New Poll Shows Udall with Lead Among Women, Independent Voters

A poll released today shows Udall has solid support among Democratic voters, while Bob Schaffer’s backing among the Republican base is somewhat shakier.A new survey of likely Colorado voters shows Democrat Mark Udall, candidate for U.S. Senate, with a 2-percentage point lead over his Republican opponent, Bob Schaffer. 

“The Schaffer people would call it a virtual tie, and the Udall people would call it a slim lead,” said Mark Mehringer, of Research for Change, Inc., the group that conducted the poll.

Udall’s lead broadens among women and unaffiliated voters, who favor Udall by 11 and 10 percentage points respectively.

The poll shows Udall has broad support from the Democratic base (78 percent), but Schaffer may be having some trouble uniting Republican voters, particularly women, only 62 percent of whom say they will support him.

“Schaffer seems to have some soft spots with his base,” Mehringer said. “Whereas Udall has firmed up his base and is able to focus more on independent voters.”

Udall holds a 17 percentage point lead in his own congressional district. But more curiously, Udall is only trailing Schaffer by 2 percentage points in Tancredo’s heavily Republican sixth district.

“(This poll) is consistent with other polling that shows Udall is strong among Republican and unaffiliated voters, particularly in areas that are not traditionally Democratic areas,” said Mike Melanson, spokesman for Udall. “This is going to be a close race. … We’ll win the race, but only by a few points.”

Schaffer spokesman Walt Klein called the race a “dead heat” and said he expected the close poll numbers to continue up until the November election.

The analysis was derived from interviews conducted Dec. 3-5 with 500 registered Colorado voters who say they are either certain to vote or will probably vote in the 2008 election.

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Kate Bernuth

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