNJ conservative extremists don't care who they trample in their vendetta against Obama and their quest to further turn Amurika into a plutocratic oligarchy.

    April 24, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Dead Bear

    If they run campaigns that bash the ACA only and provide nothing else in policy terms, the GOP has no chance of winning the Senate.

    April 24, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Of course the republican Gardner is popular, he wants to eliminate ACA, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, women's reproductive rights, and programs for veterans and the poor. How can any democrat compete with that?

    April 24, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    When are pollsters going to pose questions to "likely voters" concerning whether or not they have their state's proper Voter ID?

    April 24, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Malory Archer

    Nor was their more than a sentence about AK senator Mark Prior’ 10 point lead on his repug challenger,

    ++++++++++++++

    Mark Pryor is from Arkansas. AK is Alaska.
    -------------------------------------------------
    A mere inconvenient technicality around these parts Mallory!

    April 24, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This is CNN: we don't get hung-up on facts.

    April 24, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    ""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.""

    Of course...no mention whatsoever of the fact that AFP used photoshopped footage of Obama and Udall together from when they were visiting the hospital after the Aurora shooting, which showed immense disrespect for and has enrage and hurt the families of the victims, resulting in them sending a scorching letter to AFP and pleading with CO television networks not to air the advertisement. These RWNJ conservative extremists don't care who they trample in their vendetta against Obama and their quest to further turn Amurika into a plutocratic oligarchy.
    -----------
    OK – it is clear the Kochs' throw money at elections to buy and throw lies and deception in, just to make sure. Remember, they are primary bankrollers for the Tea Party various groups too. Grass roots morality. Not so much.

    April 24, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    This would clearly indicate the disillusionment of Democrats, with their political direction in America.

    April 24, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. smith

    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?

    April 24, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. devil's advocate

    Four different ads for the gop candidate in mi., not one mentions their candidates record, or accomplishments, all aca lies, pathetic and predictable.

    April 24, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. 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.

    April 24, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Donna

    Well, for incumbent Senators to be STARTING the polling anywhere near their challengers is a sure danger sign for them. They are usually double digits ahead as the power of incumbency gives them a great advantage. But the Democrat incumbents are saddled with Obama and Obamacare and all of the lies and deceit that come along with that.

    Obama and Obamacare is going to cost Demorcats dearly in 2014 as it did in 2010. People now have seen and learned of the Obama adminstration IRS targeting Americans exercising their right of political participation. The American people have seen 6 years of total incompetence on the part of Obama and the Democrats both at home and abroad.

    Enough is enough... time for real change, a change to COMPETENT LEADERSHIP.

    April 24, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. devil's advocate

    Where do you hang your hat today tom l.? No one who cares about the well being if workers in America like big money on politics. My biggest fear is the Democrats being corrupted like the gop, laser focus on killing workers rights unions, and protecting the rich from paying their fair share, record inequality is not a product of being overtaxed.

    April 24, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Donna

    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.
    ---

    Rudy, you need to get out of your bubble more often.

    California billionaire Tom Steyer, recently profiled in The Times as the emerging liberal counterweight to the Koch brothers, is doubling down.

    The financier is planning to spend at least $100 million on tough attack ads targeted at congressional and gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 election cycle who oppose efforts to curb global warming, according to a report in the New York Times. Steyer will contribute $50 million himself and is seeking to raise the rest from other wealthy donors, the report said.

    The funds would be spent through Steyer’s San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action. An aide to Steyer confirmed such spending is planned. (LA Times)

    April 24, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. anonymous

    smith
    @Silence-Why are you so scared to show a picture ID to vote?
    --–

    obviously cuz it ain't a pretty picture!

    April 24, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. 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.

    April 24, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Fed Up

    Funny the republicans are against 'big government' but have no problem being ruled by ' Big Brother' Koch.

    April 24, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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