Latest U.S. Senate Q-Poll Shows Tightening Race

Sen. Mark Udall.

Sen. Mark Udall.

​The same Quinnipiac University Polling Institute that delivered good news for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper yesterday brings a somewhat different message today for the campaign of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall:

With large gender gaps, Colorado voters approve 45 – 41 percent of the job Sen. Mark Udall is doing, but are divided 42 – 42 percent on whether he deserves reelection this year. Women approve 51 – 32 percent and say 48 – 31 percent he deserves reelection. Men disapprove 49 – 40 percent and say 52 – 36 percent he does not deserve reelection.

Looking at the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Colorado, Sen. Udall gets 45 percent to 42 percent for Republican District Attorney Ken Buck. In other possible matchups:

Udall gets 43 percent to 41 percent for State Sen. Randy Baumgardner;
Udall edges State Sen. Owen Hill 44 – 39 percent;
Udall has 43 percent to State Rep. Amy Stephens with 41 percent;
Udall tops businessman Jaime McMillan 45 – 38 percent.

"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," Malloy said.

On the surface, there's little for Democrats to be happy about in this poll. Hillary Clinton underperforms relative to conventional wisdom (and other recent polls) against every potential 2016 Republican presidential opponent except Chris Christie–enough to make this poll a bit questionable in our minds. President Barack Obama's disapproval is a very high 59%, which Quinnipiac says is "close to his worst approval rating in any Quinnipiac University state or national poll since he was elected." Fully 60% of respondents oppose the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare."

Randy Baumgardner.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Randy Baumgardner.

​But looking closer, there are notable caveats: although the head-to-head matchups for Sen. Udall have generally tightened, his personal approval numbers have improved over last November: split 44% each way then, now at 45-41% in favor. Also, in November, respondents said 47-41% that Udall didn't deserve re-election, where today that number has drawn even at 42% for and against. With most of Udall's opponents struggling for name recognition, this is a favorable trajectory. As for GOP frontrunner Ken Buck, Udall's three-point edge hasn't changed since last November. Far more interesting to us, or perhaps confusing is the better word, is the apparent recovery in this poll for minor candidate Randy "The Stache" Baumgardner. In November, Baumgardner was down 44-39% to Udall. For a long, long list of reasons, we just can't put much stock in that.

To a certain extent, the divergence between recovery for Gov. Hickenlooper in yesterday's Quinnipiac poll and a close race for Sen. Udall today can be attributed to lingering negatives for the federal government in general, as well as the troubled rollout of the health insurance exchanges. As we've said before, all Democrats holding federal office have a stake in the success of "Obamacare," and their numbers will track up or down with public opinion of President Obama's signature reform law for as long as he holds office (and probably beyond). Working in Democrats' favor is the improving outlook for the exchanges, and growing number of voters seeing the benefits of the new law.

Bottom line: as much as this poll should rightfully put Udall and his campaign on notice that re-election won't be a cakewalk, we need to see a lot more polling before we can draw any conclusions. And try as we might, we just can't suspend disbelief long enough to embrace a poll that shows Randy Baumgardner competitive in a U.S. Senate race.

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    I think the Independents will be the key.  

    Buck beats Udall among Independents 44-36.

    37% of Independents think Udall should be reelected.

    Obama is very unpopular and voting with him 99% of the time in 2013 kind of makes it hard to seperate himself.

    • OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

      blah blah blah losing independents, blah blah blah Obama unpoular. 

      Still beating all Republicans this far out from the election. That's the salient detail you keep willingly glossing over. 

      On another note – Udall can't vote with Obama 99% of the time. Obama doesn't have a vote in the Senate. How can you people expect to run the government when you don't even know how it functions? /sarcasm.


      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        And clearly just make this stuff up anyway,

      • nota33 says:

        The hypocrisy of the crazy radical right. Accusing Udall of voting with his party most of the time when the republicans do the same exact thing. Does anyone think that Ken Buck wouldn't vote with his party most of the time if he was senator for CO? You know he would, so you gotta laugh at the radical right and their hypocritical claims. The right don't want to admit that Udall and Hick are beating their GOP challengers, so naturally they deflect and bring up independents instead. Why don't the GOP want to admit that their candidates are doing much worse with women voters than Udall and Hickenlooper are?

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Remember the poll where Hick's ahead with voters over all in every head to head race even though he doesn't have the advantage with your key indies. Here again, despite your key indies, Udall is ahead by at least a few points in every head over all, if only by a little at this point in time. So you can repeat your indies mantra all you want. These figures show that even a small improvement among indies would widen Udall's head to head to head leads and even the present indie numbers are failing to erase those head to head leads. I'd definitely wait until the election season really gets off the ground before doing a victory dance, if I were you, which, thank God, I'm not.

    • nota33 says:

      Moron Andrew, if you look at the polls, you republicans are MORE UNPOPULAR than Obama.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Who is doing a victory dance?  

    Pols has Udall with 5-1 odds.

    That is a victory dance.

    I see it as 50-50.


  3. The second half to this poll makes me wonder if the governor's race is really that tight.

    I just can't credit a poll that puts Randy Baumgartner anywhere near a lead.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Oops. Commented on this in the open thread before I saw this one. But AC said that young people (18-29) were against Udall. Not true. 37%-23% favorable, but 37% say they don't know enough about him yet. Outreach needed!!!

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Don't worry. There will be plenty of ads all over all media to reach that 37%. I don't see any way for any possible ad to make any of the R alternatives more attractive to the majority of that 37% than what can easily be accomplished in Udall ads.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Mama you let your son's grow up to be Republicans. he he.

      Buck vs. Udall in 18-29 year demo, Buck leads Udall 42-38.

      It is not about getting your message out.  They heard your message did not like it.

      Seems like the young don't like subsidizing Ralphie's health insurance.

      • Ralphie says:

        They only have to do it for 10 months.  Then I go on Medicare and they can subsidze me even more.  You can subsidize me too.  Eat shit and die.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Pretty sure Ralphie paid in all his life and has paid his fair share of what the public picks up when those young people get sick and can't pay.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        My son and daughter are not Republicans. I see your Buck vs. Udall matchup among the 18-29 year olds, and I'll raise you one. From the same poll, young people feel that Udall is handling his job well:


          26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Udall is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                       AGE IN YRS..............
                             Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
        Approve              45%    19%    79%    40%    40%    51%    49%    46%    43%    45%
        Disapprove           41     64      9     47     49     32     34     35     46     46
        DK/NA                14     17     12     13     11     17     17     19     10      9


        And check out how they feel about raising the minimum wage and immigration reform. Also, look at the millenial generation (30-49). Much better informed than the younger voters, and more liberal in their views.

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    And the Baumgardner thing: Any Republican up against Udall gets 39-42% versus his 45%. All that tells you is that Republican voters will fall in line with whomever the Party puts up. Nothing special for the 'stache to rejoice over.

  6. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    What I see from both polls is: lots of angry males out there. And, given the demographics of CO, that means: lots of angry white males.

  7. hawkeye says:

    As a group, women approve of Udall.  Indeed, they would approve of just about any big government liberal, especially those with a youthful smile and a full head of hair. Women more than men consider security more important over liberty.  However, I suspect there is much less approval for Udall among married women …  "and that's the way it is", as Walter Cronkite would say at the end of the evening news.

    By the way, I'm married and have three grown daughters.


    • Ralphie says:

      By the way, I'm married and have three grown daughters. – See more at:

      And you’re sleeping in the garage tonight, right?

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      How about women as a group have more empathy, humanity, and critical intellect than a given group of males? My adjective string beats your adjective string. Neither has any empirical evidence, but hey…

      In case you couldn't tell, I don't buy the whole "Women need security more than liberty" rationale, nor the implication that we are dazzled by a senator's looks. Republicans do keep putting out those "good hair" guys, and women keep voting them down.

      See: Mitt Romney Ken Buck, Randy Baumgardner (hey, he even has a beaucoup facial hair bonus), Dan Quayle, etc.

      On the liberal side, Ed Rendell and Joe Biden are both balding, but  that hasn't lessened their political impact, nor appeal to female voters. Same with Jerry Brown of CA.

      Bottom line, women voters are not a "bloc" in your sense – our opinions vary widely, even within a political party. But we do tend to pay more attention to policy than follicles.


  8. nota33 says:

    I noticed something very important in this poll and the poll from yesterday about Hickenlooper. Both Udall and Hickenlooper are doing much better with women than the conservatives are and there are more women voters in the country then men. Is anyone surprised that the GOP are doing terrible with women voters? I am not because I know there are a lot of women out there who are disgusted with the GOP and their war on women and with the GOP trying to take away their rights.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      I noticed somthing very important in this poll and the poll from yesterday about Hickenlooper.  Both Udall and Hickenlooper are doing much worse with men than the conservatives are and the split in men to women voters in relatively close.  Is anyone surprised that the Dems are doing terrible with men voters?  I am not because I know there are a lot of men out there who are disgusted the with the Dems and their war on the economy and free enterprise and with the Dems trying to take away their rights?

  9. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Udall should obviously say "bipartisan" like a million times between now and November and he should tell everyone how much he wants a Grand Bargain to Cut Social Security………..NPR is still piming it, he could too!

  10. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Buck may be a smidgeon ahead of Udall at the moment, but Buck hasn't started campaigning yet. He'll manage to swallow both feet in record time. He's guaranteed to say something stupid and patronizing about women. He just can't help himself. it's in his nature.

  11. Sunmusing says:

    The point seems to be "don't vote republican" because their policies hurt America…simple…

  12. tedy20 says:

    Dobra drukarnia poznań tanio oraz przyjemnie!

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.