Cory Gardner Polls Similar to Randy Baumgardner in Senate Race


Maybe Cory Gardner would poll better if he had Randy Baumgardner’s moustache.

New polling data on Colorado's U.S. Senate race was made available today by the right-leaning firm Rasmussen Reports, and the results are telling in their sameness compared to previous polls. Rasmussen now keeps Toplines and Crosstabs behind a paywall, so we don't know the answer to the question that we've always found more telling than anything ("very favorable" vs. "very unfavorable" ratings). But in a head-to-head matchup, here's how Rasmussen sees it right now:

Mark Udall: 42%
Cory Gardner: 41%
Other: 5%
Undecided: 13%

Astute readers might recall that these numbers are not all that different from the last public poll in this race: The Quinnipiac University poll in early February. Here's how Quinnipiac shook out the numbers one month ago on the question of theoretical head-to-head matchups:

Mark Udall: 45%
Ken Buck: 42%

Mark Udall: 43%
Randy Baumgardner: 41%

Mark Udall: 44%
Owen Hill: 39%

Mark Udall: 43%
Amy Stephens: 41%

As we've discussed in this space before, we have a hard time seeing how Gardner is going to be able to move to the middle and raise his low name ID in time to defeat Udall in November (assuming, of course, that Owen Hill does not win the GOP Primary). Gardner may be a better U.S. Senate candidate for Republicans because of his fundraising ability, but he's not an election-changing candidate in and of himself.

Baumgardner's 41% in the Quinnipiac poll last month was essentially an example of how a "generic Republican" might fare in a head-to-head matchup with Udall. One month later, the GOP's beacon of hope (Gardner, in case you were getting confused) is polling no better than a guy known only for his outlandish moustache. If the polls are correct, Gardner is no different than any other "generic Republican" choice at this point in the election cycle. If that's still a "game changer," maybe we're talking about different games.


14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Rasmussen is not right leaning.  Scott Rasmussen sold his interest and, if anything, they lean left.  They have generally had the most pro-Obama numbers in the approval polling this year.

    42-41 for an incumbernt is not good for the incumbent.

    It is good for the country.

    • Last cycle, Rasmussen leaned hard right on individual polls until close to the election. To me they're just one poll, and not a particularly trustworthy one…

      Together with the Q-poll, though, a trend is beginning to form in poll numbers: Udall needs to get going to solidify his support or he's going to be in trouble. 42% for an incumbent isn't where he wants to be.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Poll averaging sites are  much better indicators. Real Clear Politics and TPM are two that come to mind that report several polls on any given day on any given question, race, approval rating, etc. and also provide an average of the combined results of a variety of polls, left and right leaning, smaller and larger.  All the big name polls.

        Taking heart from a Dem challenger polling close to and occasionally a point or two better than an R incumbent only to be disappointed when the R incumbent wins easily has taught me that a challenger has to be doing consistently and significantly better than an incumbent over time and going into the home stretch, not just close and/or a bit better here and there, in order to go on to defeat that incumbent. Close doesn't get it done against incumbency. All Pols this far out should be taken with a grain of sat unless there are consistent big leads. 

        • However, it is also a rule in polling that incumbents should poll close to or above 50% in order to be safe. Polling down in the low 40s is not traditionally a safe spot for an incumbent.

          I do think that this year there will be a narrative developing around negative Congressional approval ratings, where incumbents will poll lower yet wind up still winning. It's a known tendency to think our own Congressman/Senator is fine – that it's just the rest of the Congress that sucks. I think in the end that's what will happen here.

          • Andrew Carnegie says:

            These are all Colorado voters who don't seem to think their Senator is doing fine.  If the undecides break 2-1 to 3-1 against the incumbent, which is the normal range, this could get ugly.

            • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

              I'll take that bet.  Winner picks time/place for dinner and drinks?

              • Andrew Carnegie says:


                Michael, I appreciate your offer, but being outed, even in pleasant circumstances, is something I would not want.

                Were you thinking my numbers as to how undecided usually break is off, or that Udall is going to start to pick up steam?


                • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                  I have no angst about this race, Andrew.  And don't worry, I'm not attempting to out you.  The offer stands shoudl you change your mind.  We can have breakfast in Haigler, NE and my lips will be sealed.

    • OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

      You only say it leans left because it doesn't "skew" enough to the right for your tastes. 

      Face it, Rasmussen is the most conservative-leaning of the mainstream pollsters. They also happen to be the most inaccurate of the mainstream pollsters. 

  2. Not Dame Edna says:

    I don't really have anything to say about this race. But I just have to say that cutout of Randy Baumgar's mustache on Cory Gardner's face is super creepy. It looks like a scalpel removed it and just laid it on Gardner's face. All that's missing is the blood. Gross. Find another image.

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