DENVER – Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has found himself in a tight race for re-election in Colorado as state voters turn on President Obama and his health-care law, according to a poll released Thursday.
The Quinnipiac University Poll found that voters approved of Udall 45 percent to 42 percent, but they were evenly divided on whether he deserves re-election.
In possible matchups, Udall leads the Republican front-runner, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, 45 percent to 42 percent; and state Rep. Amy Stephens and state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, both by 43 percent to 41 percent margins.
“Mark Udall may be the front-runner, but he can hear the footsteps of three challengers, all within a few percentage points,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.
Udall’s woes could be linked to Colorado voters souring on President Obama. By a 59-37 margin, they disapprove of the president’s performance, nearly the lowest marks for Obama in any Quinnipiac poll since his election. Obama’s signature health-care law, which Udall supported, is disliked by 60 percent of Colorado voters.
However, voters strongly approve of the president’s two main goals – raising the minimum wage and granting citizenship to many of the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally.
The poll also found that voters don’t look favorably on Hillary Clinton, who could run to replace Obama in 2016. She would lose Colorado to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., 47-43, and to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., 48-43. In other possible matchups, Clinton would edge Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., by a single percentage point, the poll found.
The poll surveyed 1,139 registered Colorado voters between Jan. 29 and Sunday and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.