As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports:
The latest poll in Colorado’s U.S. Senate contest shows a tightening race, with Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper ahead of Republican Sen. Cory Gardner by six percentage points.
The Morning Consult survey of more than 600 likely Colorado voters shows less of a contest in the presidential race. Democrat Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 13 percentage points, 52% to 39%, in the Centennial State.
Polls dating back to last year have consistently shown Hickenlooper, a former governor, with a double-digit lead over Gardner. Tuesday’s poll shows a much narrower contest between the two political heavyweights with 98 days to go. Hickenlooper received 48% of support to Gardner’s 42% in the poll…
Although this poll does indicate a somewhat closer race that most other polls of Colorado’s U.S. Senate race up to now, it’s not really accurate to claim that Morning Consult or any other individual pollster shows a “tightening race” until a second poll with consistent methodology establishes that trend. Tightening observed in other polls with prior results to compare to would bolster the argument, but that hasn’t happened yet. Otherwise you could just as easily say that Gardner is losing ground from a poll in 2015 that showed him doing well…but that would be silly.
Until then, what we have is another poll showing the Republican incumbent down by a substantial margin, with less than 100 days before the election. In the absence of corroboration this poll is an outlier in Cory Gardner’s favor, and he’s still losing.
The poll also has plenty of good news for Hickenlooper. Not only does he lead the incumbent Gardner as July comes to a close, but unaffiliated voters who were polled favor Hickenlooper over Gardner by 13 percentage points, 48% to 35%.
In the very difficult situation Gardner is in today, anything that can be even remotely construed as good news is going to be hyped relentlessly by the GOP as evidence of shifting momentum. But the dynamics of this race have not changed: an incumbent running in a state that has “walked away” from Gardner’s party and political agenda in every election since Gardner narrowly won, holding on tightly to the coattails of a President loathed by the voters Gardner somehow must persuade to split their vote.