October 11, 2022
The 2022 Elections in Colorado
Marist Colorado Poll
Bennet Leads O’Dea in Colorado Senate Race... Polis with Double-Digit Lead Over Ganahl in Governor’s Contest
In the race for U.S. Senate in Colorado, Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet has a 7-point advantage over his Republican challenger Joe O’Dea among registered voters statewide. Bennet enjoys a comparable lead among those who say they definitely plan to vote. In Colorado’s gubernatorial contest, Democratic incumbent Jared Polis outpaces Republican Heidi Ganahl by 18 points among registered voters in the state. His lead narrows to 15 points among those who definitely plan to vote.
Bennet (48%) leads O’Dea (41%) by 7 percentage points among Colorado registered voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Bennet (49%) has a similar advantage over O’Dea (43%) among those who say they will definitely vote.
43% of independents support Bennet while 40% back O’Dea. More than one in ten (13%) independents are undecided.
A majority of registered voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate (57%) say they strongly support their choice. Bennet enjoys greater intensity of support (62%) than does O’Dea (50%).
Nearly four in ten Colorado adults (39%) have a favorable opinion of Bennet. 31% have an unfavorable view of him, and 30% have either never heard of Bennet or are unsure how to rate him. O’Dea’s favorable score is upside down (27% favorable to 34% unfavorable). Nearly four in ten (38%) have either never heard of O’Dea or are unsure how to rate him.
The Democrats (44%) and Republicans (43%) running for Congress are closely matched among registered voters in Colorado. 10% are unsure. Among those who say they will definitely vote, the Democrats (45%) and Republicans (45%) on the ballot are tied.
Polis with Double-Digit Lead over Ganahl in Governor’s Race
Incumbent Democratic Governor Jared Polis (54%) leads his Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl (36%) by 18 points among registered voters statewide. Polis’ margin narrows slightly among those who say they definitely plan to vote (54% for Polis to 39% for Ganahl).
68% of registered voters with a candidate preference for Colorado governor say they strongly support their choice. 73% of Polis’ supporters are strongly committed to him while 61% of Ganahl’s backers express a firm commitment to her.
While 50% of Colorado adults have a favorable opinion of Polis, Ganahl suffers from low name recognition. 26% have a favorable opinion of her, 32% have an unfavorable one, and 42% have either never heard of or are unsure how to rate Ganahl.
"Right now, incumbent Democrats for U.S. Senate and governor in Colorado are in the driver’s seat," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "Democrat Polis’ wider margin over his opponent for governor is mostly owing to his support among independents. Democrat Bennet and Republican O’Dea run neck-and-neck for Senate among these voters."
Inflation Top Voting Issue in Colorado
More than one in three residents statewide (34%) say inflation is top of mind when deciding their vote in this November’s elections. Preserving democracy closely follows with 29%. Abortion is mentioned by 16% while responses for crime (7%), health care (6%), and immigration (6%) are in single digits.
Half of Republicans (50%) cite inflation while preserving democracy (40%) and abortion (32%) are the priorities among Democrats. Among independents, 41% mention inflation while 28% cite preserving democracy.
Nearly Three in Four Confident in Election Process
73% of Colorado adults are very confident or confident that their state or local government will run a fair and accurate election in November. Democrats (89%) and independents (73%) are more likely to express confidence in the system than Republicans (59%).
Two-Thirds Plan to Vote by Mail or Absentee Ballot
66% of registered voters in Colorado say they plan to vote by mail or by absentee ballot in this November’s election. 21% say they will go to the polls, and 11% report they will cast their ballot at an early voting location. About seven in ten Democrats (72%) and independents (70%) expect to vote by mail or absentee ballot. A plurality of Republicans (49%) say the same.
Biden Approval Rating Upside Down in Colorado
President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is underwater in Colorado. 40% of residents approve, and 53% disapprove. Coloradoans are nearly three times as likely to strongly disapprove (40%) than to strongly approve (15%) of the job Biden is doing.