Quinnipiac poll: Udall not gaining on Gardner in the home stretch

It’s been a bad month for Senator Mark Udall, and it’s not getting any better. According to Quinnipiac, that is literally the case, and it’s not getting better for Colorado Democrats in general. Cory Gardner still has a six-point lead in the three-way race for the US Senate, and the gender gap is undercutting Udall much more than Gardner:


U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican challenger in the Colorado U.S. Senate race, leads U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, the Democratic incumbent, 46 – 41 percent among likely voters, with 6 percent for independent candidate Steve Shogan, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 6 percent are undecided.

This compares to a 47 – 41 percent likely voter lead for Gardner in an October 16 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

With Shogan out of the race, Gardner gets 48 percent to Udall’s 44 percent.

This is a consistent result for Quinnipiac in Colorado. The last three polls have been roughly the same, within the MoE, with Gardner up 8 in September, 6 last week, and 5 today. This race has stabilized, and absent a major shock, probably won’t change over the next eleven days — as the internals demonstrate.

Udall, whose nickname “Mark Uterus” came as a sardonic consequence of his almost-singular focus on the Democrats’ “war on women” meme, has managed to eke out a small lead among women of four points (45-41), but falls five points short of a majority. On the other hand, Gardner wins a majority of male voters and has a double-digit lead over Udall (51-38), who had forgotten that men also vote in elections. Gardner also wins a plurality of independents, albeit only narrowly at 42/40, with 9% favoring Shogan, who’s otherwise a cypher in the race; 84% don’t know him well enough to form an opinion, which seems like a big problem eleven days before an election.


There are other warning signs for Udall, too. Coloradans don’t particularly care for him, with a slightly negative overall favorability rating of -5 (44/49). Gardner has a +7 among likely voters at 49/42. That suggests that late-breaking deciders won’t be leaning in the incumbent’s direction. For that matter, Gardner leads by 12 points among those who have already voted, 49/37, which may make the question moot anyway.

This is more than just bad news for Udall. It’s bad news for Democrats across the country, Kimberly Strassel writes:

The political class is so focused on what Democrats may lose Nov. 4 that it has largely missed what the party already has lost. So much for the much-vaunted “Colorado Model.”

Nothing has buoyed the progressive left more in recent years than a self-satisfied belief in that blueprint, Exhibit A in their promise of a new Democratic majority. The party poured money into the Centennial State, building an activist infrastructure honed to outspend and attack Republican candidates. These messages were aimed at what was described as an ascendant coalition of liberal whites moving to the state, and minorities—who would join to keep Colorado blue for decades. …

If Colorado is serving as a model for anything these days, it’s the risks of Democratic overreach. Sen. Mark Udall has trailed GOP Rep. Cory Gardner in every poll since September. Gov. John Hickenlooper is trailing Republican Bob Beauprez in poll averages. Republicans are poised to take back the state Senate. Democrats recently pulled funding from the only Colorado U.S. House seat they had targeted, that of GOP Rep. Mike Coffman.

The party’s biggest mistake was thinking its recent electoral victories—based largely on a superior campaign game—translated into a mandate for liberal governance.


Just how far has this “Colorado model” fallen? Hickenlooper is now channeling Nancy Reagan. That’s pretty bad indeed for Democrats.

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John Sexton 7:00 PM on December 09, 2023