Skip to comments.Colorado Senate Race Slips Further Away from Udall
Posted on 07/19/2014 9:44:30 AM PDT by tellw
The Colorado Senate race is unrecognizable from the one described in a May, 2013, National Journal article entitled, Colorados Forgotten Senate Race. PPDs election projection model has warranted two rating changes since the entrance of Rep. Cory Gardner in February, both of which clearly show this race slipping away from incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall.
In February, after Ken Buck made the decision to drop out of the race to make way for Gardner, a far more electable rising star in the GOP, we changed our Colorado Senate race rating from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat. Now, after adjusting the variables used in our 2014 Senate Map Predictions model to reflect recent developments, we are once again changing the rating for this race.
The incompetence of the Obama administration, the incompetence of Harry Reids leadership in the Senate has worn thin on the American people, said Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. So we just need to provide an alternative that says we can grow our economy, we can create more jobs, we can tackle this debt and we can fix ObamaCare.
He has a valid point, according to recent surveys. But before we get to the recent polling, per se, lets provide some data for context.
First, in Gallups annual party ID by-state survey, Colorado voters expressed a modest but notable shift in party preference toward the Republican Party. In an election likely to be decided on voter turnout, a few points in either direction can make all of the difference. When we look into the latest voter registration numbers and compare them to past election results, we can conclude Gallup correctly predicted this shift.
Since the 2012 presidential election, Democrats have added 28,008 voters to their voter registration roles, which totaled 915,475 voters as of July 1, up from 887,470 in 2012. Meanwhile, Republican have added 40,074 voters to their roles for a total of 965,859 voters as of July 1, up from 925,785 in 2012.
Now, you may have noticed that Colorado Republicans outnumbered Democrats in 2012, yet Barack Obama still defeated Mitt Romney in the Centennial State 51.49 46.13 percent. Thats simply because the state of Colorado has a massive number of independent voters 900,490 in 2012, and 993,652 as of July 1, to be exact and they broke for Obama by a 54 45 percent margin even as independents nationwide went for Romney.
However, unfortunately for Udall, based on the polling data available, independent voters are going for the incumbent by an average of roughly 2 points, if we round up. In the latest survey, which was conducted by Quinnipiac University, independents are going 43 40 percent for Udall.
Worth mentioning, the NBC/Marist poll dubiously offered no cross tabs for scrutiny or explanation of their methodology. The poll is a clear outlier, and a perfect example of why PPD rates pollsters based on past accuracy and weighs them accordingly when the polling variable is calculated in our 2014 Senate Map Predictions model.
While we provide the raw polling average below, which is currently Udall +1.0, the adjusted PPD average used in our model is Gardner +1.0, or 44.3 43.3 percent. Marist, who polled the state for NBC News, was off by more than 7 points in polled races in 2012, including an even worse result in Florida.
Colorado voters disapprove of the job President Obama is doing by an average 53.3 40.1 percent, while Udall gets a negative 42 46 percent job approval rating, his lowest net approval ever measured. This is actually worse than it sounds because, as the NRSC is quick to note, and correctly so, Senator Udall has already spent roughly $7,000,000 out of his $13,000,000 war chest, mostly on attack ads aiming to define Gardner early.
Yet, despite these efforts, the latest survey conducted by Quinnipiac found Udall in the most vulnerable position he has been since the cycle began. Quinnipiac, consequently, has a fairly stellar rating compared to the other pollsters in this race. They have been within the margin of error nearly 80 percent of the time, including data from the 2012 election cycle to the present. So, considering they havent yet moved to their likely voter model, which will no doubt benefit Gardner further, anyway you slice it the results are bad for Udall.
Colorado voters say Gardner is more aligned with the states ideology, as 40 percent say Udall is too liberal compared to 32 percent who say Gardner is too conservative. Voters say 49 40 percent that Udall does not deserve to be reelected, tying his lowest score ever measured. Predictably, Udall fairs better than Gardner on abortion and the minimum wage, by small 43 37 percent and 39 38 percent margins, respectively. But, thats it.
When a Democratic candidate loses on questions that are traditional Democratic platform issues, they simply cannot win.
Voters by a 44 39 percent margin say that Gardner would be better helping the middle class, while they are split 44 44 percent on whether Udall cares about their needs and problems. Thats juxtaposed to 42 33 percent who say Gardner does.
Even though I find these little data points entertaining, the truth is they dont weigh too much on our model, which focuses on fundamentals, i.e. approval rating (Obamas and Udalls), the economy, etc. The D+1 Partisan Voting Index, or PVI, was forecast prior to events that have made the national political environment so favorable to Republicans, and one could argue that it is outdated. But even if it was updated to better reflect voter registration and party preference trends, Gardner would only benefit marginally in our model. PVI is not an actual indicator of margins, but it can help to predict statistical probabilities of election outcomes.
For reference, in 2010, Republican candidates had an 83 percent chance of victory in states where the PVI was D+2 or more Republican. The candidate recruitment variable (think Ken Bucks foot-in-mouth disease) helps to gauge how much of an impact PVI will have, which is why Udall is in so much trouble.
Rep. Cory Gardner is a top-tier candidate and, as we predicted in February, is clearly capable at answering typically damaging attacks from Democrats on social issues.
On our election projection model, a likelihood from 45 55 percent is assigned a Toss-Up rating; 56 to 64 percent is assigned a Leans ratings; 65 to 84 percent is assigned a Likely rating; 85 to 100 percent is assigned a Safe rating.
As of now, Cory Gardner has a 53 percent chance of defeating Mark Udall by a 3 5 percent margin if the election were held today. Obviously, that classifies the race as a Toss-Up, but the Colorado Senate race is one of the closest Toss-Up races as far as probability on our 2014 Senate Map Predictions model. If we move the model to a 1 3 percent margin scenario, Gardners chance of victory rises to 62 percent, a Leans Republican scenario. However, the smaller the margin of victory the larger the margin of error, hence the borderline Toss-Up.
Thats really quite a stunning change and a testament to Gardners strength as a candidate. The Colorado Senate race went from a Forgotten Senate Race, to a contest that perhaps could decide control of the U.S. Senate.
Poll Date Sample MoE Udall (D) Gardner (R) Spread PPD Average 6/5 7/14 44.5 43.5 Udall +1.0 Quinnipiac 7/10 7/14 1147 RV 2.9 42 44 Gardner +2 NBC News/Marist 7/7 7/10 914 RV 3.2 48 41 Udall +7 Rasmussen Reports 6/25 6/26 750 LV 4.0 43 42 Udall +1 Magellan Strategies (R) 6/5 6/8 747 LV 3.5 45 47 Gardner +2
I really hate polls. Seriously we were screwed in 2012 with the embarrassing polls showing we were winning only to lose pretty handedly. Last week polls were saying Udall had it in the bag. I guess it depends on what the polling company thinks. Trust me when I say it would be wonderful to get rid of Udall, but I will wait and see Tuesday election night.
I’m the say way. Polls are taken only to show the DemocRATS where they need to work harder with their voter fraud machine.
One thing that helps is checking the methodology and dismissing polls that only show the results of registered voters. Likely voters are the only ones that come closer to the reality. Registered voter polls always lean Democrat and are usually done by groups wanting a pro-Dem outcome.
‘Polls are taken only to show the DemocRATS where they need to work harder with their voter fraud machine.’
Udall’s commercials are all about abortion. Gardner’s are about family values and the future. Has his daughter with him.
Meh. Talk to me after election day. Same crap about Romney’s landslide and the GOP retaking the Senate. Furthermore, there are only about 2-3 polls worth a hoot anyway.
I guess it’s just an interesting exercise and about as meaningful as NFL pre-season team rankings. In other words, utterly useless and even less reliable.
Funny thing is Democrats think that we cheat and after Mississippi I guess they are right.
Good point and right on the money.
Which is going to be overwhelming this year when all of the illegals show up in Colorado.
So it appears we’re back to the “unskewed polls” noise. That was less than spectacularly successful in 2012.
But what does the peerless prognosticator Dick Morris say?
I suspect they’d be blasted as racists and that they hate Hispanics (so what’s new), but perhaps the day before election day (or start of early voting in a state), True the Vote and other groups that are against election fraud ought to put out campaign ads in Spanish stating that if you aren’t a legal American citizen you can’t vote and you will potentially prosecuted for voter fraud, which is a serious Federal crime in the US and they will be put in jail (yes, I know that a lot of voter fraud cases aren’t prosecuted, but given they’re “living in the shadows” a lot of them don’t know that).
GOPe will drop the ball. They piss on the base and expect a big turnout.
Thanks, beaversmom! More encouraging news.
Udalls commercials are all about abortion. Gardners are about family values and the future. Has his daughter with him.
Down here in Southwest Colo. I have only seen one Udall commercial and no Gardner commercials. That should change.
And as you say, it was about abortion. Gardner is smart to concentrate on family values and the future. I hope he ties in Udall with Obama.
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how so?? the polls never really swung in our favor in 2012...i remember polls up until the last days basically saying it could go either way....
According to the article, ‘’Senator Udall has already spent roughly $7,000,000 out of his $13,000,000 war chest, mostly on attack ads aiming to define Gardner early.’’
Which means the Udall campaign has wasted $7,000,000 so far, since Gardner’s poll numbers have RISEN rather than fallen because of Udall’s attack ads. So Republicans should hope Senator Udall keeps his attack ads coming, the more the better.