Liberal polling firms still finds Gardner ahead of Udall in Senate race

John Frank --- The Denver Post 

A Democratic polling firm finds Colorado Sen. Mark Udall trailing Republican rival Cory Gardner in a deadlocked U.S. Senate race that is essentially a statistical tie.

Gardner received 46 percent and Udall took 43 percent in a Public Policy Polling survey of likely voters released Tuesday. The edge is within the 3.5 percent margin of error. The other candidates in the race get a combined 5 percent with another 7 percent undecided.

It is the latest poll in a long line that show the Republican challenger ahead of the Democratic incumbent.

The governor’s race is even closer, the poll found, with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper holding a one-point edge, 45 percent to 44 percent, against Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. The other candidates on the ballot get 4 percent with 7 percent undecided.

It is the just the latest poll to indicate the race is a toss-up ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

The polling in both races is receiving plenty of attention given Colorado’s closely watched races but Democrats suggest it may not tell the whole story.

In 2010, when Democratic. Sen. Michael Bennet won his seat, most of the late polls showed him trailing even though he eked out a 0.9 percent win. At this point in the race, PPP showed Bennet one-point down to Republican Ken Buck.

The latest automated PPP poll surveyed 778 likely voters Thursday through Sunday.

In the Senate race, voters are split on Gardner, 45 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable. Udall’s job approval rating is worse than President Barack Obama, the poll found, at 37 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval. (Obama is 41-54, favorable to unfavorable.)

Those who identified their political ideology as moderate are breaking 47-37 toward Udall but the margin among women in the poll is smaller at 46 percent Udall to 42 percent Gardner.

Democrats released two internal polls this weekend showing Udall with the advantage but little information about how they were conducted.

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