DENVER—Sen. Mark Udall won’t find much good news in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, but on the plus side, he’s beating Republican businessman Jaime McMillan by a solid three percentage points.
Also: The poll was conducted in November 2013, not November 2014.
Otherwise, the survey offers nothing but grim tidings for the Democrat Udall as he heads into the 2014 reelection with the deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act strapped to his back.
The numbers, released Tuesday, show Udall with a split 44 to 44 percent approval rating. At the same time, voters say he doesn’t deserve reelection by a margin of 47 to 41 percentage points.
“Though running even or ahead of six possible Republican challengers, Sen. Mark Udall must be pulling for a quick fix of the Obamacare website and a change of heart by Coloradans who dislike the Affordable Care Act by a wide margin,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Tim Malloy in a statement.
The poll shows Udall leading a half-dozen potential Republican challengers in hypothetical match-ups, but by slim margins. Udall runs ahead of Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, the best known of the Republicans, by a margin of 45 to 42 percentage points.
But Udall isn’t exactly destroying lesser-known Republicans like McMillan. Against state Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs), Udall leads by 44 to 39 percent, while he tops state Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) by 45 to 39 percentage points.
Udall leads state Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Colorado Springs) by 45 to 38 percent, and businessman Mark Aspiri by 45 to 36 percent.
None of the Republicans has anything approaching Udall’s universal name recognition, yet they’re all within striking distance a year before the election.
Analysts agree that Obamacare is to blame for Udall’s poor showing. While Udall has scrambled for cover in the last few weeks—he’s supporting the latest effort to allow people to keep insurance plans cancelled under the ACA—there’s no getting around the fact that he voted for Obamacare.
“Udall’s vulnerability will mostly be a product of Obamacare’s ongoing problems –failed technology, inadequate signup, cancelling current policies and more expensive coverage, and angry constituents,” said Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli in a blog post entitled, “When Do Colorado Democrats Panic?”
Colorado Republican Party chair Ryan Call released a statement Tuesday accusing Udall, as well as President Obama and Gov. John Hickenlooper, of promoting an unpopular liberal agenda over the opposition of voters.
“All of these numbers show that President Obama, Sen. Udall and Gov. Hickenlooper have ignored the voters at their own peril,” said Call. “Instead of working to help the people of this state, they have pushed a radical agenda that is hurting working families, job creators and senior citizens. Arrogant politicians must stop pushing their extreme policies, and actually listen to what the voters want and need.”
The poll was conducted Nov. 15-18 with 1,206 registered Colorado voters. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.