PPP: Udall, Hickenlooper 44%, Gardner, Beauprez 43%

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

Mark Udall, Cory Gardner.

Today's release from Public Policy Polling reaffirms the present dead heat in Colorado's U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races, with incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper clinging to statistically insignificant leads over their Republican challengers:

PPP's new Colorado poll finds the exact same numbers in the races for both Governor and the Senate- Democratic incumbents John Hickenlooper and Mark Udall are clinging to 44/43 leads over their challengers Bob Beauprez and Cory Gardner respectively.

In the Governor's race this represents a significant tightening over the last four months. In March we had found Hickenlooper leading Beauprez 48/38. Since that time though Hickenlooper's approval rating has dropped a net 10 points, from 48/41 then to now 43/46. And Beauprez's net favorability has improved 14 points from 20/33 then to now 31/30. That movement's come largely among Republicans- he's gone from 33/22 to 57/12 within his own party as it's unified in the wake of last month's primary.

The closeness in the Senate race is nothing new though. Our last four polls have found Udall with leads of 2, 2, 4, and now 1 point. This is shaping up as yet another key Senate contest this year where the early blitz of negative advertising has left both candidates unpopular. Udall has an upside down approval rating at 36/47, but Gardner's not a whole lot more well liked with 34% of voters rating him favorably to 39% who have a negative opinion.

beauprezdemsfear​Read the poll's full results here.

These numbers confirm a trend we've seen in other recent polling: a swift closure of the gubernatorial race as GOP nominee Bob Beauprez consolidates post-primary support and Hickenlooper recovers from a tough few weeks in the press, while the U.S. Senate race remains extremely tight with little movement in the last few weeks. We continue to foresee trouble for Beauprez as the press examines his far-right record, which hasn't happened even as Hickenlooper has faced what will likely be the worst press of the campaign stemming from his disastrous appearance in front of hostile county sheriffs. The same lies ahead for Cory Gardner, though it's arguable that Beauprez will prove easier to marginalize due to the sheer extremity of Beauprez's past statements–not to mention Gardner's slick deceptiveness.

Looking down the ticket, undeniably troubling indicators for Colorado Democrats–demonstrating the significant challenge ahead for them this year after years of political dominance. Many voters are undecided, but Republican candidates for Treasurer, Attorney General, and Secretary of State all hold leads well outside this poll's margin of error. Republicans also hold a 45-38% advantage in the poll's generic legislative ballot. Even if trends in the top-ticket races stabilize in favor of the Democratic candidates as we expect, Democrats need to recover downballot to avoid a divided state government in 2015–potentially much more divided than was the case in 2011-12, when the GOP held a one-seat House majority.

Can Democrats get it done? Absolutely–the record shows that the polls consistently underestimate Democrats in this state, as they did in 2010 when the "Republican wave" broke on the Rocky Mountains.

But anyone on either side who feels confident today is a fool.

48 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    For Dems this is a disaster.  It is a Dem house poll.  Udall was leading by 4 in May, now down to leading by 1.  Hick was leading by 10 in March, now down to leading by 1.  The sample used a model polling more Dems than Rs.

    Dems losing all down ticket races.

    State Legislature Republicans up by 7.

    Still time to go but this is a Dem disaster in the making.

  2. nota33 says:

    These races are not going to be as close as some think. Think back in 2006 when Beauprez was beating Ritter in a few polls and Beauprez goes on to lose by dougle digits. Latinos and women and some independents will vote for Udall putting him over the top/ Gardner being against immigration reform and for personhood is goiing to sink him in November

  3. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Something to piss everyone off, eh, Cory? What's that, Cory? "Glub, glub glub…" ? That's what I thought you said

  4. dwyer says:


    What press are you referring to with this statement?

    We continue to foresee trouble for Beauprez as the press examines his far-right record, – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/60664/ppp-udall-hickenlooper-44-gardner-beauprez-43#comments

  5. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Dwyer they are just making stuff up.

    This poll,by a Dem polling firm, that over sampled Dems shows the Dems have major problems.

    • Ralphie says:

      Making stuff up?  Please provide documentation.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Oversampled Dems, really? Q17 on p 3,  Democrats 35%, Republicans 34%, Unaffiliated/ Independent / other  31% . That pretty much represents Colorado voter registrations, post-2012.

      I agree that this poll would be of concern to Democratic strategists – but if they really want Hick's and Udall's numbers to go up, they need to move away from the frack pack.

      That 3% approval gap? That is the people who are paying attention, and are disgusted with Hick's suing communities for trying to safeguard the health and safety of their residents.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        MJ, Do you really believe in this mid-term election more Dems will show up than Republicans?  That is what PPP assumed.  

        I do not believe that is going to happen.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Queen Marilyn thinks that more Dems will turn in mail ballots. It will be an all-mail-ballot election. Dems only have to show up to their own kitchen tables. It's the real reason Gessler, et al, have fought Colorado's modern election laws.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        A more reasonable likely voter model would be R-36, D-34, U-30.

        Using that model, Udall and Hick are down by 1-2 points.

      • dwyer says:


        What is your source for those percentages?  I found the SOS data hard to read because it was broken out by county registration and I couldn't find state totals on that website.

        The breakdown that I did find was from July 2013 and it had independents at 36%, Dems at 31.25% and Repubs at 31.67 %  Here is the link:



        If these stats hold true for today, then PPP undersampled Independents and oversampled Dems and Repubs, the former by more than 1%.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Colo Sec State Voter Registration Statistics, June 2014, by party, affiliation and active / inactive status  (broken up by county). Here are a few:






          % dem , rep, unaf

          Voter Reg Stats by party (active voters only)













          El Paso




















          Totals (all counties)







          This was my first attempt at inserting a table, so we'll see if it posts legibly. 

          As you can see,  (hopefully) %s vary by county. The averages, in the last column, are pretty much what I said, and haven't changed much since 2012.

          Percentages don't add to 100 because a) I didn't count all the third party groups, green, constitutional, etc, and b) I didn't count the inactive voters, which hold pretty steady at 20-25% across each county.





          • Andrew Carnegie says:

            State voter registration numbers:




            PPP poll assumed:


            Republicans- 34%


            It is beyond overly optomistic for the Dems to believe that they will have a higher turnout than Republicans in this mid-term election.

            • denverco says:

              Did you say the same thing in 2010?

            • SocialisticatProgressicat says:

              Did you notice that only one set of those numbers add up to 100%?  Here are the June Party affiliation numbers from the SOS site.

              ACN 6,885 0.24%
              DEM 915,478 31.43%
              GRN 7,870 0.27%
              LBR 23,276 0.80%
              REP 965,859 33.16%
              UAF 993,652 34.11%

              ACN 8,457 0.24%
              DEM 1,105,388 31.03%
              GRN 10,622 0.30%
              LBR 28,880 0.81%
              REP 1,129,894 31.71%
              UAF 1,279,620 35.92%

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                Pcat, I did notice that – all the stats I posted for active voters add up to around 80-85%, Inactives plus 3rd parties add to  ~15%. (not 20% as I lazily said)  I thought it would be interesting to look at only active voter percentages. But your short summary is more useful, and thanks for posting it.

                Inactives, when they can be found and re-registered, tend to skew democratic (29%) and unaffiliated (44%) – because inactives tend to be mobile and poorer. Jon Caldara tried to get us to shame them by calling these folks "gypsy voters". It's why Gessler spent so much time and money trying to disenfranchise 900,000 inactive voters in 2012, throwing them off the rolls.

                So smart dems should spend plenty of time finding and re-registering those inactive voters.

                And I could care less what AC does – I'm an elections nerd, and I enjoy looking at voter reg stats.


              • dwyer says:

                @Progressicat – 

                Thank you for the aggragate numbers.  It would suggest that PPP did underpoll unaffliated and gave a tiny edge to dems in the poll.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        Isn't PPP the polling shop that did and did not disclose polling in the recalls?

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          Regardless, apples and oranges, district recall elections being so small and hard to poll compared to a statewide general election. But nice try.

          • dwyer says:


            Well not exactly.  One pollster, and I think it was PPP, had Giron losing by 11% in Pueblo the week before the election and decided not to publish the results because they didn't believe their own results.  As it turned out, that was the percentage by which Giron lost.

            • BlueCatBlueCat says:

              I remember that. Still, comparing polling on very small off year recall elections with polling of major elections is not a very useful comparison.  We know PPP is a Dem outfit and it's too bad they made that choice. However, no matter who they root for, they were accurate which is more than can be said for the performance of right leaning polls in 2012. Shouldn't have withheld their results but that's another issue.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    What all these polls are showing is:

    1.  It's mid-summer

    2.  The majority of respondents aren't paying attention and really don't give a shit.

    IV.  This far out, respondent's party afilliation is more determining than anything.

    D. Anyone who's tries to make anything out if any of these polls is likely ashill, or a fucking idiot, or has no life outside of mommy's basement (. . . in the case of dead librarians that would be "and").

  7. DaninDenDaninDen says:

     Gardner’s positives have been stagnant, never approaching a majority required to win. Closer to the election, undecideds will break towards an incumbent, people like to be on the winning side. Cory has little to offer the state of Colorado, other than a lackluster lock step voting record w/ the out to lunch, on vacation ( R ) house. And yes, Brandon Rittiman he did vote to give tax breaks to companies that shipped jobs overseas, ( Brandi truth tested it ) thought it was complicated by a simultaneous wording that was meant to probably repeal disastrous Bush tax cuts. Brandi uses the terms rich and poor as if discovering income inequity for the first time 

  8. exlurker19 says:

    Ahem.  Attention Romanov, Udall camps.  Polling early on showed big O+G owning Gardner and Coffman played very well.  You're beating the horse.  Start beating the cart.  You've got the women.  Unfortunately, the president is likely going back to exporting the browns again, which means that they may stay home in disgust.  But regular folk paying close to $4.00 a gallon so the Koch Brothers can buy elections will resonate with more voters.  I doubt that Beauprez who is about as smart as a (oh, well, never mind) can sink Hick, even with Hick's O+G love affair.  O+G, O+G, O+G.  That is all.

    • Sunmusing says:

      Indies are watching…Hick and Mark had better pay attention to the electorate when it comes to big oil and gas running rampant across the state…I agree that the Bircher Brothers, David and Charles, do manipulate the price of fuel…their dark money onslaught will come, as surely as, comes the darkness of night…there is no room for mistakes in Colorado, and the Dems are making a big mistake with the oily guys…

  9. BoulderDem says:

    Probably just a mildly bad sample. Difference between Dem-affiliated pollsters like PPP and Repub affiliated ones is the Dem ones try to get it accurate. I think they ended up with a 4 or 5 point too-GOP sample, which is not unusual this time of year (Dem demographics tend to do more Summer travel than Repub ones).

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      BD, so you think the vote demographic will be 40% Dem, 30% Republican?

      Did you attend the Dust Puppy School of Political Science in Boulder?

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Jeezuski . . . look who's discounting the claims and political acumen of dustpuppy?

        You take your FOXsnooze-during-home-school poli sci lurnin' pretty serious, huh?





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