Democratic Pollster Has Udall Breaking Ahead Of Gardner In Colorado

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Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is inching ahead of Republican challenger Cory Gardner, according to a new poll that was reportedly commissioned by the same group running a $1.3 million ad campaign against Gardner.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling has Udall ahead by a slim margin of 47-43 percent. A poll done in March by the same group showed a much narrower race, with Udall ahead by only 42-40 percent.

But in the earlier poll, 53 percent of respondents said they didn’t have a strong opinion about Gardner. Now 42 percent view him unfavorably, compared to 35 percent who have a favorable opinion.

That could be due to an aggressive ad campaign tying him to the oil and gas industry, which is funded by the League of Conservation voters. The environmental group commissioned the PPP poll, according to the Colorado Independent.

Indeed, one of the questions on the poll asked voters: “Which candidate for U.S. Senate do you think would be more likely to do the bidding of big oil companies: Mark Udall or Cory Gardner?”

By an overwhelming 59 percent, those polled picked Gardner.

“The issue of oil subsidies resonates all across the country and particularly in this race,” pollster Tom Jensen is quoted as saying in the Independent. “Voters do not want members of Congress voting to send billions of tax dollars to some of most profitable companies on the planet.”

Gardner’s negatives shouldn’t necessarily comes as a surprise, former Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams told the site.

“There’s no doubt that Senator Udall and his allies have been running a totally negative campaign against Congressman Gardner for weeks now and that’s bound to have some short-term effect in the polls,” he said.

The poll shows that Udall still has his work cut out for him, with 45 percent disapproving of his job performance as U.S. Senator compared to 42 percent who approve.

Those who responded to the survey identified themselves as 36 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican and 33 percent “Independent/Other.”

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