New polling of likely Colorado voters released Sept. 3 shows former Gov. John Hickenlooper opening up a lead over U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on the strength of a wide advantage among unaffiliated voters.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2019-2020, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
New polling of likely Colorado voters released Sept. 3 shows former Gov. John Hickenlooper opening up a lead over U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on the strength of a wide advantage among unaffiliated voters just weeks before ballots are set to go out.
The survey, conducted online Aug. 21-30 by Morning Consult, found the Republican incumbent trailing his Democratic challenger by 9 percentage points, 48% to 39%.
While both candidates have solid support from fellow partisans, Hickenlooper holds a 29 percentage point lead with Coloradans registered unaffiliated or with third parties, who make up more 40% of the state's registered voters.
The poll found former Vice President Joe Biden with a 10 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump among likely Colorado voters, with 51% support to the incumbent's 41%. Biden led the independent group of voters by 25 percentage points.
Hickenlooper's lead in the tracking survey has widened since polling released a month ago by the same firm showed the Democrat with a 6 percentage point edge, 48% to 42%. Biden led Trump by 13 percentage points in the July poll.
Gardner, considered among the most vulnerable Republican senators on the ballot this year, "has a math problem," Morning Consult's Eli Yokley wrote in an analysis of the data.
“The unaffiliated voters are all that matter, especially in a hyperpolarized environment where you can count on your base to show up,” Ryan Winger, director of data analysis and research projects at the Louisville-based Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies, told Yokley.
According to the poll, Hickenlooper counts the support of 91% of registered Democrats, who make up about 30% of the state's voters, while Gardner has the support of 88% of Republicans, who account for 27% of voters.
It's Hickenlooper's wide 54%-to-25% lead among voters who aren't registered with either major party that spells trouble for Gardner, who is seeking a second term.
The poll also found that 3% of likely Republican voters support Hickenlooper and 4% of likely Republican voters support Biden, while Gardner and Trump didn't register any support from Democrats.
The poll surveyed 638 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Hickenlooper has led Gardner by varying margins in every public poll released this year, according to the political number-crunchers at FiveThirtyEight. Colorado has tilted increasingly toward the Democrats in recent elections, including the party nearly sweeping the ballot last cycle, when not a single Republican was elected statewide and Democrats took control of the state Senate while increasing the margin in the state House.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, the Republican who lost a 2018 bid for a sixth term, suggested that perceptions Trump could lose might benefit Gardner by encouraging ticket-splitters to vote for a GOP senator to keep a check on Biden.
“I won in 2016 with Trump on the ballot, and the reason I did was because there was a general belief that Trump couldn’t win and that they needed a balance with a Republican-controlled Congress versus Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Coffman told Yokely.
This story is from Colorado Politics, a statewide political and public policy news journal. Used by permission. For more, visit coloradopolitics.com.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.