DENVER — Fewer than half of Colorado voters think Democratic Sen. Mark Udall deserves reelection, and they’re not thrilled with President Obama, either, according to a poll released Thursday.
A Quinnipiac University poll of registered Colorado voters showed voters split 42 to 42 percent on whether Udall should be reelected. Meanwhile, a whopping 59 percent of voters surveyed said they disapprove of the president’s job performance.
Udall remains the frontrunner in this year’s Senate race, but just barely. Three of his would-be GOP challengers now trail him by just a handful of percentage points.
State Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument) made the biggest gains among Republicans. Trailing Udall by 7 percentage points in November, she climbed 5 points in three months and now falls within the poll’s margin of error, with Udall leading by 43 to 41 percent.
Udall’s closest competitors are now Stephens and state Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs), who also trails Udall by 2 percentage points.
Udall leads Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck by 45 to 42 percent, the same margin in the November poll. Udall runs ahead of state Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) by 44 to 39 percent.
At the same time, voters said they approve of Udall’s job performance by 45 to 41 percent.
“Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Udall may be the front-runner, but he can hear the footsteps of three challengers, all within a few percentage points of him,” said Tim Malloy, assistant poll director, in a statement.
Udall’s shaky poll numbers may be due in part to his close association with President Obama. The poll found Coloradans disapprove of the president’s job performance by 59 to 37 percent, described by the poll as “close to his worst approval rating in any Quinnipiac University state or national poll since he was elected.”
The president’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, is even less popular. Colorado voters oppose the landmark health-care law by 60 to 37 percent, according to the poll.
Udall has been dogged for weeks by allegations that his staff tried to pressure state insurance regulators to rework their policy cancellation figures under Obamacare. More than 335,000 Coloradans have seen their policies cancelled since the launch of the Affordable Care Act.
Udall’s spokesman has said the office was attempting to provide a more accurate number by factoring in the number of residents who were offered new policies. Critics point out that those policies often cost more and had higher deductibles as a result of Obamacare’s increased benefit requirements.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,139 registered voters by phone from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.