Democrat Mark Udall leads Republican Bob Schaffer 51 percent to 38 percent in the race for Colorado’s open Senate seat, amassing winning margins among both sexes and all ages in a Rocky Mountain News–CBS4 poll released Sunday night. Udall trounces Schaffer among the state’s unaffiliated voters — 62 percent to 20 percent — surpassing Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s 58 percent support among the group, according to the same news organizations’ poll released late last week.
Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, told the Rocky his campaign’s internal polling indicated the race was closer but didn’t release figures.
Last week, both campaigns lost the support of their national parties’ Senate campaigns, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) pulling its advertising to concentrate on more competitive races and the National Republican Senatorial Committee leaking word it would move to defend vulnerable incumbent Republican senators. The contest is already the most expensive in Colorado history, counting more than $12 million raised between Udall and Schaffer and more than $20 million poured into the race by outside groups from both sides.
The Rocky-CBS4 poll found Schaffer barely ahead, 47-45, in the eastern plains he represented in Congress from 1997 to 2003. His margin improves in the Colorado Springs-Pueblo region to 43-39, but not enough to challenge Udall’s wider leads everywhere else in the state.
Udall performed best in Adams, Boulder and Broomfield counties — part of the 2nd Congressional District, which he has represented since 1997 — garnering 56 percent to Schaffer’s 25 percent. In the suburban counties of Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas, Udall leads 54-37, on the Western Slope and in the mountains it’s 54-38, and in Denver the Democrat is ahead 55-26.
The poll was conducted last week by surveying 500 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.