10/4: CO U.S. Senate Race: 8 Percentage Point Lead for Buck Among Likely Voters

Unelected Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is now facing off against Republican Ken Buck in the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado.  Here’s how the contest stands now.  According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll in Colorado, half of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate — 50% — support Buck while 42% back Bennet.  Two percent are voting for someone else, and 6% are undecided.

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Ken Buck (l) and Michael Bennet

Click Here for Complete October 4, 2010 CO McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

Partisan politics are alive and well in Colorado.  Among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 94% of Democratic voters support Bennet while just 2% back Buck.  90% of Republican voters back Buck while Bennet receives 7% of their vote.  Among likely independent voters, the candidates are more competitive.  Buck is favored by 44% while Bennet receives 43% of their support.

Among registered voters in Colorado, Bennet and Buck are neck and neck.  Bennet receives 41% of the vote compared with 40% for Buck.  Two percent are voting for someone else, and 17% are undecided.

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Table: U.S. Senate in Colorado – Buck/Bennet (Likely Voters)
Table: U.S. Senate in Colorado – Buck/Bennet (Registered Voters)

Candidates’ Intensity of Support

70% of likely voters statewide say they strongly support their candidate.  22% somewhat back him, and 5% might change their mind on Election Day.  3% are unsure.  Looking at likely voters who support Buck, 73% report they strongly support him.  66% of those who support Bennet share a similar intensity of support.

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Table: Candidates’ Strength of Support – Buck/Bennet

Majority For Candidate

54% of likely voters report they are voting for their candidate because they are for him while 39% say they are casting their ballot for their candidate because they are against his opponent.  7% are unsure.  56% of likely voters who support Bennet are for him while 55% of Buck’s backers are voting for him.

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Table: Voting for Candidate or Against Opponent?

High Level of Enthusiasm Shared by 44% of Registered Voters

A plurality of registered voters in Colorado — 44% — report they are very enthusiastic about voting in November’s elections.  A greater proportion of Republican voters in the state — 54% — than Democratic voters — 42% — express a high degree of enthusiasm.

33% of the U.S. electorate are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot on Election Day.

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Table: Enthusiasm to Vote

Split Decision on Candidates’ Favorability

42% of registered voters in Colorado view Buck unfavorably while 40% view him favorably.  18% are unsure.  Looking at Bennet’s favorability rating, 41% think well of him while the same proportion — 41% — perceives him unfavorably.  18% are unsure.

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Table: Buck Favorability
Table: Bennet Favorability

Majority Disapproves of Obama’s Job Performance

Among registered voters in Colorado, 54% disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office while 40% approve.  6% are unsure.

Table: Obama Approval Rating

Grim Outlook for U.S. Economy, Say Nearly Half

49% of registered voters in Colorado say, when thinking about the U.S. economy, that the worst is still ahead.  42%, on the other hand, believe the worst is behind us.  9% are unsure.

When it comes to the U.S. economy, voters’ views in Colorado reflect those of the overall electorate.  Nationally, 53% of registered voters think the worst is yet to come while 43% believe the worst is behind us.  4% are unsure.

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Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse?

Marist Poll Methodology