9/7: Colorado: Udall Ahead of Gardner in U.S. Senate Race… Hickenlooper Edges Beauprez for Governor

In the contest for U.S. Senate in Colorado, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall leads his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, by six points among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Udall’s advantage is due to his support among Latinos, independents, women, and young voters.

Turning to Colorado’s contest for governor, Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper, 43%, is in a competitive race against Republican Bob Beauprez, 39%, among Colorado likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  The race is wider among registered voters in the state including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  43% support Hickenlooper, and 36% are for Beauprez.  In July, Hickenlooper had a six point lead over Beauprez among these registered voters.

While Hickenlooper’s job performance is viewed positively by 50% of Colorado residents, his rating has inched down from 54% in an NBC News/Marist Poll in July.

Complete September 7, 2014 NBC News/Marist Poll of Colorado 

“Right now, Udall is disrupting GOP plans to add Colorado to its victory column as they seek a Senate majority,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “To seal the deal, Udall needs to mobilize young voters and Latinos who boosted Barack Obama in his presidential wins.”

Poll points: 

  • A plurality of Colorado likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 48%, supports Udall in the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado.  Gardner garners 42%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Udall is bolstered by Latinos likely to participate.  He receives 60% compared with 27% for Gardner.
  • 91% of Democrats likely to vote are for Udall while 87% of Republicans favor Gardner.  Among likely independent voters, Udall has 49% to 34% for Gardner.
  • Udall is strongest among single women where he outpaces Gardner by 29 points, 56% to 27%.  Udall has a 16 point lead among single men. Udall and Gardner are competitive among married women, 46% to 45%.  Gardner has a strong lead against Udall among married men, 55% to 36%.
  • Looking at intensity of support in the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado, about six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference, 58%, report they strongly support their candidate.  An additional 32% are somewhat committed to their pick, and only 9% report they might vote differently.
  • Majorities of each candidate’s backers express a high level of support for their selection.  60% of Udall’s backers and 56% of Gardner’s supporters report they are strongly committed to their candidate.
  • Among registered voters in Colorado, Udall, 48%, is ahead of Gardner, 40%.  In July, Udall received 48% of registered voters’ support to 41% for Gardner.
  • Likely voters in Colorado divide over their impressions of Udall.  45% have a positive view of him, and 42% have a negative one.  Among Colorado adults, 41% think well of Udall compared with 38% who have a lesser impression of him.  In July, 41% of residents had a favorable impression of him while 35% had an unfavorable one.
  • Gardner’s favorable rating is upside down.  38% of likely voters give him a positive score, and 40% give him a negative one.  Among Colorado adults, 31% have a favorable view of the candidate while 38% have an unfavorable one.  Gardner’s negatives have gone up since July when 31% of Coloradans had an unfavorable impression of him.  The same proportion, 31%, had a favorable view of him at that time.
  • In the race for Colorado governor, 43% of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate support Hickenlooper compared with 39% for Beauprez.  Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess has 5%, and Green Party candidate Harry Hempy receives 4%.  Nine percent are undecided.
  • Independent voters make the difference.  43% back Hickenlooper while 27% support Beauprez.  One in ten is for Libertarian Matthew Hess.
  • A majority of likely voters with a candidate preference, 53%, strongly supports their choice of candidate for governor, and 34% somewhat backs him.  12% might vote differently.  62% of Hickenlooper’s backers strongly support him compared with 50% of Beauprez’s supporters who share a similar level of intensity toward their candidate.
  • Among registered voters, Hickenlooper has a seven point lead over Beauprez, 43% to 36%.  In July, Hickenlooper had 49% to 43% for Beauprez.
  • When it comes to the gubernatorial candidates’ favorability ratings, half of likely voters, 50%, have a positive view of Hickenlooper, and 41% have a negative one.  Among Coloradans, 47% have a favorable impression of Hickenlooper, and 36% have an unfavorable opinion of him.  The governor received a similar rating among adults statewide in July.
  • Looking at Beauprez’s favorability, 41% of likely voters have a positive view of him, and 31% do not.  Of note, 6% have never heard of the candidate, and 22% are unsure how to rate him.  Among Colorado residents, 33% think well of Beauprez.  29% have a lesser opinion of him.  14% have never heard of him, and 25% are unsure how to rate him.  In July’s survey, 33% of adults statewide had a positive opinion of Beauprez.  27% had a negative opinion of him, and 12% had never heard of Beauprez.  28% were unsure.
  • 50% of Colorado residents, down slightly from 54% in July, approve of the job Governor Hickenlooper is doing in office.

Half Disapprove of Obama’s Job Performance… Congressional GOP and Dem’s Even Less Popular 

  • 50% of Coloradans disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.  39% approve.  This is little changed from July when 49% of residents gave the president low marks, and 40% approved of his job performance.
  • About two-thirds of Colorado residents, 66%, disapprove of the job the Republicans in Congress are doing.  One in five, 20%, approves.  In July, 64% gave the GOP a thumbs-down.  Even a majority of the state’s GOP, 52%, thinks the Republicans in Congress are falling short.
  • Opinions of the Democrats in Congress aren’t much better.  59% of Coloradans view their performance as subpar compared with 28% who approve of how they are doing in office.
  • Looking at the overall direction of the nation, more than six in ten Coloradans, 62%, think it is moving in the wrong direction.  32% report the country is travelling in the right one.  This is similar to that previous survey in July when 63% thought the country was off course, and 29% believed it was on track.

Checks and Balances or Cooperation? 

  • As a result of this November’s election, 41% of voters in Colorado want the Republicans to control both houses of Congress to serve as a check on the president’s power.
  • A similar proportion, 39%, wants more Democrats elected to send a message to Republicans that they need to cooperate with the president.
  • 16% say party control does not matter as long as the incumbent is ousted.

On the Issues 

  • 59% of Colorado registered voters would be less likely to support a candidate who favors restrictions on contraceptives.  Only 14% would be more likely to cast their ballot for a candidate with this position on the issue.  23% say it would make no difference to their vote.
  • A plurality of registered voters, 44%, says they would be less likely to support a candidate who voted for the Affordable Care Act.  However, 35% would be more likely to back such a candidate.
  • When it comes to residents’ views of the health care law, a plurality of adults, 46%, thinks it is a bad idea including 41% who strongly have this opinion.  37% believe it is a good idea.  Included here are 26% who strongly have this opinion.  Attitudes have shifted slightly.  In July, a slim majority of residents, 51%, said the Affordable Care Act was a bad idea.
  • A majority of Colorado residents, 55%, is for Colorado’s new marijuana law which allows the legalization of small amounts of the drug purchased from regulated businesses.  Among these Coloradans, 27% actively support the law, and 28% favor the legislation but do not actively do so.  In contrast, 41% oppose the law.  This includes 8% who are actively trying to overturn the legislation.

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Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables