In the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado, Republican Cory Gardner, 46%, and Democratic incumbent Mark Udall, 45%, are in a virtual tie among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early. Five percent of Colorado likely voters are undecided, and 2% of those with a candidate preference say they might vote differently. Among likely voters in NBC News/Marist’s September poll, Gardner trailed Udall by 6 percentage points.
Independents likely to vote and gender play a role in how the race has changed. Udall’s once 15 point lead among independents has shrunk to just 3 points. And, the gender gap has widened with men as the driving force behind the gains for Gardner. He now leads Udall among men by 15 points, up from 5 points.
Looking at the governor’s race in Colorado, Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper, 46%, is ahead of GOP challenger Bob Beauprez, 41%, by 5 points among Colorado likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who have already voted. Six percent are undecided, and 6% say they may vote differently.
“To seal up the potential crack in the Democratic firewall for the U.S. Senate, Udall needs a big ground game,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “He trails among those who have already voted by 12 points.”
Poll Points U.S. Senate:
- Gardner, 46%, and Udall, 45%, are neck and neck in the race for U.S. Senate among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who have voted early. In September, Udall led 48% to 42% for Gardner.
- Gardner leads Udall by 54% to 42% among early voters. Udall has the support of 48% of likely voters who have not yet cast a ballot compared with 41% for Gardner.
- Udall and Gardner still have strong support within their respective Democratic and Republican bases. However, the race has tightened among independent voters likely to cast a ballot. While Udall was up by 15 points among these voters in September, only 3 points separate Udall, 44%, and Gardner, 41%, now.
- The gender gap has widened from 19 points in September to 26 points now. Gardner currently has a 15 point advantage among men compared with 5 points previously. Udall’s support among women has gone from a 14 point advantage a month ago to 11.
- Although the sample size of Latinos likely to vote in Colorado in this survey is small, Udall, 48%, only edges Gardner, 44%, by 4 points among these voters.
- 63% of Colorado likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate including early voters strongly support their choice of candidate, up from 58% in September. Two percent report they might vote differently. The proportion of Gardner’s supporters who are firmly committed to him has grown from 56% to 67%. Those strongly in Udall’s camp remain unchanged at 60%.
- 85% of likely voters with a candidate preference say, although there may be other candidates on the ballot for U.S. Senate, they are sticking with their choice. Six percent may move to a different candidate, and 9% are unsure.
- Among registered voters in Colorado including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted early, Udall has 45% to 44% for Gardner. Last month, Udall, 48%, was ahead of Gardner, 40%, by eight points.
- Likely voters divide in their impressions of both senate candidates. Udall is viewed favorably by 45% of the likely electorate and unfavorably by 46%. 45% of likely voters have a positive impression of Gardner, and 44% characterize him negatively.
- 22% of likely voters cite job creation and economic growth as the most important issue in deciding their vote for Congress. Breaking partisan gridlock in Washington, 17%, health care, 11%, and the deficit and government spending, 10%, follow. Military action against ISIS garners 8%, and looking out for the interests of women, Social Security and Medicare, and immigration each receives 7%. Those who cite jobs and the economy as their top concern are more likely to support Gardner, and those who mention gridlock in Washington are more likely to back Udall.
Poll Points Governor:
- In the governor’s race in Colorado, Hickenlooper has 46% to 41% for Beauprez among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who have voted early. Libertarian Matthew Hess garners 4%, and Green Party candidate Harry Hempy receives 2%. Six percent are undecided. In September’s NBC News/Marist Poll of Colorado, Hickenlooper edged Beauprez, 43% to 39%.
- 60% of likely voters with a candidate preference including early voters strongly support their choice for governor of Colorado, up from 53% last month. Six percent might vote differently. While the proportion of likely voters who strongly support Hickenlooper, 63%, is little changed from September, 62%, 61% of Beauprez’s backers are now firmly committed to him, up from 50% previously.
- Among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have voted early, Hickenlooper has 46% to 38% for Beauprez. Hess receives 4%, and Hempy has 3%. In September, Hickenlooper was up by a similar 7 points over Beauprez.
- More likely voters have a positive impression of Hickenlooper, 48%, than have a negative view of him, 44%. The likely electorate divides over their impressions of Beauprez. 42% have a favorable view of him and 42% do not.
- 52% of Coloradans, compared with 50% in September, disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. 54% of likely voters also disapprove.