In Colorado, Cory Gardner Goes Into The Homestretch With Polling And Financial Edge

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Debating for the third time in less than a week Thursday night, Colorado Senate candidates Mark Udall and Cory Gardner head into the home stretch on the back of a new poll showing Gardner with a slight edge.

The Fox News poll, released Wednesday, has Gardner, the Republican challenger, edging out Democratic incumbent Udall by 6 points, at 43-37 percent.

Even better for Gardner’s campaign, the poll showed that Republican voters are far more motivated than Democrats, with 48 percent of Republican saying they’re “extremely” interested in the race, compared to 31 percent of Democrats who feel likewise.

Gardner’s donors are also more motivated, at least during the third quarter. Gardner outraised Udall $4.3 million to $4 million, respectively. Gardner used some of his cash to increase his TV ad buys.

Colorado voters will conduct the election completely by mail, with ballots scheduled to start hitting mailboxes by next week, heralding a blitz in advertising over the weekend before the first votes are cast.

The debates have had their moments, but they’ve ultimately boiled down to each candidate hammering home the same talking points made in campaign ads. For Udall, that means painting Gardner as an extremist, especially on climate change and women’s reproductive rights. And for Gardner, that means tying Udall to the abysmally unpopular President Obama.

“There’s no big issue in this race,” pollster Floyd Ciruli told The Economist. “It’s become entirely about accusing people of being extremists or puppets of Obama.”

Yet both tactics have advantages, as shown in the new Fox poll.

Udall leads among Hispanics (by a whopping 20 points), women, and low-income voters.

But he suffers by being closely identified with Obama, especially with Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

Fifty-two percent of those polled say Obamacare “went too far” and three-quarters of those voters say they’ll pick Gardner.

Although Obama is more popular in Colorado than in five other battleground states Fox News polled, voters still disapprove of him 57-36 percent. That’s a marked change since Fox polled the state in 2012, in which Obama had a 54 percent favorability rating.

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