Poll: Colorado Senate race voters care a whole lot about tax fairness

A new poll from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling suggests that likely Colorado voters care about “tax fairness” even more than they care about reproductive rights and health care, the current leading issues in the Colorado senate race.

Of 652 likely voters polled about the Colorado senate race last week, a whopping 79 percent said “they would be more likely to support a candidate who wants to close tax loopholes and use the money to create jobs.” Even more interesting, those numbers held strong across party lines, with more than 70 percent of Independents and Republicans joining the 91 percent of Democrats who support a loophole-closing candidate.

Other tax fairness issues — such as requiring millionaires to pay the same tax rate as middle class folks and ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas — showed largely similar rates of support, with just over half of Republicans in favor.

Like many other pollsters, PPP ranked the overall senate race a dead heat, with Republican Cory Gardner leading with 47 percent of those polled versus incumbent Mark Udall’s 45 percent. The margin of error for the PPP poll was +/- 3.8 percent.

The poll also found that the two primary issues the candidates have been hammering each other on continue to matter with voters.

Sixty-six percent of voters were at least somewhat more likely to support a candidate they felt “wants to protect a woman’s right to choose and protect access to birth control.” Fifty-five percent of those polled said they were similarly likely to support a candidate who “believes we just can’t afford Obamacare.”

But Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said the numbers generated by this new poll suggest that a candidate who supports tax fairness could get the critical edge in the race. 

In fact, both candidates have campaigned at least a little bit on issues tied to class and income.

Earlier this summer, Udall released an ad hitting Gardner for votes that gave tax breaks to companies that moved jobs overseas. Udall said he had been working to create middle class jobs through small business tax breaks. 

And just this week Gardner made waves when he took a semi-populist approach to critiquing the Udall family’s high-end political lineage.

Pollsters unsurprisingly have found voters are increasingly sick of listening to the two Senate candidates thrash each other. And PPP notes that just 8 percent of likely voters are still undecided.

Still, we might start hearing as much about money from the campaigns as we hear about the money that’s being spent on them (at least $74 million by Sandra Fish’s latest count).

[Image of a “fair share” rally via Wisconsin Jobs Now]