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Poll Suggests Tight Colorado Senate Race

U.S. Senate

Colorado’s U.S. Senate race is still months away but new details are emerging for both the incumbent, Mark Udall (D), and who could ultimately be his Republican challenger.

Udall is still considered the frontrunner in the race but his numbers are shrinking according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

"Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall may be the front-runner, but he can hear the footsteps of three challengers, all within a few percentage points of him," said Tim Malloy with the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a press release accompanying the poll.

The poll says only 37 percent of Coloradans approve of the job Obama is doing, and that’s a number that could hurt Udall or any Democratic candidate as the election approaches.

In an interview, Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff notes that the numbers aren’t lost on Senator Udall.

“For now Udall is just in there trying to make his case, putting out a lot of press releases, meeting around the state with different groups, and really running a low key campaign but a dominant one at this point,” said Strogoff.

Interview Highlights:

In a match up with Senator Udall, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is 42 percent to Udall’s 45 percent.

“That’s the best match up for Republicans against Udall at this point. But interestingly those surveyed are exactly split on whether they think Udall deserves reelection this year (42 percent to 42 percent). As for Amy Stephens, the state representative from Colorado springs whose also hoping to be the standard bearer against Udall, she gets 41 percent compare to Udall’s 43 percent, so she comes in second in these match ups.”

What can we expect between now and the June 24 Republican Primary where all of the GOP candidates are concerned?

Colorado Statesman

“We’ve got two state senators, Randy Baumgardner from northwest Colorado and Owen Hill, a young, bright up-and-comer from Colorado Springs. However, they lack in terms of fundraising. In fact Baumgardner barely has a campaign; he didn’t report any fundraising numbers this last quarter, and his campaign website is not up, and he seems to be running a skeleton effort in terms of getting the nomination.

I think you’re going to be finding that these candidates are in full fundraising mode, in fact Amy Stephens put out a press release right after this poll came out, and she cited the fact that Udall and she are in a dead heat, and she pointed that although Udall leads by two percentage points, it’s still within the margin of error of 2.9 percentage points."

The Colorado Statesman spoke with Udall’s campaign. What do they make of the numbers?

“Well they’re playing it pretty low key. They say this is nothing that is really totally unexpected, because he said Colorado is a swing state and they always knew this was going to be a tight race. And that they think in the end senator Udall will prevail because he’s got more people siding with some of things he supports than don’t.

So they’re taking it in stride, but it is interesting because just as Amy Stephens put out a press release about fundraising, Senator Udall did too and in fact he cited the fact that Ken Buck was only 3 points behind Udall in the head to head November match up, and they’re trying to appeal for their people to raise money against what they call the tea party front runner, referring to Buck.”

Jody Hope Strogoff is the publisher of the Colorado Statesman

Jody Hope Strogoff is the editor and publisher of The Colorado Statesman. The Statesman is a non-partisan political weekly newspaper, founded in 1898. Jody began working at the newspaper in the late 1970s, later purchasing the publication in 1988. She discusses the state’s political scene each Tuesday at 6:35 and 8:35 during KUNC’s Morning Edition.
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