The Monmouth University Poll finds an extremely tight race in the Colorado U.S. Senate contest, with Rep. Cory Gardner holding an insignificant one point lead over first-term incumbent Mark Udall. In the race for Governor, incumbent John Hickenlooper holds a 7 point lead over former Congressman Bob Beauprez who is making his second run for this office.
In the election for U.S. Senate, Colorado voters who are likely to cast a ballot next month divide their vote - 47% for Republican challenger Cory Gardner and 46% for Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. Another 4% say they will vote for a different candidate and 3% remain undecided.
In the race for Colorado Governor, 50% of likely voters support Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper and 43% support GOP challenger Bob Beauprez. Another 3% say they will vote for a different candidate and 4% remain undecided.
All major party candidates have strong support among their partisan bases. Specifically, 93% of Democrats support Hickenlooper for governor and 92% support Udall for senator, while 85% of Republicans support Beauprez and 86% support Gardner.
Independent voters in Colorado have a clearer preference for one office than they do for the other. Independent voters support Hickenlooper over Beauprez by a 53% to 35% margin in the race for governor, but split their vote for senator 43% for Udall and 42% for Gardner.
Mail ballots for the Colorado election were sent out last week and 1-in-4 voters polled report that they have already filled out their ballots. The Democrats have a decided advantage with these early voters. Among the votes already cast for Governor, Hickenlooper has a 55% to 39% lead over Beauprez. The incumbent also leads among likely Coloradan voters who have yet to vote by 49% to 44%. In the U.S. Senate race, early voters support Udall by a 51% to 41% margin over Gardner. However, Gardner has a slight 48% to 44% lead among likely voters who have yet to vote.
"With time left for breaking news, including a budget announcement from the Governor due the day before the election, early voting appears to be helping the Democrats' chances in both races," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
Colorado voters express a very slight preference for GOP control of the U.S. Senate - 41% would like to see the Republicans in charge, 35% prefer the Democrats, and 23% say it makes no difference. Among voters who remain undecided, 29% prefer Republican control, 12% prefer the Democrats, and 53% say it makes no difference.
The poll finds that Colorado voters offer a divided assessment of the leading Senate candidates' qualities. When asked which candidate understands the concerns of Colorado voters, 37% choose Gardner, 34% choose Udall, 3% choose both, and 22% say neither candidate does. When asked which candidate is honest and trustworthy, 31% say Gardner, 29% say Udall, 6% say both, and 28% say this describes neither candidate.
The Monmouth University Poll also found that likely voters in Colorado hold a negative opinion of Pres. Barack Obama. Just 40% approve of the job the president is doing and 56% disapprove.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 17 to 20, 2014 with 431 Colorado voters likely to vote in the November general election. This sample has a margin of error of ± 4.7 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Cory Gardner, the Republican, Mark Udall, the Democrat, or some other candidate? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following at this moment, do you lean more toward Cory Gardner or more toward Mark Udall?]
2. If the election for Governor was today, would you vote for Bob Beauprez, the Republican, John Hickenlooper, the Democrat, or some other candidate? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following at this moment, do you lean more toward Bob Beauprez or more toward John Hickenlooper?]
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?
4. Which party would you like to see control the U.S. Senate – the Republicans or the Democrats, or would it make no difference?
[QUESTIONS 5 AND 6 WERE ROTATED]
5. Which candidate for Senate understands the concerns of people like you – Cory Gardner, Mark Udall, both of them, or neither of them?
6. Which candidate for Senate is honest and trustworthy – Cory Gardner, Mark Udall, both of them, or neither of them?
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 17 to 20, 2014 with a statewide random sample of 431 likely Colorado voters drawn from a list of registered voters who voted in at least one of the last four general or primary elections and indicate they are likely to vote in the upcoming election. This includes 334 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 97 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, gender, and party registration based on state registration list information on the pool of voters who participated in recent midterm elections. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and L2 (voter list). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables